Wainscott is a little village in Rochester, in Kent. It is in the civil parish of Frindsbury Extra, in the Medway Unitary Authority, that is Medway Council. By 1950 it had been absorbed into the neighbouring residential areas of Strood. Wainscott itself is located shortly next to Frindsbury, and is between beautiful agricultural land, as skillfully as ancient woodlands. It is speculated that the declare is derived from the OE meaning Wagonner Cot or Wagon Shed.
Wainscott History. Archaeological excavations in 2007 on the north-eastern edge of Wainscott revealed evidence for human argument dating from the at the forefront prehistoric through to the post-medieval period, and provided important new evidence for Bronze Age, Romano-British and Saxon settlement. By the mid-8th century the kings of Kent were granting estates in the area by charters to the bishops of Rochester and their cathedral. In 738 King Eadberht gave 10 ploughlands at Andscohesham (Stoke) in the territory of Hoo to Bishop Ealdwulf. In 764 King Sigered of west Kent gave 20 ploughlands of arable house at Æslingaham on the west side of the Medway to Bishop Eardwulf, with seven named denes in the Weald, and this assent was avowed by King Offa of Mercia. This charter was difficult regarded as including Frindsbury and Wich, and it seems likely that it included the Wainscott area. These grants were also stated to Bishop Wærmund in 789 by King Offa, who in higher centuries was regarded as the benefactor who had resolution Frindsbury to the bishopric, under the name of Eslingham cum appendiciis. In 889 Bishop Swithwulf and the cathedral community at Rochester decided to a positive Beorhtwulf half of a ploughland later than specified boundaries at Haddun (Haven Street in Frindsbury) with standoffish meadows at Beckley and Strood. The boundaries include ealden strete, perhaps to be identified as Hoo Road, wen weg, (perhaps an prematurely form of Wainscott?) and Ciolmundesland. By the Late Saxon mature the estates of Kent were divided going on into lathes and hundreds. The Wainscott area lay in the Lathe of Aylesford and the Hundred of Shamwell. In the late eleventh century the hamlet of Wainscott may have been traditional by this times at the junction of the crossroads, although there is no written evidence for it. Its publicize probably means ‘wagon shelter’, suggesting a subordinate role in the larger house of Frindsbury. At the get older of the Domesday survey in 1086 the manor of Frandesberie (Frindsbury) was held by the bishop of Rochester. It had been assessed at 10 sulungs (971 ha) in 1066. There was a separate manor of Wainscott which had emerged from the parent manor of Frindsbury by the forward 14th century. It was furthermore called ‘Parlabien’s Yoke’ (or ‘Perleben’s Yoke’) after the relatives which held it at this time. It afterwards descended to the Colepeper family, which held it until the late 16th century. In the years 1494–1504 it was divided into two halves, and court chronicles survive for one of these moieties. However, very little business was transacted exceeding the amassing of fines from tenants who fruitless to attend. If the extent of the manor was truly one yoke, it would not have been exceeding 50 acres (c. 20.2 ha). The fields underlying the north excavation area to the north of Hoo Road were in the manor, as were a series of smaller fields along the south side of the road as far and wide as the stream. Beyond the stream to the north-east were the fields of Islingham manor; to the south of the road lay parts of the manors of Frindsbury and Chattenden. At the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s, the manor of Frindsbury later than its appendages was confiscated from Rochester Priory by Henry VIII, but was taking into account passed upon to the Dean and Chapter of Rochester in 1542. The manor of Wainscott was sold in the late 16th century, and passed by a series of descents and sales to John Boghurst, who held it in the late 18th century. He yet held a court leet and a court baron for the manor at this time. Post-medieval and objector maps and documents indicate that the Place of the site comprised a number of agricultural fields, both within Islingham and Wainscott manors – extracts taken from www.kentarchaeology.org.uk – Prehistoric and Romano-British Activity and Saxon Settlement at Hoo Road, Wainscott, Kent by Nicholas Cooke and Rachael Seager Smith.
Tilemaking at Wainscott
A map old 1711 shows this hamlet as consisting of a house and a few cottages known as Windscott, the reveal probably referring to a growth of cottages in an exposed or windy place. The house was called ‘White Horse’ and, since the hamlet was situated on a crossroads on the road to the Isle of Grain, it may skillfully have been an inn. By 1838, the read out had been corrupted to Wainscott and a local pottery industry was already in existence by 1842. The main works was the Wainscott Pottery owned by a Henry Hone and next to this was a smaller operation owned by Thomas Fox. The reason for their location is easily explained by laboratory analysis of the local land ownership at this time.
Nearby at Four Elms Hill were two clay pits owned by a William Beadle, who was something of an entrepreneur. Beadle furthermore owned the land to the unexpected east of the road in Wainscott and it was here that the potteries were set up. Thus, not without help did he sell the clay to the potteries but he plus got the rent from their premises as competently as the adjacent workers’ cottages. It must have been quite a monopoly for him as with ease as subconscious rather lucrative. Both potteries produced tiles for the expanding building industry and some may have found their mannerism to London together similar to the local brick trade.
The tithe records next list an Edward Hone (limeburner at Upnor) and a John Hone (brickmaker at Bill Street). It is not known if they were aligned to Henry Hone but it is reachable that this was an example of a relatives diversifying into whatever aspects of supplying the building industry. Henry far along went upon to own the Kings Arms pub and John the Old Oak Inn.
By 1858, there had been a amend of proprietors and the potteries were now owned by Thomas Baker and Jesse Clark Foster. It is likely that the larger premises belonged to the latter since, in 1877, Foster bought the clay pits from the Executors of Beadle who had by after that died. With this assumption, Baker must have sold out after a few years to Messrs Charlton & Matthews since, in the book “Industrial Medway” by J.M. Preston, they are mentioned in an trailer dated 1868. This insinuation is interesting before it shows the diverse range of products creature produced i.e. oven & paving bricks and tiles; pan, plain & ridge tiles; sanitary & land drainage pipes; chimney, flower & paint pots; garden & edging tiles.
In the meantime, Foster continued to press on his pottery and took his son Theophilus into partnership in 1867. In 1871 they were shown as brick and tile manufacturers but there is no evidence that they had the valuable equipment at their clay pits to make bricks on site. Since it was a competitive issue locally, it is more likely that they produced specialised bricks at their premises. In 1882 they sold out to Francis Hazell, who produced bricks, tiles, drainpipes and chimney & garden pots.
The 1862 Ordnance Survey map shows a draw without difficulty next to each of the potteries. Whereas these may single-handedly be water wells, there is also the possibility that they were chalk wells. The census of 1871 lists a William Eloine of Wainscott who was described as an ‘excavator’. This is a unfamiliar term previously men who dug clay were normally described as merely labourers and it seems to imply origin at depth. He could of course have been a local capably sinker but, again, the latter term is usually used in census job descriptions. One clue is solution in an article on deneholes written by F.J. Spurrell in 1882, when he mentions a denehole (properly termed a chalkwell) which was then being used at Plumstead for a tile works. It is known that a small quantity of chalk was added to normal bricks to prevent shrinkage during firing and possibly this was also the end in the exploit of tiles. If products of a yellowish-brown colour were required, like the Stock Bricks, a greater proportion of chalk would have to be added to get the colouration. Thus, it is feasible that the local tile works had chalkwells on the premises to attain their own supplies of chalk.
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