ROLLING, usually called Rowling, is a manor and hamlet, in the eastern part of this parish, which takes its name from the borough in which it is situated. The manor, now obselete, was antiently the residence of a family who took their name from it. In an old leiger book of Davington priory, beginning at king Henry III.’s reign, there is mention of several of this family among its principal benefactors. How it passed after they were become extinct here, which was not till after king Henry IV.’s reign, I have not found; but in the latter end of king Henry VIII.’s reign, John Adams was become possessed of it, and he sold it to John Idley, gent. who resided here, and dying in 1568, was buried in this church. He left it to John his second son, who alienated it to Thomas Butler, a younger son of Richard, of Heronden, in Eastry, esq. and he soon afterwards sold it to Sir Roger Manwood, chief baron, whose son Sir Peter Manwood, K. B. alienated it to Dickenson, who parted with it to John Richards, gent. afterwards of Rowling, and in whose descendants, who bore for their arms, Sable, a chevron, between three fleurs de lis, argent, and lie buried in this church, it continued down to John Richards, gent. who died in 1661, and by will gave it to William Hammond, esq. of St. Albans, and his son, of the same name, in 1696, an act having passed for that purpose, sold it to Sir John Narborough, bart. whose only sister and heir Elizabeth entitled her husband Sir Thomas D’ Aeth, bart. of Knolton, to the possession of it, and his grandson Sir Narborough D’Aeth, bart. now of Knolton, is the present owner of this manor, called Rowling-court, for which there has not been any court held for many years past.

The HOSPITALS OF HARBLEDOWN, and of ST. JOHN, near Canterbury, are jointly possessed of a farm and lands at Rowling, which is demised by them to Sir Narborough D’Aeth, bart.

Text: The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent (Volume 9) ( 1800) by Edward Hasted

Map: Section from Kent from A New and Correct Atlas by John Cary.

Jane Austen References

The Bridges family of Goodnestone owned a small country house at Rowling and it became the first home of Edward Austen Knight and his wife Elizabeth Bridges upon their marriage, before Edward Austen Knight inherited Godmersham. Jane Austen was a frequent visitor to this place.

The Letters

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 1st September 1796

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 5th September 1796

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 15th September 1796

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 18th September 1796

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 21st January 1799

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 24th August 1805

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 30th august 1805