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History of Allington

Allington, near Maidstone, comes from the Old English ‘ing’ which is a connective particle, linking the first and last elements, and ‘tūn’ meaning an ‘enclosure, farmstead’ combined with a personal name; therefore, ‘farm/settlement connected with Ælla’. The Domesday Book records Allington as Elentun.  


The Normans built Allington castle between 1135 and 1154, as a motte and bailey construction. In 1281 Stephen of Penchester, who was Constable of Dover Castle, obtained permission from Edward I to build a stone castle with battlements. The castle passed to the Cobham family who sold it, in 1492, to Sir Henry Wyatt, imprisoned in the Tower of London, by Richard III, for siding with Lancaster. He received the knighthood following his release and moved to Kent.

When Queen Mary came to the throne and announced her intentions to marry the Catholic King Philip of Spain, Thomas, Henry’s grandson, lead a 4000 strong rebellion out of Rochester, although, most had drifted away by the time they reached London. The authorities arrested and executed Wyatt, and the throne confiscated his lands and removed the Royal Charter from 
Maidstone, for supporting the rebellion. Queen Elizabeth I restored the Maidstone charter and leased Allington castle to John Astley, a royal courtier. Astley's successors moved from the castle when in 1600, a fire burnt it to the ground, where it stayed, gradually rotting, for the next 300 years. In 1905, the explorer, Sir Martin Conway, bought the castle and with the help of architects, W D Caroe and Philip Tiden, set about restoring it. The castle changed hands several times before, in the mid-20th century, Sir Robert Worcester, bought it as a private residence.


The Normans built Allington church as a chapel to the castle in the 12th century. In 1800, Edward Hasted described it as being a ‘small mean building’. They sold it as a private residence in 1973, having built a new church, in Allington, with the same dedication.