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Read more about the history of Parsonage Farm as well as our journey renovating our beautiful barns into stunning holiday accommodation
Our barns are delightfully compact, as such they are designed for use by one couple along with a pet.
Both barns are unique and have their own quirky personality, in each you will enjoy a lounge and kitchen area, bedroom and shower room.
The kitchens are equipped with a combi oven/grill microwave, fridge and cooking items and utensils along with Denby crockery, enough for a two person stay.
In addition the Stable kitchen benefits from a small dishwasher.
Outside, each barn has its own private parking area, patio and bistro seating, with the grounds around the barns very private and laid mainly to lawn.
For cyclists we also offer a secure Cycle store in the grounds.
Access to the grounds is via a five bar gate leading to a private driveway to the original farmyard.
Please note that due to the historic nature and access to these buildings, we regret that our barns are not disabled friendly.
We do not allow smoking on any part of our property.
The main house at Parsonage Farm, one of the oldest in the village of Preston, has its origins in the mid-16th century as The Parsonage.
Presenting a cottage appearance to the front, the grade II listed building has been extended over the centuries into a large farm house. Many of the timbers used to create the first floor in the original Small Hall House were probably sourced from sailing ships broken up on the river stour made from trees felled in the 13/14th Century. (Recycling at its best!)
Its ecclesiastical origin and ownership has been found and traced thanks to the detailed information stored within the archives of Canterbury Cathedral.
Over its near five hundred year history we are only the fourth documented owner!
From Parsonage to Farmhouse and through the decades we know the names of all the tenants under church ownership. In 1872 it was sold for the first time ever to the Tritton family, who farmed in and around the village for decades.
One of many fascinating stories is that of Albert Sapwell who arrived as a batman to a billeted officer in the build-up of forces, prior to the 1914/1918 war. Despite facing the horrors of war, Albert returned to Parsonage Farm and proposed to Ellen Tritton one of the farmers daughters. She accepted and Albert and Ellen became the third owners.
Albert then moved his belongings in an old, battered chest found in one of our barns from his family home near Reading consigned for collection to Grove Ferry Halt, a station two miles away which no longer exists. Albert and Ellen had many happy years together, but no children. He passed at the age of ninety-two cutting the orchard grass with a hand mower.
So, as only the fourth owner, the Jenkins Family bought the house and grounds in 1975, still here, unlikely to leave the magic and the story continues….
How we rejuvenated our historic barns to give them a brand new purpose
Before & After
Archaeological digs date the parish back to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In the Domesday Book, Preston is recorded as having about 60 households, which was quite a sizeable number in relation to the British Isles population at the time. The Manor of Wingham was in the year 836 was given to Christ Church by Æthelstan of Kent, who was the local king. This manor was made up of the parishes of Ash, Goodnestone, Wingham, and parts of Womenswold and Nonington. In the Domesday Book it was recorded as 'Wingehame'. Christ Church lost a few of its holdings during the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy in the 9th and 10th centuries, Restitution was made when King Edmund I unified England and the Church of England.
St Mildred's was founded in 700 AD, and it still has evidence of stonework from the Saxon age, similarly to Elmstone Church.
St Mildred's Church dates back to the early 13th century and was extended a year later. It was also restored in 1857 by a Gothic Revival architect called William White, who put in dormer windows to replace the aisle ones.It holds a rare Parochial library which was assembled in 1710, and was furnished with 67 volumes recommended by Thomas Bray. These books were transported in a case of 'the best seasoned oak' with sturdy carrying handles. Normally, the cases were left unpainted after arrival, but the Preston case was painted white; nowadays however it looks more grey.
It is a grade I listed building and in 1800, Edward Hasted described it as:
‘three isles, a high chancel, and a north chancel, having at the west end a low pointed steeple, in which hang five bells. It is kept exceedingly neat and handsome, and the whole of it ceiled’
The name 'Preston' means 'Farm/settlement of the priests'. This comes from the two old English terms that make up the name; prēost and tūn, which mean priest and farmland/estate respectfully. It was originally known by the name of its main manor house, Coppanstan. In the 9th century, the Archbishop of Canterbury came into possession of the house, which is where the old English name comes from.
The area has 44 listed buildings, including a number of cottages, farmhouses and even some garden walls.
The area of Preston grew between 1831 and 1961, from 1,670 acres to 2,028 acres over the respective period.