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Leybourne Grange and the St Peter and St Paul Church of Kent, England

Pam Hawley Marlin


The Hawley family coat of arms at Leybourne Grange. Source

Over the door of Leybourne Manor House at Leybourne Grange is the Hawley Coat of Arms. A gentleman from England was doing some unrelated research in the area of Kent, England, and was kind enough to send me a couple of photos of the Leybourne Grange Manor House. I do not know the full history of the house other than the Hawley's, who were prominent citizens (Barons), lived there for many years until the 1920's at which time the house and grounds were sold. Eventually the area became a mental hospital, known as Leybourne Grange Colony, and the manor house served as the hospital administration. The hospital closed in the 1990's and the manor house is now derelict. The following is an excerpt from the History of Leybourne Castle (which is near the Manor House) provided by the Leybourne Parish:

In 1724 the Grange, Castle and Manor were sold to Francis Whitworth, who left them to his son, Sir Charles Whitworth. He was married to a Miss Shelley, and became Lieutenant Governor of Gravesend and Tilbury. He eventually sold them to Dr James Hawley. When James died in 1777 he was succeeded by his son Henry Hawley (2nd Bart.) and daughter Elizabeth, who is buried in a vault in the Church. On his death in 1831, the estates passed to his son Sir Joseph Hawley 3rd Baronet), who was a racehorse owner.

Read the History of Leybourne Castle (images missing from text). Information on the Hawley's starts at page 19.

Manor house in the winter.

Back of Manor house.

Staircase inside the house.


St Peter and St Paul Church at Leybourne Village

The Hawley's of Leybourne played a prominent role in the St. Peter and St Paul Church at Leybourne Village. The following was taken from from the church's website:

The Windows, and the Hawley Family. The present stained glass windows are modern and replace those destroyed during the Second World War. The window over the Heart Shrine β€œis the gift of members of the family of Laybourn, and citizens of Libourne, France, in thanksgiving to God for the preservation of this church and the Heart Shrine of their founder.” In the background are scenes from Leybourne and Libourne. The east window represents the Transfiguration, and the window in the north wall opposite the entrance to the church, representing St Peter and St Paul, commemorates Canon Thorne, Rector from 1933-1948. The earlier windows all commemorated members of the Hawley family. (The brass commemorative plaques have outlived the windows).

In 1776 James Hawley, M.D., F.R.S., purchased Leybourne Grange and the land comprising the whole parish. His death is recorded on the marble memorial in the north west corner of the chapel. His son Henry was created a baronet in 1795, and his descendants owned and lived at Leybourne during the next century. Sir Joseph Hawley (1813-1875) was a well-known racehorse owner, who won the Derby four times. He restored the church extensively in 1874, (though much of this work is now either regretted or undone, as appears elsewhere in this account). His brother, the Revd. Henry C. Hawley, was Rector of the parish, as was his nephew the Revd. Charles Hawley, Hon. Canon of Rochester, who died in 1914 – the last of the Hawley family to live at Leybourne. The family still holds the patronage of the living.