History of the Parishes
The villages of Cudham and Downe have long histories; both are mentioned in the Domesday Book, although only Cudham had a church at the time.
Church guides for both churches are available on line:
- Click here for the Cudham Church guide
- Downe Church guide COMING SOON!
We have included on our website some notes about various aspects of our churches' and villages' history which we hope will be of interest.
- History of St. Peter & St. Paul's Church, Cudham
- History of St. Mary's Church, Downe
- Pictures of the ancient yew trees of Cudham, both of which are at least 1,200 years old
- Charles Darwin, who lived the last 40 years of his life in Downe
- Jacob Verzelini, glassmaker.
- North West Kent Family History Society - Cudham
- North West Kent Family History Society - Downe
- Transcriptions of the old memorials in Cudham churchyard (from Leland Duncan's notes made in 1919 on the Kent Archaeology website)
- Transcriptions of the old memorials in Downe churchyard around St. Mary's Church (also from Leland Duncan's notes made in 1919 on the Kent Archaeology website)
Both churchyards go back a long way. The more recent burial and grave registers are kept in the churches' safes.
The older records in Cudham for baptisms, marriages and burials between approximately 1650 and 1850 were transcribed by Sir Thomas Colyer-Ferguson of Ightham Mote, and they are available for inspection. We also hold a transcribed copy of the records for Downe from 1538.
If anyone wishes to research their family history in any other period of time, they will probably have to go to Bromley Central Library where all the older records of both parishes have been stored.