Bilsington Memorial

Located on the hillside in the village of Bilsington.


Bilsington lies on the B2067 Tenterden to Hythe road, just north of the Romney Marsh .


In 1253 a priory of Austin Canons was built next to the church, it was founded by Sir John Mansell a priests son who councelled Henry III. The barons in 1272 evicted Sir John and gave the lands to the son of Simon de Montfort . It was abandoned at Henry VIII's dissolution of the monastries in 1538 .


The old building had a moat all round, and this can still be seen with the ancient farmhouse that replaced the monastry still in place. This farmhouse was reputed to be one of the hiding places for the local Aldington Gang in the 1820's.


In 1804 Napoleon was getting ready to invade England, the government decided to try to stop a French invasion via the Romney Marshes and they built the Royal Military Canal as part of the nations defenses.


It was re-fortified in the 1940's by installing gun emplacements and pill boxes to try to delay a German invasion via the Marshes, the canal runs alongside Bislington .


In 1825 Sir William Cosway purchased the priory estate. He was a politician who was very interested in the plight of the farm labourers (see also Swing Riots ), and in 1830 paid the sum of £150 to help 4 Bilsington families to emigrate to America , he also built the school. On 10th June 1834 her was on the London to Brighton coach when it turned over and he was killed, as a memorial, his family built an obelisk 52 ft high. The obelisk was struck by lightning in 1967 and has recently been restored to its former glory.