'The hundred, town and parish of Tenterden', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 7 (1798), pp. 200-219. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63409
HERNDEN, formerly spelt Heronden, was once an estate of considerable size in this parish, though it has been long since split into different parcels. The whole of it once belonged to a family of the name of Heronden, whose arms, as appears by the antient ordinaries in the Heralds-office, were, Argent, a heron volant, azure. At length one part of this estate was alienated by one of this family to Sir John Baker, of Sissinghurst, whose descendant Sir John Baker, knight and baronet, died possessed of it in 1661; but the capital mansion and other principal parts of it remained some time longer in the name of Heronden, one of whom, in the reign of Charles I. alienated some part of it, now called Little Hernden, to Short, a family whose ancestors had resided at Tenterden for some time. In the Heraldic Visitation of this county, anno 1619, is a pedigree of this family, beginning with Peter Short, of Tenterden, who lived in the reign of Henry VIII. They bore for their arms, Azure, a griffin passant, between three estoiles, or. At length one of them sold this part of it to Curteis, whose grandson Mr. Samuel Curteis is now in the possession of it. But the remainder of Hernden, in which was included the principal mansion, situated about a quarter of a mile southward of the town, was at the same time conveyed by sale to Mr. John Austen, the second son of William Austen, esq. of this parish, and elder brother of Robert, created a baronet anno 1660. He afterwards resided here, and dying in 1655, s. p. gave it by will to his nephew Robert Austen, esq. the second son of Sir Robert above-mentioned, by his second wife. He afterwards resided here, and had two sons, Robert and Ralph; the eldest of whom, Robert Austen, esq. resided here, and left three sons, William, of whom hereafter, and Edward and Robert, both of whom afterwards succeeded to the title of baronet. William Austen, esq. the eldest son, inherited Hernden, and in 1729, suffered a recovery of this, as well as all other the Kentish estates comprised in his grandfather's settlement of them, to the use of him and his heirs. He died in 1742, and by will devised it to Mr. Richard Righton, who afterwards resided here, and died possessed of it in 1772, and was buried, as was his wife afterwards, under a tomb on the south side of the church-yard; upon which it came into the hands of his son Benjamin Righton, esq. of Knightsbridge, who in 1782 conveyed Hernden, a farm called Pixhill, and other lands in this parish and Rolvenden, to Mr. Jeremiah Curteis, gent. of Rye, in Sussex, who finding this antient mansion, which seems, by a date remaining on it, to have been built in the year 1585, being the 28th of queen Elizabeth's reign, in a ruinous condition, pulled it down; but the scite of it, together with the lands belonging to it, still remain in his possession.
THE CHURCH of Tenterden was part of the antient possessions of the monastery of St. Augustine, to which it was appropriated in 1259, on condition of a proper portion being assigned for the maintenance of a perpetual vicar of it; and the official of the archbishop, on an inquisition concerning this vicarage, made his return that it then consisted in all tithes, obventions, and oblations belonging to the church; except the tithes of sheaves, corn, and hay, of which latter the vicar should receive yearly four loads from the abbot and convent, and that it was then valued at eighteen marcs and more per annum.
The abbot of St. Augustine took upon himself, about the year 1295, to constitute several new deanries, and apportioned the several churches belonging to his monastery to each of them, according to their vicinity; one of these was the deanry of Lenham, in which this church of Tenterden was included, but this raising great contests between the archbishops and them, it ended in stripping the abbot of these exemptions, and he was by the pope declared to be subject to the archbishop's jurisdiction in all matters whatsoever, which entirely dissolved these new deanries. (fn. 8)
This church had a manor antiently appendant to it, and on a quo warranto in the iter of H. de Stanton, and his sociates, justices itinerant, anno 7 Edward II. the abbot was allowed year and waste, and cattle called weif, in his manor of Tentwardenne among others; and those liberties, with all others belonging to the abbot and convent, were confirmed by letters of inspeximus by Edward III. in his 36th year, and likewise the additional privilege of the chattels of their own tenants condemned and sugitive, within their manor here.
In which state this church continued till the general suppression of religious houses, when it came with the rest of the possessions of the abbey of St. Augustine, anno 30 Henry VIII. into the hands of the crown, after which the king, by his dotation charter in his 33d year, settled both the church appropriate of Tenterden, with the manor appendant and all its rights and appurtenances, and the advowson of the vicarage, among other premises, on his new-founded dean and chapter of Canterbury, with whom the inheritance of the parsonage remains. After the death of Charles I. on the dissolution of deans and chapters, this parsonage was surveyed in order for sale; when it appears to have consisted of one great barn, newly erected, on a close of pasture of five acres; together with all the tithes of corn within the parish; and several rents, out of lands and tenements in Tenterden, amounting to 26s. 8d. taken in right of the parsonage, which had been let in 1640 to Sir Edward Hales, at the yearly rent of 20l. 6s. 8d. but that they were worth over and above that rent seventy-eight pounds. That the lessee was bound to repair the premises, and the chancel of the church, and provide for the dean and officers, or pay the sum of 33s. 4d. The present lessee of it is Sir Edward Hales, bart. of St. Stephens, but the advowson of the vicarage the dean and chapter retain in their own hands.
In 1259 this vicarage was valued at thirty marcs, and in 1342 at forty-five marcs. It is valued in the king's books at 33l. 12s. 11d.and the yearly tenths at 3l. 7s. 3½d. In 1588 there were communicants five hundred and eighty-six. In 1640 it was valued at 120l. per annum. Communicants six hundred. It is now double that value.
There is a modus claimed throughout the parish, in the room of small tithes.