The name Warde has been associated with our parish records, and especially the church, since 1568. In that year Queen Elizabeth granted the advowson of the vicarage to John Warde for twenty-one years, on the payment of one rose at Midsummer and £ 30 a year. This large Georgian house that bears his name was built in 1778, on the site of an older moated residence. When it first became a vicarage is not clear, but with its subsequent extra floor was thought to be the largest vicarage in Kent.
Apart from a few years after 1608, the living remained with the Warde family until the mid 1870’s, during which time they selected five priests from their own fraternity.
The house remained as the vicarage until 1945, when the incoming priest the Rev’d. Wilfred Lewis Howlden, said that the moat was too dangerous for his young family. At that time a direct exchange was performed with a detached house opposite the Baptist Chapel, still in Vicarage Road. Warde’s moat then transferred to be a private residence, and has since been converted into separate apartments.
The top left is from a post card dated 1911, and the others show subsequent changes implemented by Rev’d Cannon Leigh who was vicar from 1896 to 1934. Bottom right is a front elevation, and unseen is the moat that encompasses all four sides.
Further changes were made when the building ceased to be a vicarage after 1945.