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Alland Grange, in old English Aldelond Grange (Old Land Grange), was named in opposition to Newland Grange originally owned by the monastery of St Augustine. It was assigned in 1197 to the sacristy of Minster Abbey for the purpose of maintaining the abbey church. The land measured sixty two acres.
On the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Henry VIII vested the estate, then measuring 120 acres, in the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury.
Alland Grange has been farmed by us since 1939.
It is said that in Thanet you are never more than 100 yds from an archaeological site. Alland Grange is no exception with prehistoric burial ditches and other features on the farm. Underground caves have been investigated by the Kent Underground Research Group. The caves are collapsing, dangerous to explore and have been sealed, on safety grounds. Photos are displayed on the Undergroundkent Site.
Hasted 1800 History and Topographical Survey of Kent
Website of the Kent Undergound Research Group
Website of Undergroundkent
Alland Grange, farmed by Alex Robertson 1939-1985 and the family since then, featured one of the 'undergound hangars' in WW2 and was requisitioned by the RAF.
The farm is unusual in having two large Victorian or older barns. Most farms make do with one!
A large part of the farm was taken by the War Department for expansion of RAF Manston, during WW2. The house was taken over by the RAF as an operations base. The field in front of the house became a 'hospital area' for damaged 'planes. The 'Loopway' was home to the US Air Force until they left in the 1950s. The Loopway and hangar were used in the development of the Barnes Wallis 'bouncing bombs'. The Loopway has since been used as a film and TV set and is currently central to a new business park development.
Doctor Who Locations
Doctor Who Film set at Alland Grange
Image: Sarness around 1870
Sarness Farm was formerly known as Sarness Court and the house still bears the letters SC over the front door. The listed farm house is dated 1714, the barn 1737, the oast 1868 and a succession of later traditional buildings remain, including a Victorian wellhouse with 450ft deep well and massive original winding gear.
Image: well winding mechanism
Image: Royal East Kent Yeomanry
Thomas Vickers, above third from left, served with the East Kent Yeomanry while farming at Sarness. He died in 1921 and is buried at Waltham. His daughter, Hilda married Alex Robertson in 1940 at Waltham during the Battle of Britain... She now lives at Manston, aged 96.
Sarness Farm has family connections on the Vickers side, going back nearly 300 years:
John and Ellen Vicars 1674-1711
Thomas and Jane Vicars 1672-1746
Thomas and Sarah Vicars 1704-1803
Thomas and Mary Vicars 1735-1784 (he died of a neglected wound from a brush with the Revenue)
Thomas and Ann Vickars 1781-1864
Thomas and Mary Vickers 1821-1902
Thomas and Emma Vickers 1864-1921
(birth and death of the male partner)
Image: Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles
Sgt Vickers again right, with the East Kent Mounted Rifles. He was presented with the Colonel's prize in the Regimental Carbine competition of the Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles in 1897 by General HRH The Duke of Connaught KC. Marksmanship has continued to the present day with grandson representing Tonbridge School and Reading University Teams, over the years...!
Duke of Connaught
Image: Exercises on horseback with East Kent Mounted Rifles
Exercises on horseback with East Kent Mounted Rifles, around 1900, between Ashford and Folkestone. Can anyone pinpoint exactly where?
Image: rainbow - present day
The present day, little change in 300 years...
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