SIZE OF VILLAGE Approximately 200 dwellings and 388 inhabitants are listed in the Register of Electors (2010)
SIZE OF PARISH Long and narrow (about 5 miles long and only a few hundred yards wide in many places) and approx. 2 square miles in area; a parish map is displayed in the playing field.
LISTED BUILDINGS The parish contains 15 listed buildings:- Black Robin Public House, Rectory Cottage, St Giles Church, Little Court, Kingstone Court, Ileden Farmhouse, Marley Farmhouse, Railway Cottage, Whitelocks, Whitelocks Farmhouse, Alley Cottage, Westwood Farmhouse, Barn, Stables and Granary at Westwood Farm.
ST. GILES CHURCH Largely rebuilt in the 14th but nave and chancel walls are 12th century or possibly Saxon; pulpit Jacobean or possibly Elizabethan; replaced Norman font; King-post roof etc.
BLACK ROBIN Pub Built in 18th or early 19th century and named after a local highway man who ended his days on a gallows on Barham Downs.
THE BARN The village hall, ‘The Barn’, given to the village in 1931, supports a number of businesses, social and cultural activities, e.g. meetings of the Parish Council, Village Society, Wives Club, Model Engineering, Keep Fit etc.
RIVER NAILBOURNE Every few years the Nailbourne River runs through the parish; ‘bourn’ is the name for an intermittently running stream. Its source is in Lyminge and it eventually joins the Little Stour beyond Wickhambreaux.
COVET LANE Running along the southern boundary of the parish, Covet Lane was the highest scoring of 200 lanes surveyed in the Canterbury area for landscape beauty, historic interest and variety of flora.
ELHAM VALLEY RAILWAY Closed in 1947. This ran between Canterbury and Folkestone through the parish. The arched railway bridge remains in Covet Lane as well as traces of the railway embankment. During the Second World War a 250 ton 18″ military gun, called the ‘Boche Buster’, was hidden in neighbouring Bourne Park tunnel and was to be used in the event of an invasion.
TWINNING Kingston is one of 7 villages in the Elham Valley collectively twinned with the Vallee de la Course, south of Boulogne, through the Elham Valley Twinning Association.
PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY The parish has about 8 miles of footpaths and bridleways, and includes sections of the North Downs Way and Elham Valley Walk. A set of 5 circular-walk cards is available and a map showing PROWS is located in the playing field.
AMENITIES Kingston has a Church, Public House, a Village Hall (The Barn) and a Playing Field. There is no school, no doctor/dentist and no shop. These are available in Barham or Bridge.
BUS SERVICES Bus services to/from Canterbury and Folkestone/Dover stop in the village (bus shelter and Black Robin Pub, or on the A2 near junction to Ileden); time tables are available from Canterbury bus station.
Central Government has decreed that more housing must be built in rural areas over the next twenty years and the City Council has asked local communities to consider this and produce a ‘Parish Profile’. In response to this, a questionnaire was sent to all villagers in August 2012 and the responses were as follows:
114 completed questionnaires were returned, representing about 229 people.
This represents about 59% of those sent out. This is a good percentage. All the following figures are based solely on the returned questionnaires.
People have lived in the village for 1 year up to 88 years with an average time of residence being 23 years.
The age ranges represented are:
106 respondents own their own house and 3 houses are rented (not all questionnaires were complete, which is why there is a discrepancy)
12 respondents run a business from their homes.
What is Important to you?
What I like about Kingston:
Respondents liked the friendly people, the rural Environment of the Downs, peace and quiet and the good walks and the fact it is not over-developed.
The history and community spirit; the village is small but not too small and is close to Canterbury and the coast
The lack of streetlights was also considered a plus or at least, not a problem by most.
What I don’t like about Kingston:
The lack of low cost housing was mentioned as a problem along with dog mess and a small amount of vandalism.
The problems running utilities to remote locations; mainline gas, sewerage, bus availability and overhead electric cables were all raised as issues.
Environmental issues in the form of traffic noise from the A2, lack of maintenance of hedging, parking and speeding and a footpath to Barham were common themes.
Internet problems remain – even with Vfast availability
What changes to environment or amenities would you like to see?
A recurrence of common factors was noted; bus availability, low cost housing, parking, better broadband and road-care.
Interestingly although many people felt a shop was important, others felt its absence was a positive. Conversely, although many people felt that the lack of streetlights was positive, or not a problem, there were some comments to the effect that they were.
Speeding in The Street was again mentioned.
Generally speaking there was satisfaction with the performance of the police; however lack of visibility and the general feeling of rising rural crime were beginning to cause concern.
Could we accommodate more houses?
Many respondents were in favour, in principle, of more housing providing that it was sensitively planned and situated. Covet Lane was the most frequently suggested place.
What are your views on ‘infill’ houses?
Respondents were almost equally divided on this issue, the majority of those against – they just could not imagine where there was room.
What concerns do you have over an increase in housing to our existing resources and infrastructure?
The concerns over an increase in housing tended to mirror those already mentioned (although approximately one fifth had no concerns).
Attention to transport, amenities and utilities would need to be paid to accommodate an increase.
How valuable is the Village Hall?
Most people felt the Village Hall was a real asset, but could be made more open to local residents – through pricing and accessibility for the most part.
Changes in use for sporting, disabled access and the young were all mentioned.
How important are the following?
The great majority of people love Kingston the way it is – small and friendly with just enough amenities. It is felt that an influx of houses and people could have a detrimental effect on the ambience. However, many people would be prepared to see a few houses built with sensitive planning and siting, especially if these houses were ‘affordable’ in order to bring young families into an area which is increasingly ‘ageing’.