Cobham, Kent

Cobham map
Map of Cobham dated 1797 (from the British Museum online gallery)

Cobham Landscape Detectives was a three year discovery project covering the Cobham landscape, using LiDAR, geophysics, fieldwalking, metal detecting, research, oral history, small scale trenching and test pitting.

CLD logo

Kent County Council secured a grant of £96,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project.  Stuart McLeod, head of HLF South East, said:

“Thanks to National Lottery players, this project provides a wonderful opportunity for people to delve into their local heritage and we’re delighted to award this grant so that the volunteers can begin their journey of discovery.”

The summers of 2017 and 2018 saw the Cobham Village Digs. Cobham residents were encouraged to come forward and dig a test pit in their garden. Activities at the school, and a larger community dig were held in the village later in the summer. In 2016 the dig focused in Cobham Woood at the site of the Mausolem Cottage. For further details on the Mausoleum Cottage dig of 2016, click here.

A booklet of the experiences at Cobham was published in 2020 and a pdf copy can be downloaded here.

Research undertaken about the area can be found below:

Cobham News:

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2 Responses to Cobham, Kent

  1. Terry Chatman says:

    Just asking on the off chance someone may know the answer……. Does anyone know how Copt Hall Rd in Cobham got it’s name please?

    • Ruiha Smalley says:

      Thanks for your question.

      Roger, our team researcher, has looked into this for you. I hope this helps:

      I imagine Copt Hall Road was so named because the house named Copt Hall lies about halfway along its length between Toltingtrough Green and Whitepost Lane. Its NGR position, as far as I can estimate, is 6502E 6852N and it is a flint and brick building, probably a farm house, lying a few metres SE of the lane (behind a hedge!). I do not know the building but it seems to consist of two cells, rather like a church. The window openings that I could see from Google Earth (through the entrance gate) were lined in red brick but the original house might be medieval. The Kent HER does not seem to be working at present, so I cannot confirm its age.

      That still leaves you wondering how the house got its name. We would need to know how the name was spelled in earlier centuries, to make useful guesses at that. It is given as Cob Hall on the early one inch to a mile map published by David & Charles (based on a survey of 1789-1808, published in 1819 but revised in the 1840s and later), but that may just be a mis-hearing of the name. Google Earth also showed a hand-painted notice saying Copt Hall lying on the front lawn.

      There are a surprising number of Copt Halls in southern England. There is a CH Farm in Marden, south of Maidstone (probably medieval) and another of uncertain date in Hawkhurst. Essex has a CH near Great Wigborough on the Blackwater estuary, with Copt Saltings and Copt Grove (apparently a forest) as well. There are others in Luton, Bedfordshire and Redbourne, Hertfordshire. Mr Wallenberg (after reading Hasted Vol III) found a single example of CH in Wickhambreaux. There is also Copped Hall at Epping in Essex, which is probably a variant of the same name and which goes back at least to the 12th century. Making a wild guess, I think a connection with ancient religious sects in Egypt is unlikely and perhaps a more mundane link with coppiced woodland might be the origin of the name. But we do need to see some early forms of the name.

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