A potted - very potted - history of Wrotham

A potted - very potted - history of Wrotham

The world - or to be more exact anyone within a radius of 2 miles of the village - first became aware of Wrotham a long time ago when tribes were roaming through the Weald dressed in woad and not a lot else.

(Attributed to the author of "1066 and All That")

The world - or to be more exact anyone within a radius of 2 miles of the village - first became aware of Wrotham a long time ago when tribes were roaming through the Weald dressed in woad and not a lot else. There is some dispute between scholars as to how Wrotham got its name. Some say that it has something to do with Old English slang wort or snout whilst other believe it derives from woortes or good herbs. The Romans came and went primarily because they didn't enjoy the climate overmuch (who does) but left behind the Pinot grape which is still grown locally and some coins.

The first written record of Wrotham was in 788 AD when King Offa - the same chap who built the Dyke to keep the Welsh in and the English out or was it vice versa - granted a Charter to Rochester diocese but as it is written in Anglo - Saxon, not many people know about it. However, undeterred, Wrotham (which confusingly and momentarily changes its name to Broteham) appears in the Domesday Book in 1086. There was already a check in the village and it is a little known fact that it was one of the first to be dedicated to St. George (who wasn't English anyway but was bored from the Continentals). Wrotham had a genuine archbishop's palace built by the chap in Canterbury but in an act of barbarism for which he paid with an untimely death, Archbishop Islip demolished large parts of it in the 14th. And took the stone to finish another of his palaces in the less salubrious surroundings of Maidstone. The rector of Wrotham had the dubious privilege of preaching at the burning of Thomas Cranmer in 1554. St. George's Church also lost its fine pulpit which was sold by an unscrupulous rector to Sevenoaks Parish church for 10 shillings - successive rectors have tried to buy it back - without success.

This doesn't leave room for all the historic houses, the 4 pubs, the battle (1555), Wrotham pottery (1612 - 1710), smuggling, the Pilgrims Way and a great deal more besides...