History of the Parish
Archaeological excavations carried out prior to the building of new estates in Kingsnorth revealed that its earliest residents may have lived there up to 28,000 years ago. Flint tools were found at Park Farm, some possibly dating to the Upper Paleolithic period, but most from the Mesolithic period around 9,000 BC.
At Brisley Farm, a late Iron Age/early Roman settlement (200BC to 100AD) was found with a possible Bronze Age (2500-650 BC) field system underneath. Two Iron Age 'warrior-burials' accompanied by swords, spears, shields and other grave goods were also excavated.
A Roman settlement was discovered at the crossing of two important Roman roads on Westhawk Farm. The centre of the settlement has been preserved unexcavated as an open space, but before building began on the rest of the site, part of a Roman road was uncovered. There was evidence to show that there had been timber buildings at the side of the road, some of which were associated with ironworking. A shrine or temple was also found with a water-hole which contained 74, mostly 2nd century coins probably left as offerings. Over 250 coins and many other artefacts were discovered on the site together with a Roman cemetery and an Iron Age burial.
A site at Park Farm, which is crossed by one of the Roman roads, also yielded Roman pottery fragments, some of which were associated with the regional distribution of salt, probably made on Romney Marsh.
A transcript of the Domesday Book of 1086 indicates that there was a settlement at Kingsnorth controlled by the Manor of Wye. One explanation of the name is that it derived from the Old English cyninges snad, detached land belonging to a royal estate. Another suggestion is that the settlement took its name from Jutish people 'Kyn' , kin folk, who settled on a wooded hill or 'snode'. Other early variations of the name are Kyngsnode; Kynsnoth, Kyngesnothe and Kingessnode. Kingsnorth was a heavily wooded and marshy area, part of the great Wealden forest of Anderida.
Even in 1798, the historian Edward Hasted found that Kingsnorth "is so obscurely situated as to be little known, the soil in it is throughout a deep miry clay; it is much interspersed with woodland, especially in the south-east part of it, the whole face of the country here is unpleasant and dreary, the hedgerows wide with spreading oaks among them, and the roads which are very broad, with a wide space of greensward on each side, execrably bad, insomuch as they are dangerous to pass except in the driest time of the summer."
There were several manors within the parish including that of Park, West Halks or West Hawks (named after a family named Halk), and Court Lodge.
Part of Kingsnorth village is a conservation area that includes the parish church, the original village school, now extended, the village hall and playing field, together with a number of old private dwellings, notably Old Mumford and Mouse Hall. The late Norman Church of St. Michael and All Angels is built of Kentish ragstone and has a 15th century roof. It contains a painted window showing St. Michael fighting a dragon that has been dated to 1400.