Peckham Wood and Peckham Wood Corner
These got their names from that splendid family of Peckham that dwelt
at Yaldham Manor in Wrotham through 14 Generations, until 1713.
There was an Inn called The Crooked Billet which ceased to exist in
about the year 1830, and was converted into two cottages. A woman who lived
in one of them remembered many tubs and barrels which were locally
reputed to be part of the stock-in-trade of smugglers and their associates.
Since then it has all been pulled, and on the site now stand a
farmhouse and cottages. The name still lingers in Billet House and
Billet Hill. A "billet" is the equivalent of a
"swingle-tree", and to assist in preventing this from
the "Horses hooves it was often curved, and as such is known as a
There are two theories about the origin of this name, one is that it
was the name of an Inn now a private house known by that name, and the
other that the gibbet post of a highwayman named Berry was erected there
and afterwards sprouted into a maple tree.
Tradition has it that a highwayman named Turner was hanged here and
that the gibbet post later sprouted into an oak tree.
The Roman land measurement "jugium" of about 50 acres became
a "yoke" during the period of the Jutish Kingdom of Kent.
"Yoke" is a word peculiar to Kent.
This gets its name from its builder, old Solomon Wallis who died in
The field names are somewhat intriguing, we have Millfield
Square on which stands the "Royal Oak", Bowling-Green
Mead to the north of the Churchyard must have seen many changes in
sports outfits from the time of Queen Elizabeth I
down the ages. Just opposite the "White Swan" is a field
called "The Vineyard." We know that the Archbishop of
Canterbury had vineyards at Northfleet in 1298, so wine was probably
fermented in Ash from grapes grown on the spot in the long ago. Another
curious field is now "Milbury Hockley" alias "Milvery
Knockley" a field of 6 acres lying on the south side of Pease
Hill. Then "Seafield" which runs down to the "Old
Malt House". We have "Punch Cup", "Cold
Steadles", "Thunder Hole", "Peplands"
all falling within the Manor of Ash. Other field names and their
owners can be traced through the Court Rolls
going back at least to 1793.