Lathe of Scray

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The Lathe of Scray is one of the five Lathes of Kent, encompassing much of the centre of Kent.[1]

Scray (alternatively spelled 'Scraye') was not one of the original lathes and is not listed in the Domesday Book: in its place were the "Half Lathe" of Milton and the Lathe of Wye. The half lathe of Milton consisted only of the hundred of Milton, including most of Sheppey. The lathe of Wye consisted of the remainder of the later lathe of Scray, except for the hundreds of Blackbourne, Rolvenden and Selbrittenden (Silverden), then being in Limen (Lympne) (later renamed Shepway). By 1295 the lathe of Scray was in existence, based on a merger of Milton and Wye. In the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries the hundreds of Barkley, Cranbrook, East Barnfield, Marden, and Tenterden were established within the lathe of Scray.[2][3]

The lathe is bordered on the west by the Lathe of Aylesford and on the east by the Lathes of Shepway and St Augustine.

The Lathe contains the following hundreds:[4]

The Isle of Sheppey, which is separated from the rest of the county by a narrow arm of the sea, called the Swale is within the Lathe of Scray and within the hundred of Milton, though the conjoined island of Harty is within the hundred of Faversham. Sheppey, was once within the jurisdiction of a constable, appointed at the court-leet held for the manor and hundred of Milton, and this part of the hundred of Milton was styled the 'Liberty of Sheppey'.[5] See map.

The Lathe of Scray has an area of 260,510 acres (407 square miles).[6]


  1. See list of parishes by lathe and hundreds in the census tables in Victoria County History, Kent Volume 3 (publ.1932, ed William Page, ISBN 9780712906081), along with the list of parishes on the official web site of Kent County Council (
  2. The Hidation of Kent by J. E. A. Jolliffe, in The English Historical Review Vol. 44, No. 176 (Oct., 1929, OUP), pp. 612-618. See
  3. The Domesday Book: Kent (Publisher: Phillimore & Co Ltd, 1 Nov 1983)The original text and translation
  4. See The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 1, author:Edward Hasted, publ. 1797
  5. See The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: section on Island of Sheppey, author:Edward Hasted, publ. 1797
  6. The Hidation of Kent by J. E. A. Jolliffe and Census 1832