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1831 Topographical Dictionary

Thornham (old spelling), a parish in the hundred of Eyhorne, lathe of Aylesford, county of Kent, 4 miles ENE from Maidstone, containing 523 inhabitants. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is principally in the decorated style of English architecture. The ruins of Thurnham, or Godard's, castle, still exist on the brow of a hill, forming part of the great range of chalk hills; the walls, which are more than thirteen feet high, and three feet thick, enclose an area of a quarter of an acre, including the keep mount. Urns and other vestiges of a Roman station have been found here. A vein of white sand, known by the name of Maidstone sand, though discovered in this parish, is said to have caused the first improvement in the manufacture of glass in this country: it was first worked by experienced Italians, and soon became of infinite importance in the trade: the pits are remarkable for their vast subterranean caverns, which are curiously arched.