Village History

The name of the hamlet of Underriver in Kent is derived from the original "sub le ryver", which translates to "under the hill" ... a very apt title given its situation at the base of One Tree Hill leading up to the nearby town of Sevenoaks.

Originally a part of the adjoining Seal Parish, Underriver became a Parish in its own right in 1867 after the building of its own Church, St Margaret’s.

Although there is evidence of Saxon field names, the earliest settlements were probably Romschedde Manor, and the manor of Shoads (replaced in the 18th century by Underriver House). Romschedde Manor was extant in the early 13th century and the name survives in today’s Romshed Farm. By the end of the 13th century, yeoman farmers had established several substantial farmsteads, probably attracted by the abundance of spring water. Evidence of the original dwellings is still visible in the houses today.

500 years of undisturbed agricultural activity followed with the development of crops, orchards and hop gardens. The hamlet was designated "The Golden Valley" by the 19th century visionary painter Samuel Palmer.

During the 19th and early 20th century, Underriver was a very active community centre in its own right. The village had a school, a forge, a post office, a pub and a church, all this based heavily on agriculture to support it. Only the Pub and the Church remain today, the other buildings having been converted into housing.

This material is taken from the Underriver Village Association website.

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