Some of the past & current Projects undertaken by the Plaxtol Local History Group

From time to time, the Plaxtol Local History Group sets up a small group to work on a particular project.

Past projects have included:

  • Researching, writing, selecting photos for and publishing booklets, such as Plaxtol in the Past.
  • Mounting exhibitions in the village to display photos and artefacts from our Archives.
  • A survey of the farm buildings in the Parish.
  • Recording gravestone inscriptions in Plaxtol churchyard.

Plaxtol Censuses 1841-1911:

In 2007, a group completed transcribing and computerising the 10-yearly Plaxtol Censuses from 1841 to 1901. Jean Leftley's previous meticulous handwritten work on the Censuses was the catalyst for the formation of this working group, of which she was an active member. You can buy a searchable CD with all that Census data for only £10 (post & packing extra) - see Books etc. In March 2013, we added a transcription of the 1911 Census, which has even more infirmation about individual Plaxtol residents.

Plaxtol Parish Registers 1648-1931:

The same group has also transcribed and computerised all the Baptism, Marriage and Burial entries in Plaxtol Parish Registers from 1648 to 1931. You can buy a searchable CD with all that Parish Register data for only £10 (post & packing extra) - see Books etc.

History of Victorian Plaxtol:

The group analysed the data obtained from the Censuses and Parish Registers with a view to publishing a series of illustrated booklets on the history of Victorian Plaxtol. The first booklet, Church Life in Victorian Plaxtol by Haydn Puleston Jones, was published in December 2009, followed by his Beerhouses and Inns of Victorian Plaxtol in March 2010, Tom Hogg's School Life in Victorian Plaxtol in December 2010 and Vanessa Dussek's Mill Life in Victorian Plaxtol in October 2011 - only £5 each - and Haydn's 84 page Houses and Households of Victorian Plaxtol in May 2012 - only £6. In each case, post & packing is extra, if posted. For more details, please see Books etc.

Recording Plaxtol house histories:

Another of our current projects is to review the deeds of Plaxtol houses in order to record the history of the house and surrounding properties. This has revealed a mine of historically interesting information. So far, we have recorded the deeds of well over 30 properties in Plaxtol. If you are willing to lend us your deeds, please send us an e mail with your contact details via our Contact Us page and we will get in touch with you. We will take great care of your deeds and will not record details of how much you paid for your property nor any mortgages by you. We will give you a copy of the note we prepare on the history of your house, usually illustrated with plans and often with old photos.

Ledgerstone Survey of England and Wales:

In 2011, we surveyed the six ledgerstones (flat gravestones on the floor of a church) in Plaxtol Parish Church as part of the Ledgerstone Survey of England and Wales. This involved recording the inscriptions on the ledgerstones and their condition. Ours was the first survey completed for a church in Kent as part of the national Ledgerstone Survey: Plaxtol Ledgerstone Survey

Plaxtol at War exhibition and booklet:

We held a very successful exhibition in Plaxtol Memorial Hall on 3 and 4 May 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War in 1914. The exhibition, called Plaxtol at War, focussed on the impact of the First and Second World Wars on Plaxtol, covering not only those who went to war but also life in wartime Plaxtol. We had 744 visitors in two days. The exhibition was accompanied by a booklet called Plaxtol at War which you can buy from us.

Recreating the lost Plaxtol School WW1 Roll of Honour:

We decided to use part of the proceeds of our Plaxtol at War exhibition and booklets to recreate the lost Roll of Honour commemorating the 4 members of staff and 150 former pupils of Plaxtol School who served in World War I. Fortunately we still had a list of their names from which we were able to recreate the Roll of Honour.

Of the 154 men, 34 died and 16 were wounded as a result of the war. In some cases, there were up to seven men with the same surname - for example, the Humphreys - although they were not necessarily all from the same family. Other local families whose names appear several times include the Brigdens, Fielders, Newmans and Stills.

We spent some time finding a suitable calligrapher to recreate the Roll of Honour, eventually deciding on Patricia Lovett MBE from Sevenoaks. She is one of the country's leading calligraphers and illuminators, has undertaken commissions for many prestigious organisations and has written several books on calligraphy.

We wanted to include something particular to Plaxtol in the design of the Roll of Honour, so Patricia painted a stylised border incorporating hops and cobnuts.

Digitising our photographic archive:

From 2016 to 2018, we digitised all of our extensive photographic archive (over 3,000 photos, some from as far back as the 19th century), in order to provide a secure back up in case anything ever happened to the originals.

WW1 Armistice display:

To mark the centenary of the Armistice that ended WW1, in November 2018 we put on a display in Plaxtol church in memory of Plaxtol's WW1 dead, including local newspaper reports from that period showing how Plaxtol honoured them at that time,

If you are interested in helping on future projects, please speak to one of the Officers at one of our Talks & Visits or Contact Us.