The Kemsing Story

 

Kemsing is a village in the District of Sevenoaks in West Kent and lies in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty south of the North Downs and it has notable history. It was here that the daughter of the Saxon King Edgar 1st, St Edith of Wilton was born. St Edith was a nun and was taught at Wilton Abbey where her mum a noble woman at the Abbey, Wilfreda, was carried off by Edgar to his residence in Kemsing to have their first born. St Edith was celebrated for her learning, her beauty and sanctity, when she died at the young age of 23 years old, she appeared as an image to her mother and claimed that the Devil had accused her and that she had broken his head. St Edith was a powerful force and it was claimed that on one stormy, dark return to England from Denmark, Canute praised St Edith for an easy journey as she cleared the skies and calmed the seas, he made a pilgrimage to Wilton Abbey to give thanks to her. St Edith lives on in the memory of the church named after her and a well built in her honour at the centre of the village, folklore claims that the well had healing properties as many miracles started happening shortly after her death and many who were sick came from all round came to drink its medicinal properties. (we would  strongly advise against this today!)

Winding forward to 1915 and the Women’s Institute opened its first Kent branch in the village of Kemsing and the village also became the home to the wounded soldiers fighting in World War 1 with its hall named after St Edith, as a field hospital run by the Kent Voluntarily Aid Detachment.

This village is intriguing and with its history, which is quite important for such a small place and coupled with the beauty and the North Downs that surrounds it, named the spirit after it to commemorate the strong female lead history and provenance of this place.