Reticent is a fair way of describing Norton. A small rural parish just west of Faversham, it must once have been much bigger than it is now.
In 1086, the Domesday Book surveyor reported that it possessed three churches, three mills and two fisheries.
Today, there is just one church, no mills and no fishery - indeed the sea seems far away. How can this be? No one can be certain, but it looks as though the parish may originally have included Newnham, which is not recorded in Domesday. This would account for one of the ‘missing’ two churches, but where the other one was is not known.
The whereabouts of the fisheries is also a mystery, though the parish extends north across the A2 close to the low-lying Swale levels and perhaps there was once a ‘detached’ portion here that gave it access to tidal waters.
There used to be no ‘village’ of Norton, just a scattering of houses and farms, but recently the picturesque settlement of Lewson Street, with its popular pub, The Plough, was transferred from the parish of Teynham and now fulfils this role.
It used to be known, perhaps more attractively, as Lucerne Street. (The term ‘street’, used for most new roads in Victorian towns and cities, was often used in medieval Kent to describe a village along, or around, a highway.)
Church of St Mary, Norton
World's End House, Norton
Barbary Farm, Norton