Farnborough Hall is the most distinguished residential building in the village, formerly the centre to a substantial estate.  The ordnance survey map dated 1895 below shows the House in the centre of the image, with no other buildings nearby, click to enlarge.
Contrast this with a modern Google view below.

The present house is not the first on the site.  It dates from the early eighteenth century, although parts may be older. The Stow family lived there from 1841 to 1851 as farmers before taking up residence in The New Inn. 

The house is now completely surrounded by later residential buildings, leaving just a small garden area immediately around it.  There is a narrow drive leading from Tubbenden Lane South, which is easy to miss unless you know where to look. The house cannot be seen from the road. 

Listing Details

The building is Grade 2 listed  The listing narrative reads as follows:

Early C18 with C19 alterations. 2 storeys. 2nd floor pebbledash, ground floor brick. Hipped tiled roof of early C18 having 2 hipped dormers with C19 casements. Coved eaves cornice, 3 sashes, 2 of which are 3 light, simple Victorian doorcase. Right side has added Victorian bay. Rear has an C18 extension of 1 storey in brick with weatherboarding on the gable end and 1 hipped dormer. The interior is timber framed and dates from the late C17 to early C18. There is a wooden staircase possibly of the same age. The house or an earlier one on the same site, was the house of John Stow the historian of London. Here also was the manor of the Earls of Leicester.

List entry Number: 1299011  Listing Grid Ref. TQ4468464393

     Farnborough Hall from above (centre), Tubbenden Lane South is top left corner

Extract from Edward Hasted (1797) History of Kent

Farnborough Hall is an estate here which was in early times held by Simon de Chellesfield of Simon de Montford, Earl of Leicester, in the reign of Henry III. John Fleming possessed it in the reign of King Edward I, whose heirs paid aid for it in 1,347. At the making the Black Prince a Knight, as one Knight's fee in Farnboro which Simon de Chellesfield before held of Simon de Montford. This estate went soon afterwards by purchase to Pettey and again to Peche in as short a time. From him it descended down to Sir John Peche of Lullingstone in this county, Knight and Baronet, who dying without issue, Elizabethhis sister became his heir and her husband John Hart of the Middle Temple Esquire, Barrister at Law became in her right entitled to it and in his descendants it continued until Percival Hart of Lullingstone Esqr. Leaving an only daughter and heir Anne, she carried it in marriage to her second husband Sir Thomas Dyke of Horeham in Sussex Bart and their only son Sir John Descon Dyke of Lullingstone Bart is the present possessor of Farn Hall and the estate belonging to it.

In a private Act of Parliament passed in the year 1756 for a family settlement of this estate it is thus described: 'All that capital messuage and farm called Farn Hall with its appurts and 350 acres of arable, pasture and wood land in the parish of Farn and all that messuage with its appurts and 175 acres of arable pasture and wood land in the said parish of Farnborough is within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the diocese of Rochester and the Deanery of Dartford.' The Church which stands at the South East end of the village is dedicated to St Giles the Abbot (he was a retired man and solitary hermit) on which all the churches dedicated to him are commonly placed at the uttermost part of a town or village, to show that he shunned the commerce and praise of mankind to devote himself in his retirement to work of charity and good deeds among the poor and impotent.

On December 26th 1639 itwas so rent and tom by a violent storm of wind that the inhabitants were forced to take it down and rebuild it, as appears, by a brief granted for that pufpose dated December 27th in the seventeenth year of King Charles I Anno 1641. The Church of Farn is only a Chapel to the adjoining parish of Chelsfield, the Rector of which is instituted to the Rectory of Chelsfield with the charge of Farn annexed. Adjoining to Keston eastward lies Farnborough, called in the Textus Roffensis Feamberga. It most probably took its name from the natural disposition of the soil to bear fern the latter syllable berge signifying in old English a liule hill an etymology well suiting the situation of the place.

The Manor in the reign of King Edward I was held of Thomas Earl of Lancaster by the eminent family of Grandison, Otte de Grandison made it the principal seat of his residence. He was greatly esteemed by that prince having in his father King Henry the Third's time attended him in the Holy Land. In the eighteenth year of King Edward I he obtained license to hold a market upon a Tuesday here and a fair yearly on the feast of St Giles the Abbot Septr. 1st and had atthe same time a grant of free warren in all his demesne lands at Farn.'


A Late Nineteenth
Century Account

This account was first published in 1883/4, republished 100 years later in 1984.

Farnborough Hall, at a short distance to the north-east of the village, is built upon an estate which appears to have been held by Simon de Chelsfield of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, in the reign of Henry III. About the middle of the fourteenth century the property was purchased by the Petleys, from whom it passed by sale to the Peches, and from that family it passed, by the marriage of an heiress, to John Hart. With the descendants of this gentleman the property remained till it was conveyed by marriage to the Dykes of Lullingston.

This is part of Chapter X111 of 'Village London' Vol 2, published by The Alderman Press March 1984.  First published 1883-4 by Casssell & Co Ltd., under the title 'Greater London

Farnborough Hall Residents

These details are taken from Census records

1831 Thomas Stow (1769-1851), Farmer, and children Elizabeth (1793-1846), William and Sarah
1851 William Stow (1798-1864), Farmer of 320 acres, and his sister Sarah (1811-)
1861 George Wood (1834-1898), retired Farmer, and family
1878 W.T.Dowes
1881 James Currans (1863-); 1885-1888 James Evans (1833-1915), Farmer, and his wife Charlotte (1838-1892 - buried in Farnborough churchyard)
1891 James Evans, Farmer, living in the High Road, but no house or building identified in the High Road
1901 John M Higgs (1869-1921) and family, Farmer
1911 John M Higgs (1869-1921) and family, Farmer
1939 Mary Higgs (1872-1954) and her two daughters

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