As the author or compiler of this history I am reluctant to close the door at 823 AD when the first known mention of the village occurred. It seems quite clear that there would have been some sort of village or group of dwellings in the area long before that. This area of Kent has been part of history for a very long time.
There is a reference in the history of the Roman invasion of 54 BC to a battle at Challock Woods. Is this our Kings Wood?? An extract of the document is shown below and the full document can be seen at: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=45021
In Cæsar’s second and longer invasion in the next year (54 B.C.), when his 28 many-oared triremes and 560 transports, &c., in all 800, poured on the same Kentish coast 21,000 legionaries and 2,000 cavalry, there is little doubt that his strong foot left its imprint near that cluster of stockaded huts (more resembling a New Zealand pah than a modern English town) perhaps already called London—Llyn-don, the “town on the lake.” After a battle at Challock Wood, Cæsar and his men crossed the Thames, as is supposed, at Coway Stakes, an ancient ford a little above Walton and below Weybridge.
From: ‘Roman London’, Old and New London: Volume 1 (1878), pp. 16-22.
URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=45021. Date accessed: 26 October 2006.
This area of Kent is rich in archaeological finds and there are many refences to be found on the internet. Some examples are shown below:
An early 2nd century Roman cremation burial was found in King’s Wood.
Several worked flints, including an object described as a “Thames pick with a tranchet cutting edge” and a small, narrow flint chisel have been found in a ploughed field at Challock.
Field investigations in 1965 located a windmill mound in Challock Forest. It comprised a large flat-topped, apparently unditched mound, about 30 metres in diameter and 1.7 metres in height. It had disappeared by the 1970s.
We continue to research and who knows what we may find!