The 16th Century was a decade of extreme religious intolerance and swings between Catholics & Protestants. At this time the majority of the population of Challock were labourers and in general, illiterate. For these people life was not only difficult but also confusing and frightening, particularly in respect of the Church.
In 1530 Henry VIII was duelling with Rome for supremacy in the Church and monasteries and churches were desecrated across the country.
In 1589 The Earl of Winchelsea gave a grant of power to the Eastwell Estate to “empark” (close off) the estate, which closed the road at Challock church thus diverting the Ashford to Faversham highway from it’s original route through the estate, past Challock church and then up the hill and on to Faversham to a new route which today forms the A251. This meant that the village based around the church was now completely cut off from any passing or through traffic. It also meant that the villagers had to travel almost a mile up the hill to the new road to get to Ashford, effectively adding two miles to an already difficult journey to market. It is almost certain that this was the cause of the village to slowly migrate up the hill to it’s present position.
A brass in the Parish Church reads: Effigies of Thomas Thurston and Wife Joan 1504