Nunfield Farm, Old House Lane
There is a story attached to Nunfield Farm that it is built on the site of an old nunnery/monastery and that a nun was bricked up alive there. This is mentioned as follows in ‘Some Notes on the Road from London to Canterbury in the Middle Ages’ (1898) Edited by Henry Littlehales.
‘The question of the site of this monastery, which is not, I think, marked or recognised in any of the maps of monastic England lies buried in much obscurity. Even with the kindly aid of the Harnett family, long resident in the neighbourhood, and that of the occupants of the farmhouse to which tradition points as occupying the site of the monastery, I have been able to collect but little evidence. The name of the farmhouse is Nunfield Farm, and the house lies in the hamlet of Chesley, about a mile to the south of the high road at Newington. Another house close by is known as Nunfield House, but the appellation is modern. Nunfield Farm is now occupied by the family of Waters. The house itself contains apparently nothing to connect it in any way with the monastery. Outside, however, in one of the pretty flowerbeds before the house lie two fragments of stone which apparently once formed part of the jamb and lintel of a doorway (fifteenth century?). These were discovered not very long ago close to the farmhouse, when the foundations for a greenhouse were dug.
Mrs. Hutchinson, of Eynsford, to whom the property belongs, kindly sends me the following note : —
“… I have often heard the tradition that the house, or at any rate the cellars, formed part of an ancient nunnery, and that on some occasion a nun was bricked up alive in one of the niches.”
The story of the bricking-up alive we may dismiss as a fact at once, there being no evidence that such cases occurred. But the legend has its value. We have, therefore, such evidence as is afforded by tradition connecting the place with the former monastery, the name “Nunfield Farm,” and the remaining stone fragments.’
The Old Rectory in Southfleet also has a story attached to it concerning a nun, or perhaps a number of nuns who were bricked up alive.