It is believed by the author that the Wickendens are all descendants from a family group that established a "den," which became a homestead in the parish of Cowden, Kent, England.  As the family outgrew the original homestead, the children acquired land and built homes adjacent to the original homestead and then in other parts of the parish.

The document above shows that by 1461 Thomas Wickenden (spelled Wykenden) was leasing out the original Wickenden homestead (spelled Wikenden) to Richard Saxpayse, who was the tenant.  Thomas lived in Clendene (spelled Clenden), which is to the East of what the author believes was the original Wickenden (now called "Willsfield" and , before that, "Wellsfield"), which in turn is to the East of Spode Lane and another property once owned by Wickendens, called Polefields.    Some of these homesteads are shown on the map below.  

Originally named after the Wicken den, e.g., Thomas of Wickenden, and then given additional surnames, e.g., Thomas Wickenden de la Hole, individual Wickendens moved out of Cowden to surrounding parts of England and then to other countries.

While there are records of many Wickendens who lived in Cowden and subsequently in other locations, it has so far been difficult to establish a definite link through marriage and birth records between any genealogical line of living Wickendens and those original Wickendens of Cowden.  Based on birth dates, some hypothetical pathways have been suggested, but hard evidence remains to be developed.  

Other information and pictures of Cowden will be found in the documents linked below.

THE WICKENDEN HOMESTEAD AND HOMES IN COWDEN - A 15-page illustrated description of the mystery surrounding the location of the original Wickenden homestead (lost since 1623) and many other historic Wickenden homes located in and around Cowden:  wickendens-of-cowden (compiled).pdf  

THE WICKENDENS OF WAYSTRODE - In a paper published in the Archaeologia Cantiana, Volume 21, 1895, Granville Levison-Gower published his "Notes on Three Ancient Houses in the Parish of Cowden."  The third of these houses is WAYSTRODE or WOOD'S FARM. This, the earliest and most interesting of the three houses, is a beautiful example of halt-timber work. It lies out of sight in a field to the south of Cowden village. It is generally known as Wood's Farm, but the ancient name is Waystrode. It is mentioned by this name in the will of John Style of Cowden, dated St. Peter's Day June 1471.  It is also mentioned in connection with quite a number of Wickendens and Wykings:  https://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/Research/Pub/ArchCant/Vol.021%20-%201895/021-07.pdf

PHOTOS OF COWDEN - Photographs taken mostly by Thomas H. Wickenden II in 1999 and 2000, with extensive captions and documentation  Photos of Cowden with Captions.pdf

WICKENDENS CHRISTENED IN COWDEN   A list compiled .  by Brenda Marns of Wickendens christened in Cowden (or Wickendens with children christened in Cowden) from 1200 - 1800  Wickendens Christened in Cowden.pdf  Additional lists of marriages and of deaths may be found on Ken Watson's website of Wickenden genealogy.

MAP OF COWDEN This map from the 1800'2 shows where Wickenden may have been located (see blue marker) and also where may of the other Wickenden homesteads were located near Wickenden.  These include Claydene, Polefields, Ludwell, and Beechwood.  Wickens is located to the East (right) of Cowden Station.

                                           Location of Wickenden in Cowden (see marker)                                             Map from The National Archives (Kew, England)

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