King Hoestan of Denmark arrived at Sheppey with 350 ships in 892 and in 893 built earthworks in the area now known as Shurland Hall and probably on the site of a previous Roman Fort. Roman tiles have been found embedded in vitrified cement in the masses of masonry on the site of Shurland Hall itself. The ruins of the Gatehouse to this fortified Manor House are all that remains standing. About this period, 9th and 10th centuries, it is believed that Shurland Castle was the birthplace and residence of the early English kings.
Following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066,the Conqueror divided his assets amongst his Norman followers. He, however, was careful not to convey the various manors in fee simple, but always in capite, thus constituting himself, and his royal successors, perpetual reversioners. This provision was to manifest itself some 400 years later.
(Photo courtesy of Sherry Wildish)
Shurland Castle (Hall) was initially awarded to Baron de Shurland, eventually passing into ownership of the Cheyne family about 1485. Sir Thomas Cheyne became a great favourite of Henry VIII who, in 1532, accompanied by Anne Boleyn, paid a state visit to Shurland. Sir Thomas’s son, Sir Henry, was a wastrel and dissipated his late father’s wealth. Eventually he sold his lands on Sheppey and surrendered Shurland to Queen Elizabeth I in about 1582.
Shurland Hall was granted to Sir Edward Hoby in 1593 as a rental from the crown. Subsequently it passed through several hands before the greater part of the Hall was demolished in 1650 during the Protectorship of Oliver Cromwell following the Civil War.
During the Civil War, Sir Michael Livesey of nearby Parsonage Farm served under Cromwell as commander of the Kentish Horse He was one of the regicides who signed the death warrant of Charles I. Following the Restoration in 1660, he fled to Holland but was recognised by some Kentish men and killed.