These extracts are taken from "Mersham during the 18th and early 19th Centuries" by Jennifer Mills, with the kind permission of the author. Interesting reading, the whole can be found at http://mershamistery.wordpress.com/mersham-during-the-18th-and-19th-centuries/

Extracts:-

In earlier times ... the Knatchbull family provided much employment in the mansion at Hatch and on the Estate. The Revd. Joseph Price, Vicar of Brabourne from 1767 to 1786, listed those employed by Sir Edward, the 7th Baronet, as 1 butler, 2 gardeners, a gamekeeper or huntsman, a footman, and horse groom, a horsehelper, a horse coachman, a horse postillion, perhaps coachman's helper, perhaps waggoner, her (Sir Edward's wife's) maid, 3 children's maids, a housekeeper, her maid, 2 housemaids, 2 laundry maids, a dairy maid and 2 cooks. Finn also gives a list of "domestics in the establishment", presumably of Sir Edward, the 8th Baronet...

 

 (In mid 1840's report to the Tithes Commission) Mersham is a small village 4 miles from Ashford. The parish is naturally divided into three distinct portions. The northern part is all light land a great deal of it very kind and useful some exceedingly good, especially near the Village and much of course very inferior. All of it is well adapted for the cultivation of Turnips but for some reason or other Turnip Farming by no means flourishes in this part of Kent. Sir Edward Knatchbull's Park which is in this division and the Grass Land adjoining it is for the most part weak and poor...

 The major landowner, with 763 acres in this parish alone, was the Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Knatchbull Bart. of Mersham Hatch. About half of this he kept in his own hands, the rest was rented by ten lessees....

Most of the woodland in 1840 was on the Knatchbull estate; this included long-established woodlands such as Quarrington and Bockhanger as well as plantations...

The largest house in the parish is Mersham-le-Hatch, which replaced an earlier house acquired by the Knatchbull family in the 15th century.The building, designed by Robert Adam, was commenced by Sir Wyndham Knatchbull-Wyndham (6th Baronet) in 1762 and completed in 1767, after his death, by Sir Edward Knatchbull (7th Baronet). Its construction must have provided much work in the parish. Sir Edward wrote that "in this building it is my own bricks, lime, sand, wood for the kiln, my own teams draw all this and the straw to the brick kilns, which is a considerable saving". Finn mentions that John Clarke Senior was "when a young man employed at the building of the present House also at the taking down of the old one which was then in the Stable Yard". The Parish Register for 1765 records that one William Boulter, a vagrant, and his wife were being relieved at Hatch and the man was "employed in hard work about a new House then building". His wife gave birth to twins while they were staying in the parish. The area around the new house also underwent dramatic change.

Finn recalls sadly:-that the Bockham wood formerly was on the roadside and the Fir Toll and garden walls, stabling, coachhouses and shrubbery, also three large white gates leading to the yard and its appurtenances, the second to the front entrance to the House, the third by the Wheelers shop at the end of the Heath leading down the valley into the Park. An avenue of majestic trees extending the whole length adorned with a fine sandy promenade with several protectors or wirley gigs erected on the pathway. These now are all departed like a scrawl and the whole of these pleasant walks are now enclosed within the park and the Turnpike road removed lower down towards the Street, also another long avenue of fine elms with a sandy pathway leading to the village street is vanished so that the whole has undergone an entire change and the place thereof is known no more.”

After his description of the forge at Hatch, Finn records that "Hatch and the whole was a very lovely village". He lists employees at the Hatch who seemed to have occupied houses nearby. The changes he deplored may well have been made by the 8th Baronet, also Sir Edward Knatchbull. Finn says "He had great alterations made on his domain, the walks removed, the trees cut down and the poor and their dwellings transplanted to another spot that they might not be offensive to him” 

In 1841 the Hatch had 4 labourers living in properties at the Park and Quarrington, in addition there was a Bailiff and a Park-keeper, but others must also have been employed from the surrounding villages. Female servants were the next largest group of employees; there were 32 of them. Twelve worked at the Hatch together with 2 male servants and a charwoman...

Newhouse, now the home of Countess Mountbatten (Lady Brabourne), dates from the early 18th century. Hasted mentions it as being a "large good mansion, which lately belonged to Mr. Turner Marshall". It was afterwards occupied by one of his daughters and her husband Edward Hughes, a farmer, grazier and hopgrower, who is described in glowing terms in the Finn Survey. His unmarried daughters continued to live in the house after their parents' death. Finn described it as a "fine noble house ... as fine a building to its size as any structure in Mersham. The premises in the neatest order and regularity, quite the model of cleanliness."