Far from being a relatively new term, it seems that 'being on the dole' can be traced back centuries.  This rare Dole Table can be found in the churchyard of St John the Baptist church in Penshurst and was used to distribute bread and money to the poor on special occasions, such as St Thomas' Day which was held on the 21st December.

Due to its close ties with royalty and the Sidney family this 900 year old church is full of surprises and you can find out more at www.friendsofpenshurstchurch.co.uk.

You can also find further in depth snippets of kentish history at www.historymagpie.com