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Specialising in hand painted and personalised candles MHE sources gifts, soft furnishings, mirrors, ceramics and woodwork that are both unusual and unique and complete an Aladdins cave of inspirational ideas for their customers. Changing themes throughout the year MHE is a treasure trove of gift ideas for all the family for all occasions and events. Our general gifts celebrate birthdays, weddings, christenings, and anniversaries as well as every day items for every room in the house.

We offer hand painted furniture, a beautiful selection of Marquetry both in the shop and by commission and a full selection of childrens books and gifts for all ages. You will always receive a warm welcome at MHE. Open Tues - Sat 9. We look forward to meeting you. The King is believed to have stayed the night at one of the many palaces belonging to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The palace at Otford, of which little remains, stood adjacent to the Church of St Bartholomew and opposite the villages duck pond. The Pond, which lies at the heart of Otford, is itself something of a historic curiosity as it was documented as early as the 11th century and is thought to be the only stretch of water in England to be classified as a listed building. The house is surrounded by the peace and tranquillity of the countryside yet is only a short drive from the M25 J4 , with easy access to many of the countys leading attractions.

The transformation of the handsome flint house has been achieved by owner Jane Whitby, who used natural materials oak, stone, slate along with sumptuous fabrics and accessories and subtle lighting to create a very comfortable, inviting blend of classic and contemporary. Janes sure touch and eye for design extends outside to the landscaping and planting of the garden.

Janes expertise extends into the kitchen, where she produces splendid traditional English breakfast vegetarian and lighter options available. With a little notice she can provide a picnic and afternoon tea in the garden or by the fire in the sitting room.

Connections with the Archbishops of Canterbury continue at Beckets Well, which once supplied water to the palace and is thought to have miraculous origins. Local folklore suggests that when he was visiting Otford, Archbishop Thomas Becket was so displeased with the quality of the local water that, to remedy the situation, he struck the ground with his crozier and two springs of clear water bubbled up from the spot.

As well as the footpaths that run along its banks it 21 G u i d e t o R u r a l E n g l a n d K E N T F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna Looking for somewhere to stay, eat, drink or shop? It was while Minister of Transport in the s that he gave his name to the Belisha beacon street crossings; he also inaugurated the driving test for motorists.

Tucked away down a lane just a short distance from the village is Eagle Heights, Kents bird of prey centre. Concentrating on explaining the importance of conservation and the birds environment, the centre hosts free flying shows where visitors can see eagles soaring high above the Darent Valley and watch the condor, the worlds largest bird of prey, in flight. Further down the lane lies Lullingstone Roman Villa, although only uncovered in , its existence had been known since the 18th century, when farm labourers uncovered fragments of mosaics that had been pierced as the men drove fence posts into the ground.

Perhaps not the largest find in the country, Lullingstone is recognised to be the most exciting of its kind made in the 20th century. The villa, which was first occupied in 80, has splendid mosaic floors and one of the earliest private Christian chapels.

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/English History

Close by, in a quiet spot beside the River Darent, lies Lullingstone Castle, a superb manor house whose 15th-century gatehouse is one of the first ever to be built from bricks. The house remains in the hands of the descendants of John Peche, who built it. John Peche was a city alderman and a keen jouster; he laid out a jousting ground in front of the gatehouse and entertained the young Henry VIII. The house has some fine state rooms, as might be expected of a place with royal connections, as well as family portraits and Eynsford Castle, Eynsford is also crossed by a handsome hump-backed bridge.

Close to this bridge lies the Water House that was the home of Samuel Palmer, the great Romantic painter, for some years. Here Palmer entertained his friend, the poet and visionary William Blake. On the hillside across the valley can be seen a large cross carved into the chalk which commemorates those who fell in the two World Wars. Shoreham Aircraft Museum is dedicated to the Battle of Britain and the air war over southern England.

Among the numerous exhibits are aviation relics and home front memorabilia from the s. The ford that gives the village its name has a depth chart that shows that the depth of the ford can reach six feet when the river is swollen with floodwater.

John Peches jousting helmet is on display in the dining room. The castle is surrounded by beautiful grounds that also house the tiny Norman church of St Botolph. A little further south again lies Lullingstone Park and Visitor Centre which incorporates both parkland, with ancient pollard oaks, and chalk grassland.

A full programme of guided walks, special events and childrens activities take place from the visitor centre, where there is a countryside interpretation exhibition. A handsome 18th-century brick bridge stands by lawns that slope down to the rivers edge, alongside which runs the Darent Valley Path, following the course of the river as far as Dartford. Despite its rural appeal, Farningham is close to the M25 and M20 motorway intersection, but Farningham Woods Nature Reserve provides a delightful area of natural countryside that supports a wide variety of rare plants and birdlife.

A pretty, neat village with views over the North Downs, it was the beauty of this quiet place that lured the artist Graham Sutherland to make Trottiscliffe his home he is buried with his wife in the churchyard. Just to the north of the village, on high ground that offers commanding views eastwards over the Medway Valley, stands Coldrum Long Barrow, some 24 columns of stone that once marked the perimeter of a circular long barrow that was originally 50 feet in diameter. Only four of the huge stones are still standing and, although the large burial mound inside the circle has long since disappeared, this ancient site remains an evocative and mysterious place.

Around the ruins of the house that once stood here, there are terraces and a sweeping lawn along with a breathtaking collection of trees, shrubs and perennials and tranquil woodland walks. The whole amazing garden was designed and created by Eric Cameron and his wife after they retired in The manor house had a crypt where unlucky prisoners could be simply dispatched by the opening of a sluice gate from the moat. There was also a trap in the floor of a room in the tower from where unsuspecting victims could be dropped into a small dark hole.

An exhibition details the traditional skills that were used during the major conservation programme, that took place here in The delightful garden and grounds, with their lakes and woodland, provide numerous opportunities for pleasant country walks. Just to the east of the village, and reached via a circuitous succession of narrow lanes, is Old Soar Manor, another fine National Trust owned manor house, dating from the late 13th century.

The solar end of the old house legend, was instrumental in uncovering the Gunpowder Plot. The story goes that James I showed Dame Dorothy an anonymous letter he had received that hinted at a terrible blow that would soon befall Parliament and, while the king dismissed the letter as the work of a crank, Dame Dorothy, reading between the lines, urged him to take the warning with the utmost seriousness.

Covering some years of history, this beautiful moated house, set in a narrow, wooded valley, dates back to the 14th century. It is constructed around a central courtyard intended as a meeting place which is referred to in its name - mote probably comes from the Old English word meaning meeting place. Crypt, Tudor chapel with painted ceiling, drawing room with Jacobean fireplace, frieze and 18th-century wallpaper, billiards room and the apartment of Charles Henry Robinson, the American donor. There is an extensive garden and interesting walks in the surrounding woodland. A comprehensive programme of repair begun in was completed in and is the subject of a Conservation in Action exhibition in the visitor reception.

An 18th-century redbrick house stands where the original hall was located. While the house itself is charming it is the idyllic setting of Old Soar Manor, with its surrounding orchards and copses, that makes this such a delightful place to visit. The woods grow more dense as they climb the ridge and rise up from the orchards; at the top is one of southern Englands largest forests, Mereworth Woods. Wild boar once roamed through this forest of oak and beech trees and, though today the wildlife is of a tamer variety, the woods are still enchanting.

Early in the 18th century, John Fane, a local landowner, built himself a large Palladian mansion here. He soon found that the village obscured some of his views of the surrounding countryside and so he had the village demolished and moved to a site that could not be seen from his new home. The new village had houses for all the original inhabitants and Fane even built a new church. The architecture of the church owes a lot to the style of Sir Christopher Wren and the result is a faithful copy of St Martin-in-the- Fields in London.

A chapel at the station commemorates the pilots from Biggin Hill who lost their lives during the conflict. The location of Biggin Hill - high on a plateau on the North Downs - made it an obvious choice for an airfield and the views from here, over the Darent Valley, are outstanding. The village itself, which sprawls along this plateau, has a particularly interesting church. Saint Marks was built between and , using material from the derelict All Saints Church at Peckham. The windows were engraved by the vicar - Rev V Symons. Its central core of traditional flint cottages has not been engulfed by the growing tide of modern suburban housing spreading from the capital.

Seemingly at a crossroads between Greater London and the countryside, Downes natural setting, still evident in the outskirts of the village, also marks something of a boundary as it is poised between the open uplands of the Downs themselves and the more wooded areas of Kent, such as the Weald, further south. It was in this village, at Down House, that one of the worlds greatest and best known scientists, Charles Darwin, lived for over 40 years until his death in Following his five year voyage on HMS Beagle, Darwin came back to this house where he worked on formalising his theory of evolution, and it was here that he wrote his famous work The Origin of Species by 25 G u i d e t o R u r a l E n g l a n d K E N T F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna Looking for somewhere to stay, eat, drink or shop?

The house is now a museum dedicated to the life and work of this famous scientist and visitors can find out more about his revolutionary theory and gain an understanding of the man himself. The study, where he did much of his writing, still contains many personal belongings, and the family rooms have been painstakingly restored to provide a real insight into Charles Darwin, the scientist, husband and father. A newly developed multimedia garden tour, with contributions from Sir David Attenborough, Lord Bragg and the evolutionary biologist Steve Jones, highlights the countryside settings critical role in the great mans thinking.

Tonbridge A School This pretty old town stands at the highest navigable point on the River Medway and, as well as having a Victorian cast-iron bridge across the river, the substantial remains of Tonbridges Norman Castle can be found on a rise in the town centre. The walls of the castle date from the 12th century, while the shell of the keep, along with the massive gatehouse and drum towers, were built in the early 14th century. Within the castle walls is a mound that is believed to have been the site of an earlier Saxon fort that provides further evidence of the importance of the river crossing.

The castle was all but destroyed during the Civil War and, today, the ruins are surrounded by attractive landscaped gardens. While the castle is certainly one of the towns oldest buildings, its most famous institution is Tonbridge School, founded in by Sir Andrew Judd, Master of the Skinners Company and a former Lord Mayor of London. The school received a charter from Elizabeth I, and on Judds death the administration was left in trust to the Skinners Company, the Governors to this day. The glass was made and fitted by Charles Marq of Rheims.

The houses at its core are all old, dating as far back as the 16th century, and each has its own sense of charm and identity. At the heart of the village, the Church of St John the Baptist appears completely 19th century from the outside, but inside are architectural details from the 13th century onwards. Particularly noteworthy is the carving on a medieval tomb of a supplicant woman. The entrance to the church is by an ancient lychgate. Close by is one of the villages equally ancient houses, a two- storey Tudor dwelling that is particularly quaint with its bulging walls and crooked beams.

Just to the north of the village lies Penshurst Place. Set in the peaceful landscape of the Weald of Kent, it is recognised as being one of the best examples of 14th- century architecture in the country.

walks through history kent walk 10 appledore raiders and traders in the middle ages 5 miles Manual

Additions to the original house over the centuries have seen it become an imposing fortified manor house and it remains in the Sidney family today. Visitors to Penshurst Place have the opportunity to see the magnificent Barons Hall and the impressive staterooms, and a marvellous collection of paintings, furniture, tapestries, porcelain and armour. The gardens surrounding the house are equally impressive and are a rare example of Elizabethan design. The records here go back to , making this one of the oldest gardens in private ownership, and over a mile of yew hedging separates the walled garden into a series of individually styled rooms.

Designed as a garden for all seasons, it provides a riot of colour from early springtime right through to the autumn. Also close by is one of the most modern vineyards in England, Penshurst Vineyards, where adults can enjoy the lovely walks and the wine tastings, and children can see the unusual range of animals, including wallabies and rare breeds of sheep and birds. Along a footpath behind the main street, which is lined with houses from the 16th and 17th centuries that were built during the villages prosperous period, lies a block of sandstone known as the Chiding Stone.

Legend has it that in the past miscreant, vagrants and assorted petty criminals were taken here for public humiliation Also found in this village is one of Kents best kept secrets, Chiddingstone Castle, a traditional country squires house that has the appearance of a grand castle.

It was in that Henry Streatfield rebuilt his family home in grand Gothic style. In the house was bought by Denys Eyre Bower, a self-made man with a passion for collecting. Today, the castle houses Bowers vast and varied collection, covering themes that range from relics from ancient Egypt and artefacts from Japan, to pictures and mementoes from the Royal Stuart dynasty.

The reservoirs visitor centre has a series of exhibitions and displays on the local wildlife, the areas hop growing industry and the history of this reservoir. Some two centuries later, the Bullen or Boleyn family purchased the property and added the comfortable Tudor manor house that stands within the castle walls. Many of Annes personal items, including two books of hours prayer books signed by Anne, along with other Tudor mementoes, can be seen here. In , the castle was bought by the American millionaire, William Waldorf Astor, who put his great wealth to use in restoring the original buildings and the grounds - work that included laying out and planting over 30 acres of formal gardens.

Visitors are particularly drawn to these award-winning gardens, but the castle also houses fine collections of paintings, furniture, tapestries and objets dart. Its High Street is a straight line through the town and across the river. It was originally the Roman road and an important route through the forest of the Kentish Weald.

Along its route can still be found some ancient coaching inns some dating from the s - that catered to the needs of travellers. The Crown Inn became notorious in the 17th century as a haunt of the Romney gang of smugglers. In the past a beacon on the hill would be used to signal danger to Shooters Hill on the outskirts of London. From its elevated position, Idle Hill commands glorious, panoramic views stretching out over the Weald.

Just outside the village, and set on a hillside of mature beech trees, is Emmetts Garden, an informal National Trust - maintained garden that boasts the highest tree top in Kent - a foot Wellingtonia planted on Kents highest point. North Kent Coast From Margate, on the northeastern tip of Kent, to Rochester, on the River Medway, the history of the north Kent coastal area has been dominated by the sea.

It was invaded over 2, years ago by the Romans and, ever since, the land, villages and towns have endured occupation by successive invaders. Many of the place names, such as Rochester and Whitstable, are derived from Roman, Saxon or Norman origins. The cathedral at Rochester was built on a Saxon site by William the Conquerors architect Bishop Gundulph, and it was also he who designed the massive fortress of Rochester Castle.

While this ancient city, with numerous connections with Charles Dickens, is one of the best known places along the Medway, it is Chatham that really captures the imagination. Henry VIII, looking to increase his sea power, established a dockyard at this originally Saxon settlement. This was the beginning of the Royal Navy that was to be instrumental in the building and maintenance of the British Empire.

In conjunction with the naval loyalties of Chatham, Gillingham is the home of the Royal Engineers, and their museum highlights the valuable work that the Corps has done over the centuries in many areas, including civil engineering and surveying. Further east lie the seaside towns and resorts of Whitstable, Herne Bay and Margate. Certainly the most popular is Margate, the natural destination for many people of southeast London looking for a day beside the sea. While offering all the delights of the seaside, such as amusements, a funfair, candyfloss and fish and chips, Margate is older than it seems.

It probably comes as no surprise to learn that the bathing machine was invented in the town. Whitstable, which remains famous for its oysters, presents a calmer and less brash appearance to those looking for a seaside break. With a history that goes back to Roman times, this fishing village, once the haunt of smugglers, has managed to retain an individuality that inspired writers such as Somerset Maugham and Charles Dickens.


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Rochester A Castle A Cathedral B Guildhall Museum G Royal Victoria and Bull Hotel First impressions of this riverside city are misleading as the pedestrianised main shopping area and steady flow of traffic hide a history that goes back over 2, years. Rochester was first settled by the Romans, whose Watling Street crossed the River Medway at this point. To protect this strategic crossing point, they fortified their camp here and, in so doing, created a walled city of some 23 acres.

Some five centuries later the Saxons arrived. Still an important strategic town and port, it was at Rochester that King Alfred, determined to thwart Viking sea power, built a fleet of ships and thereby created the first English navy. Following the Norman invasion in , William the Conqueror, also aware of the importance of the town and its port, decreed 30 G u i d e t o R u r a l E n g l a n d K E N T F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna Looking for somewhere to stay, eat, drink or shop?

Without a doubt, Terence and Tracy Collingwood own and run one of the most unusual shops youll ever step inside, a browsers delight and a thoroughly entertaining introduction into the fascinating world of fossils. The stock, which changes constantly, includes real teeth and bones from such creatures as Tyrannosaurus Rex, African T-Rex, Spinosaurus, Saltasaurus, Oviraptor, Deltadromeus, Sauropods and Triceratops. Genuine dinosaur teeth start at a bargain 2.

There are ammonites, trilobites, ambers Baltic, Dominican, Madagascan, Colombian Copal and fossil plants like Glossopteris, Pecopteris and Neuropteris. All geological ages are represented in this unique place, from Pleistocene to Eocene, Cretaceous, Jurassic, Triassic, Permian right up to the Cambrian. I Dig Dinos also sells a good range of minerals, including amethyst, agate and fools gold, and the accessories that every fossil collector needs, such as display boxes and stands. Very much a place for all the family, the shop sells a vast selection of dinosaur- themed toys, games, puzzles and books, along with dig-out kits and hundreds of models.

I Dig Dinos, which is open from 10 to 5. Would-be buyers who cant get to the shop can visit the superb website for more fascinating details, online buying and useful links to other sites. Still dominating the city today, Rochester Castle is recognised as one of the finest surviving examples of Norman architecture in England. Over feet tall and with walls that are around 12 feet thick, this massive construction comprised four floors from which there were many lookout points. Despite the solidity of the fortress, it has had a very chequered history and over the centuries was subjected to three sieges.

In the rebellious barons were held here by King John for seven weeks. The barons held out despite being bombarded by missiles thrown from huge siege engines, and it was only when the props of a siege tunnel were burnt away and the tunnel collapsed that the barons surrendered. The collapsing of the tunnel also caused the massive tower above to collapse. This was later reconstructed in a round form rather than the original square shape, giving the castle its odd appearance.

In a beautiful listed building, in the shadow of the ancient Castle and Cathedral, owner Jane Staff has assembled a cornucopia of collectables which are quaint, quirky, inspirational, retro, kooky and unique! The four large showrooms contain thousands of items at all prices, covering a wide range of interests, general and specialised vintage clothes, and accessories, costume jewellery, postcards, books, prints, ceramics, glass, silver, tins and an amazing variety of other collectables and ephemera.

From time to time particular items are featured on the website; previous features have been vintage clothing, bags and luggage, Beswick china and nostalgic postcards. Friendly, helpful staff and evocative piped music from the 20s, 30s and 40s add to the pleasure for browsers and shoppers in this splendid establishment, which is open from 10 to 5 Mon Sat.

Artworks is a store within a store specialising in art materials and equipment for amateur and professional artists. Craftworks is a store within a store selling a full range of craft materials for stitchers, knitters, card makers, rubber stampers and other crafters. Both departments include rare and difficult to find items and new products as well as established ranges, and experienced staff are on hand with help and advice on all aspects of arts and crafts.

Opening times are 9 to 5. The owners offers a comprehensive calendar of workshops, which take place most Saturdays. They also operate an e-mail alert to update clients about forthcoming events. The sisters take well-earned pride in offering top-quality work by home-grown and overseas artists that really does provide something for everyone.

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On the upper two floors they show more than works of art, from traditional oils and watercolours to the more contemporary glass relief and boxed canvases. The Gallery hosts regular and special exhibitions throughout the year and among those planned for are paintings by Jeremy Sanders, miniatures by Alison Griffin, fantastic stained glass by Leo Amery and collective work by Artists of Russia.

Among the other offerings here are a full restoration service for oils and watercolours, a bespoke framing service run by Fine Art Trade Guild framers and specialist advice on conservation framing. The Gallery is open from 9. The castle has been brought into the 21st century through an interactive computer programme that takes visitors on a virtual tour of the fortress as it may have looked in medieval times. As well as ordering the construction of the massive fortification, William the Conqueror put his architect to the task of building Rochester Cathedral on the site of a Saxon church that was founded in Todays building still contains the remains of the 12th- century chapter house and priory, along with other Norman features including the fine west doorway.

Like the castle, the cathedral was badly damaged during the Civil War and restoration work was undertaken by the Victorians. The remains of former monastic buildings surround the cathedral and there are three ancient gates: Priors Gate, Deanery Gate and Chertseys Gate, all leading on to the High Street. Not far from Rochester Bridge is the Guildhall Museum that covers the history of this city from prehistoric times through to the present day. The Guildhall was built in and features in Dickenss novel Great Expectations as the place where Pip goes to register as an apprentice.

The reconstruction of a Medway prison hulk ship, from the turn of the 19th century, covers three floors. It is undoubtedly the most haunting exhibit in the museum depicting the inhuman conditions on board. There are domestic reconstructions of Victorian and Edwardian vintage, and many exhibits relating to Rochesters maritime history. There are scale models of local sailing Rochester Cathedral, Rochester barges and a diorama of the Dutch raid of the Medway in Although the castle, cathedral and river dominate Rochester, the city is perhaps most famous for its connections with the great Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens.

The Dickens Discovery Room in the Guildhall Museum in January , is has two very exciting and informative galleries dedicated to the author. There are many related objects on display, text and graphic panels and a multi-lingual touchscreen that highlights other sites of Dickens interest. The audio- visual theatre shows a short film about the authors life and works. There are many other buildings in the city with a Dickens connection that are well worth seeking out. The addition of the Royal Victoria to the hotels name came in the s following a visit by the as yet uncrowned Queen Victoria in , who was prevented from continuing to London by a violent storm.

The busy port here and the routes to and from London that pass through Rochester have always ensured that the city has a steady stream of visitors. After 11 years in exile, Charles II found himself staying overnight at Rochester while making his triumphal march from Dover to London in The original Borstal buildings can still be seen. After two days, the Romans won the battle but only after Claudius had ordered some of his men to swim the river while others crossed higher up and surprised the Britons from behind.

However, it is as the home of Temple Manor that Strood is better known. Built in the 13th century by the Knights Templar, this was originally a hostel where the knights could find shelter, food and fresh horses while going to and from the Crusades. A building of simple design, this is all that survives from an earlier complex that would also have contained stables, kitchens and barns. Sympathetically restored after World War II, the original 13th-century hall, with its vaulted undercroft, and the 17th-century brick extensions have all survived.

A local legend tells that during the bitter feuding between Henry II and Archbishop Thomas Becket the men of Strood, who were loyal to the king, cut off the tail of Beckets horse while he was riding through the town. Becket suggested that the descendants of those involved 35 G u i d e t o R u r a l E n g l a n d K E N T F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna Looking for somewhere to stay, eat, drink or shop?

As with other Medway towns, Strood has its connections with the sea and, moored at Damhead Creek is The Medway Queen, an old paddle steamer that was one of the many thousands of unlikely craft that took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk in Dickens made various alterations to the 18th-century house to accommodate his family, in particular, adding a conservatory that has been restored to its former glory.

While living at Gads Hill, Dickens wrote several of his novels. Although the house is now a school, some of the rooms and the grounds that Dickens so loved are open to the public at various times throughout the year. Visitors can see the study where Dickens worked on his novels as well as the restored conservatory, and stroll around the grounds. In , John de Cobham of Cooling applied to Richard II to be granted the right to fortify his manor house as, at that time, the sea came right up to his house and he feared a seaborne attack.

His fears were well founded, as a couple of years earlier the French had sailed up the river and set fire to several villages in the area. So the king was happy to allow the construction to go ahead. The result of de Cobhams work, which became known as Cooling Castle, can still be seen clearly from the road although it is not open to the public , but the sea has receded over the years and no longer laps the castles massive outer walls.

Shakespeare is said to have modelled his character Falstaff on Sir John. Close by the substantial castle remains stands St James Church redundant but open for visits where, in the graveyard, can be seen the 13 lozenge-shaped stones that mark the graves of various Comport children who all died of malaria in the 18th century. Not one of the children lived to be older than 17 months and these were, supposedly, the graves of Pips brothers in Dickenss novel Great Expectations. However, while this is indeed an ideal place to spend some leisure time, the village has not always been so peaceful.

In the 16th century, Elizabeth I ordered the construction of several fortifications along the Medway estuary to protect her dockyard at Chatham from invasion and, in , Upnor Castle was constructed. Fronted by a water bastion jutting out into the River Medway, this castle saw action in when 36 G u i d e t o R u r a l E n g l a n d K E N T F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna Looking for somewhere to stay, eat, drink or shop?

Shortly after, turn left onto Upnor Road, at the end of which is a car park. The village of Lower Upnor is ideally suited to relaxed evenings; it boasts two pubs and great views across to the old dockyard at Chatham. It is also a good place to sit and watch the yachts going up and down the river. Just up the road from Lower Upnor is the aptly- named Upper Upnor, which also boasts two pubs and the castle English Heritage.

Once at the gate to the yacht club, bear right onto the footpath; be careful here as it can be quite a steep drop into the river if you're not careful. Follow the path past the clubhouse on your left. At the end of the path drop down onto the beach and follow the line of the woods. Continue along the beach past the old Boat House and the old war gun placement towards the Wilsonian Sailing Club, where there is a raised concrete footpath. Continuing on your journey along the beach, you will pass the ruins of an old fortress.

Shortly you will reach a relatively new raised footpath. Continue along this path. Continue to the end of the path, past the numerous house barges and through the Hoo Ness Yacht Club. Follow this path past the Saxon Shore Walk marker-post. Continue along the path until it opens out into a car parking area, with mobile homes on the left.

Follow the high metal fence and then along the tarmac road past the Riverside Diner. Should you be hungry or thirsty, there is a supermarket-type shop along the road to the left. Head along the gravel track and through a footpath at the end. Follow the path past the yachts and out onto the road. At the end of the path, by the fence, turn right to cross the road and walk along the path between the bus depot and steelworks.

Cross the road to take the slightly overgrown footpath to the left of Whitton Marine. At the red-windowed factory straight in front of you, turn left along the road. Take the footpath directly in front of you, heading towards three large houses in the distance.

At the main road, turn left and then right onto the farm track by Church Farm Lodge. Continue up along the track, ignoring the footpath on the right, past the large house behind the walled railings. Go straight ahead through an enclosed footpath taking you past the gardens of the houses of Elm Avenue. Instead of following the path to the right, carry straight on to a bench offering fantastic views across the River Medway.

Continue along the footpath down towards the river. Bear left at the yellow marker- post. At the bottom, follow the road with the Arethusa Venture Centre on the left and continue along the road, past the toilets and into the car park. The gun batteries at Upnor were the primary defence against this attack but they proved to be ineffective as the Dutch captured, and made off with, the British flagship the Royal Charles. After this failure, the castle became a magazine and, at one time, more gunpowder was stored here than in the Tower of London. A survey of counted 5, barrels of gunpowder in storage.

One of the guns that failed to stop the Dutch has been salvaged from the river and now stands guard outside the entrance to the fort; visitors here can tour the gatehouse and main body of the castle, reliving the Dutch raid through an exciting audio-visual model. The village itself grew up around the castle to provide facilities for the troops stationed there in the soldiers were described by one storekeeper as a set of drunken wretches.

Needless to say, things are much more peaceful and civilised today. Nearby is an Iron Beacon that was erected in Elizabethan times and it is one of many such beacons that were set up along the coast to warn of imminent invasion. In the s there were plans to develop the coastal strip to the north of the village as a holiday area and, although the resort never quite came to fruition, the Art Deco style railway station still remains and has been put to other uses.

The dockyard flourished and was expanded by Elizabeth I during the time of the Armada. Sir Francis Drake, who took part in the defeat of the Spanish fleet in , moved here with his family at the age of six and, while his father was chaplain to the fleet based here, the young Francis learned his sailing skills on the reaches around Chatham and Gillingham. Of the many famous ships that were built at the naval dockyard, perhaps the most famous is Nelsons HMS Victory, which was launched in The naval connection continued to boost the growth of the town and its present commercial centre originally saw to the needs of navy personnel.

His son, Charles, spent some of his boyhood years at Chatham as the family moved to 2 Ordnance Terrace now number 11 when Charles was five years old. Dickens World, at Chatham Maritime, is a themed attraction based on the life, work and times of the author. Offering over years of history, visitors can appreciate the scale of the 20th-century submarine and battleship dry-docked here as well as the architecture of the most complete Georgian dockyard in the world.

Samuel Pepys, the famous diarist, first made reference to the dockyard in his diaries in and he was here to witness the audacious Dutch raid six years later when Ruyter managed to capture the English flagship, Royal Charles. The Ropery at the Historic Dockyard is a building a quarter of a mile long.

Rope can be seen being made in the traditional way, using machines dating back to The dockyard has been the setting for a number of films over the years, including The Mummy and Tomorrow Never Dies. The Chatham dockyards were an obvious target for Hitlers bombers during World War II and, at Fort Amherst Heritage Park and Caverns, which lie close by, the secret underground telephone exchange that coordinated the air raid warnings can be seen. The countrys premier Napoleonic fortress, Fort Amherst was built in to defend the naval dockyard from attack by land, and it continued to serve this purpose up until the end of World War II.

Today, the fort offers visitors an insight into the daily lives of the soldiers and their families who were stationed here,, through a series of displays and re- enactments in period costumes. The forts most outstanding feature, and the most interesting, is undoubtedly the underground maze of tunnels and caverns that were used as storage, magazines, barracks and guardrooms, 39 G u i d e t o R u r a l E n g l a n d K E N T F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna Looking for somewhere to stay, eat, drink or shop?

The extensive outer fortification, which covers seven acres and includes battlements and earthworks, has been turned into a country park style area where visitors can enjoy a picnic or explore the various nature trails. Like the dockyard, Fort Amherst has been used as a location by both film and television companies and it was here that Robert de Niro shot the prison cell scenes for The Mission, Val Kilmer worked on the remake of the s series The Saint and the BBC filmed The Phoenix and the Carpet.

In the main part of the town can be found the Almshouses that were built by one of the two charities established by the Elizabethan seafarer, Admiral Sir John Hawkins. As well as helping to defeat the Spanish Armada along with Sir Francis Drake, Hawkins was also an inventor and philanthropist and it was he who introduced copper bottoms to help prevent the deterioration of ships hulls below the The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Kent ME4 4TZ Tel: Fax: e-mail: info worldnavalbase.

The Naval Base covers some years of history and visitors touring the site will see the most complete Georgian dockyard in the world along with displays and exhibits that explain the part the dockyard has played in the countrys and the worlds history. Samuel Pepys, the famous diarist, first made reference to the dockyard in his diaries in and he was here to witness the audacious Dutch raid six years later when de Ruyter managed to capture the English flag ship, Royal Charles.

Whilst the dockyard exhibitions certainly dwell on past glories, there is plenty more to see here, including the modern spy submarine Ocelot, HMS Cavalier that saw active service during World War II and HMS Gannet the last surviving sloop of the Victorian navy. In a building that is a quarter of a mile long rope can be seen being made in the traditional way whilst the year history of the lifeboats is told at the National Collection of the RNLI.

The newly opened Museum of the Dockyard brings together the year history of the World Naval Base and, with so much to see, the steam railway with its audio tour is an excellent way to begin a tour of this impressive site. When Maureen took over the business in April she renovated and refurbished the premises throughout, transforming the shop and greatly extended the number of lines held in stock. The product range includes knitting yarns, threads and cottons, hand-knitted garments, haberdashery items, buttons and patterns.

Its also a great place to look for a special gift for any occasion to suit all pockets as well as helium balloons and other fun items to make parties go with a swing. The shop is bright, airy and welcoming, with easy access for buggies and wheelchairs. These almshouses were originally designed as a hospital for retired seamen and their widows. The oldest part of this, the largest of the Medway towns, is The Green, where the Norman parish church of St Mary stands.

It was the establishment of the dockyard at neighbouring Chatham in the 16th century that began Gillinghams expansion as it became a centre for servicing the naval dockyard and depot. As with most towns along the Medway, Gillingham has many links with the sea, and it was the story of the Gillingham sailor, Will Adams, that inspired the novel Shogun by James Clavell. In , Adams sailed to Japan and there he befriended Ieyasu, the Shogun, learnt Japanese and was honoured as a Samurai warrior.

Beside the A2 is the Will Adams Monument, a fitting tribute to the man who went on to become the Shoguns teacher and adviser. All things maritime have influenced Gillingham greatly over the centuries, but the town is also the home of one of the most fascinating military attractions - The Royal Engineers Museum. This museum reflects the diverse range of skills that the Corps has brought to bear in times of both peace and war.

The Royal Engineers continue the dangerous work of bomb disposal and throughout the world they build roads and bridges, lay water pipes and assist in relief 41 G u i d e t o R u r a l E n g l a n d K E N T F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna Looking for somewhere to stay, eat, drink or shop?

The courtyard display illustrates the wide variety of activities the Corps has undertaken since the s, while inside are a dignified medal gallery, a reconstruction of a World War I trench and numerous artefacts from around the world acquired by members of the Corps. Visitors can see exquisite Chinese embroidery given to General Gordon, Zulu shields from Rorkes Drift and the original battlefield map prepared by the Corps and used by the Duke of Wellington to defeat Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in However, in the still well- defined village centre can be found the Court Hall Museum housed, as its name might suggest, in a 15th century timbered building that was originally Milton Regiss courthouse, school and town gaol.

The museum has displays, photographs and documents that relate to the village and surrounding area. At Milton Creek lies Dolphin Yard Sailing Barge Museum, housed in a traditional sailing barge yard where commercial work is still undertaken. Along with aiming to preserve the barges and other craft that have been used on the local estuaries for hundreds of years, the museum is dedicated in particular to the sailing barge.

While the creek provided a means of transport, its waters were also used to power paper mills and paper manufacturing continues in this area today. As a result, the town developed a thriving market that has continued to this day; the town was also a centre for barge making and for paper manufacturing. It is from here that the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway runs steam hauled passenger trains along two miles of preserved track.

The railway was originally designed to transport paper and other bulk materials but now the journey is taken for pleasure by those fascinated by steam trains and those wishing to view this area of the Kentish countryside at close quarters. An oasis of calm and comfort, it stands back from the lane in four acres of gardens and woodland that include a secret rose garden and two ornamental ponds. The whole place has a very warm and welcoming feel that is enhanced by many handsome original features, lovely pictures and antiques, and guests can meet not just the family but also the chickens and ducks and peacocks that roam the grounds.

The guest accommodation comprises two superbly decorated and furnished rooms: the four-poster room overlooking the front garden has a large en suite bathroom and an open fire in winter, while the large, sunny Indian Room has its own private bathroom just across the corridor. The day starts with an excellent choice for breakfast, and an evening meal can be provided with a little notice.

Since Hartlip has catered superbly for civil ceremonies and in it conducted one of the first civil partnership ceremonies. When the weather is suitable the ceremonies with up to 60 guests are usually conducted in the loggia next to the large pond with its fountain, with ducks and peacocks among the interested spectators. In the cooler months the formal drawing room is an elegant alternative. Additionally, Hartlip is an ideal venue for receptions for up to , usually held in a marquee on the croquet lawn next to the rose garden.

The occasion, tailored immaculately to individual requirements, could be anything from a formal sit-down meal to a buffet, a barbecue or a hog roast. The house is located on the outskirts of the village of Hartlip on the edge of the North Downs, a short drive from the M2 leave at J4 or the M20 J7, then the A First-time visitors should call to get precise directions. There are many places of historic and scenic interest nearby, and Hartlip is also a convenient stopping-off point on the way to or from the Continent, being only 30 minutes from Ashford International Station, 40 minutes from Dover and the Tunnel and 45 minutes from Gatwick Airport.

However, it was here, on the highest point of the island, that Sexburga, the widow of a Saxon king of Kent, founded a nunnery in the late 7th century. Sacked by the Danes in , Minster Abbey was rebuilt in when it was also re-established as a priory for Benedictine nuns.

Sometime later, in the 13th century, the parish church of Minster was built, adjoining the monastic church, and so, from the Middle Ages until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the building served as a double church with the nuns worshipping in the northern half of the building and the parishioners in the other. To the west of this unusual church lies the 15th- century abbey gatehouse, home today to the Minster Abbey Gatehouse Museum. Here, the history of Sheppey is told through exhibits of fossils, tools and photographs. Dodging the county sheriff, Sir Roger swam out on horseback to Edward Is passing ship and received the kings pardon for his wicked act.

The accommodation comprises two double rooms with en suite facilities and a single with private bathroom; all have thermostatically controlled heating, TV, radio-alarm, hospitality tray, hairdryer and quality toiletries. Super breakfasts include fresh baked bread, homemade preserves and produce from local farms and butchers. Jane is a Home Economist and can offer a wide variety of home cooking for evening meals with a little notice.

Bernard Cornwell

No pets. On hearing this, the tempestuous knight drew his sword and beheaded his horse. Some time later, while walking on the beach, Sir Roger came across the head of his horse that had been washed ashore. In an angry rage, he kicked the head but one of the horses teeth penetrated his boot and Sir Roger died later from the infection that developed in the wound.

Sir Rogers tomb lies in the abbey church; close to the right foot of his stone effigy can be seen the head of a horse. Another early pilot, Lord Brabazon of Tara, was the holder of the first official pilots licence. The Shorts brothers built the worlds first aircraft factory here, later moving to bigger premises at Eastchurch.

Close to the church is a stone memorial to the early pilots, while nearby are the ruins of 16th-century Shurland Hall, where Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn stayed on their honeymoon.

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A little way outside the village lies Norwood Manor, a charming old house that dates from the 17th century, although the Northwoode family have lived on this site since Norman times. The lovely landscaped gardens cover ten acres surrounded by wooded countryside in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and are recognised by English Heritage as being of special historic interest. Among the many highlights for the visitor are a notable woodland garden spectacular in May and June that includes many varieties of rhododendron, azalea, camellias and acers; a superbly restored Edwardian rock garden; a formal sunken garden with borders; a spring garden with fruit trees; a fine avenue of Wellingtonia; and a striking two-storey brick and flint folly.

Extensive lawns are framed by impressive yew hedges and fine specimen trees, and the avenues provide several themed walks. A tea room serves light snacks, cream teas and hot and cold beverages. A little to the south, on the southeastern tip of the Isle of Sheppey, The Swale National Nature Reserve is home to numerous species of wildfowl.

The towns reliance on the sea for its prosperity also saw its courthouse captured by the Dutch during their invasion of the Medway in During the 18th century, the towns prosperity continued, based on the increased naval presence after the Dutch invasion. Many fine buildings were built, which still survive. However, the first part of 19th century saw Queenborough decline as enterprising neighbours like Sheerness grew.

The Guildhall Museum, housed in the building that replaced the earlier courthouse, tells the fascinating story of this town, from Saxon times, through its rise at the hands of Victorian industrialists, to the important role it played during World War II. Queenborough is still a very busy boating centre, with numerous boat builders and chandlers. In more recent times, Sheerness has developed into a busy container and car ferry port and most of the Isle of Sheppeys wealth is centred on the town. The naval base was the main reason that a railway line running from Sittingbourne was built; was opened in The base has gone but the dockyard remains, and large diesel-hauled freight trains regularly use the line.

The Sheerness Heritage Centre is housed in a weatherboarded cottage that was built in 46 G u i d e t o R u r a l E n g l a n d K E N T F stories and anecdotes G famous people H art and craft I entertainment and sport J walks A historic building B museum and heritage C historic site D scenic attraction E flora and fauna Looking for somewhere to stay, eat, drink or shop? Despite being constructed of seemingly temporary building materials, the house and its two neighbours have lasted well.

The rooms have now been restored to reflect authentic 19th century life and are furnished with genuine pieces from that period. The heritage centre also has an exhibition describing the development of The Royal Dockyard, which closed here in the s. Whitstable B Museum Anyone wandering around Whitstable will soon realise that this is not just a seaside resort, but very much a working town centred around the busy commercial harbour that was originally the port for Canterbury. Peter's, Barnstaple when a local beat group play in his church.

The body of 94 year old John Quick of South Molton has to be taken to London for cremation as there is crematorium closer. A Georgeham parish meeting calls for the parish council to resign en bloc — but they ignore the call. A local drama group's inclusion of the 'Can Can' dance in their production is described as 'crude'. William Matthews from Barnstaple is reported as killed in action but turns up wounded in Norwich Hospital.

Barnstaple town council expresses their condolences following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. John Osmond of Swimbridge is ordered out of Barnstaple after 'indecently exposing his person' whilst drunk. A Bideford coffee bar moves to Westward Ho! A bogus social worker tries to force her way into a Barnstaple house — a pattern occurring nationwide.

Hunt secretary to the Bratton Fleming Death Club is said to be 'an uneducated woman, who knew nothing of the method of keeping accounts'. Talking of Westward Ho! A Belgian soldier dies of wounds in Ilfracombe and is given a military funeral in the churchyard. Beer who taught them decorating. Reynolds Broughton who make fire engines at Winkleigh receive an order for 4 from the Sultan of Brunei.

The baby of Belgian refugees is christened in Barnstaple's Catholic church with all the names of the monarchs of the Allies. An 18 year old Barnstaple shop girl has to stand all day from 8 a. The county council bans pavement advertising hoardings in South Molton and upsets many shopkeepers. A notice on Holsworthy church door details a prize for the most handsome young female churchgoer. The m. Henrietta Broadway a gipsy breaks her thigh dismounting from her horse at her High Bickington camp.

A railway navvy working on the new line going through Bishops Tawton injures himself and is taken to Barnstaple Hospital. Barnstaple Fair has no 'shows of any size, no steam organs, boxing saloons, freaks, giants, cocoa-nut shies or dwarfs'. The new Churchfields car park in Appledore opens with an 18 th century anchor as its central feature. Barnstaple town council is to promote 'deserving officers' to 1 st Class status in its Borough police force. Combe Martin bellringers play peals to mark the nd birthday of Emmie Halnon of Cranleigh Terrace. A member of the Ilfracombe Rifle Corps is dismissed for smoking during the burial of the Corp's chaplain.

A recruiting rally outside the New Inn, Bideford is told around local men have already enlisted. William Edwards a railway navvy of Bickington is gaoled for 1 month for indecent exposure in Barnstaple. Tar barrels are set on fire and rolled through South Molton and Bideford streets to mark November 5 th. George Gomen of Barnstaple writes a recruiting song 'Sister Edith, we are coming' following the execution of Nurse Cavell.

Lydia Wheeler is gaoled for 1 month for deserting her 3 illegitimate children in Torrington Workhouse. Combe Martin's 'Britain in Bloom' committee erect a flower bedecked gibbet — not everyone is pleased. Holsworthy magistrates hear many bastardy cases 'showing a very low state of morality' in the area. New seats in Barnstaple parish churchyard are 'monopolised after dark by the slap-and-tickle brigade.

Members of Westward Ho! Action Group go swimming in the sea to start a series of Christmas events. Open a form to report problems or contribute information. Help and advice for North Devon Journal - Looking Back 7 If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there.

We are not able to offer a research service. Leave this field blank. Braunton Primary School with pupils is the largest in North Devon. Miss Tyrrell establishes a Cottage Hospital at Ilfracombe with 6 beds and one nurse. A crescent of 10 shops is to be built at West Cross, Braunton. A section of railway track is to be relaid by the Instow signal box. Mary's church in Bideford is reopened following a complete rebuilding. Holding of Parracombe is killed on his first day in the trenches. The last prefab in Barnstaple, occupied by Muriel Jury, is demolished. Lloyds Bank in Bideford is completely refurbished to mark its centenary.

Ilfracombe's motor charabancs are requisitioned by the Army. Holsworthy Civil Defence is scrapped owing to public apathy. Work begins on providing a flood defence scheme at East-the-Water, Bideford. Barnstaple town council complete a new map of the town. Five Appledore sailors are interned in Constantinople when Turkey enters the war.

A 'black panther' at Black Torrington is identified as a family dog. Pupils at Forches Primary School start composting to improve soil at their tree nursery. A club for the Belgian refugees in the Bideford area is set up in Silver Street. Residents of Burrow Road, Ilfracombe campaign against a new fish packing plant in their road. A court case is held to decide on ownership rights of seaweed on Instow beach. Ammunition manufacturers Kynock Ltd. Torrington's town crier announces that John Symons of St. Giles disowns his wife's debts.

Under the Defence of the Realm Act all lights in Devon are to be extinguished at night. Betsy Spencer 'a well known dwarf' dies at South Molton aged The ss Bengrove sinks off Ilfracombe — possibly after a submarine attack. At Westward Ho! Dunes at Northam Burrows are washed away during huge storms. A new church clock at Bideford is to be lit by gas. Parliament debates using Lundy as a PoW camp.

A plea to 'Save Westward Ho! A Tawstock 'idiot child' is regularly tied up during the day to keep it still. Instow people say there are too many dogs on their beach. New trustees are appointed to the Barnstaple Cordwainer's Charity.

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Bird's grocery shop in Winkleigh closes after 60 years of trading. Bideford Anthracite mine is said to be 'worked out'. Bideford's Pte. A protest march against the Poll Tax in Barnstaple sees people take part. A 17 year old Torrington glover Mary Hammett is gaoled for 1 month for stealing a dress.

First customers at a new International Stores in Ilfracombe are offered a free plastic bowl. The Torrington fire engine is tested in the High Street. The Hatherleigh fire engine overturns on its way to a fire at Merton. A mixed rugby match in South Molton offers prizes of beer for the men and nylons for the women. Riversdale Avenue in Ilfracombe is identified as the site for a new supermarket. Pridham rents the Clock Tower in Ilfracombe as a booking office for his coaches.

A fire at The Thatchers in Heanton Punchardon is fought by 50 firemen. Torrington May Fair is said to be 'the most popular in years'.


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  • An Ilfracombe thief is caught after photographs of him are distributed by the police. The ss Dumfries is torpedoed off of Ilfracombe but its crew are rescued. Doreen Tucker becomes Swimbridge carnival queen at the first village carnival since Councillors decide not to lease Bideford Pannier Market to a private company.

    George Fishley, potter of Fremington, dies aged Barnstaple Rural District Council declare 'The motor lorry has come to stay. A Medieval jousting competition is staged at Tapeley Park, Instow. The Westward Ho! Hotel opens with no formality.