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Tenterden is certainly one of the nicest places in Kent to just amble around the enticing stores. The High Street is a wonderous medley of small and historic whitewashed buildings, that are a joy to explore.

Whether you are looking for relaxation and the chance to unwind or for something more active including great hand's on fun for the younger family members then Kent is the place for you. With many award winning attractions featured together with the best known places to visit and many smaller less well known attractions.
Choose from enchanting gardens, historic houses, mysterious castles, cathedrals and country churches, fascinating museums, animal parks, steam trains, amazing maritime heritage and much more.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Tenterden Shopping
Tenterden is certainly one of the nicest places in Kent to just amble around the enticing stores. The High Street is a wonderous medley of small and historic whitewashed buildings, that are a joy to explore.
Check the Tenterden Directory
Godinton House
Godinton House and Gardens
A lovely brick manor with roots dating back to the 14th century. Godinton was for centuries the home of the Toke family. Much of the present house owes its form to work undertaken by Captain Nicholas Toke beginning in 1627. The interior offers much of interest, from the medieval great hall with its hammerbeam roof to the 17th century great chamber with profuse Georgian panelling.
Godinton House/Godinton Park Ashford TN23 3BP Telephone: 01233 620 773
For Directions check the Interactive Map
Tenterden
Timber from the Wealden forests was used to construct ships, and in 1449 Tenterden was incorporated into the Confederation of Cinque Ports as a limb of Rye. Ships built in the town were then used to help Rye fulfil its quota for the Crown.
A school was in existence here in 1521; later (in 1666) it was referred to as a grammar school.
There are two parish churches:
St Mildred's is in the main part of the town. The church dates from the 12th century, and was progressively enlarged until 1461, when the distinctive tower was constructed. It was one of the churches in the 1588 system of warning beacons.
St Michael's: The suburb now called St Michael's was known as Boresisle until Victorian times, when a church dedicated to St Michael was built to serve this community. The church was consecrated in 1863, but construction of the steeple took a further 12 years.
Small Hythe Place
Smallhythe Place
A lovely 16th century half-timbered house once owned by actress Ellen Terry. The interiors showcase Terry memorabilia and historic theatre costumes. A thatched theatre is located in the grounds.
Tenterden, Kent TN30 7NG
Tenterden Dining
There are a large selection of eating places in Tenterden, covering all four corners of our gastronomic globe to tempt even the most discerning connoisseur. Whether you want to relax over a cappuccino, enjoy a light lunch, have a fun family meal or indulge in a taste sensation, Tenterden caters for every occasion.
Check the Tenterden Directory
Tenterden - Cinque Port
TENTERDEN LIMB Tenterden is the Associate of the Two Ancient Towns of Rye and Winchelsea. As can be seen on the maps, the Bay of Romney is now Romney Marsh, and Lydd is no longer on an island. Tenterden is now quite a few miles inland, but originally, it had it's own port of Smallhythe which had it's own shipyard and quay.
Tenterden
The Unitarian Chapel, originally called the Old Meeting House, was built c. 1695. A plaque on the wall records that Dr Benjamin Franklin worshipped here in 1783, where he was to hear Joseph Priestley preach.
Tenterden's broad tree-lined High Street offers a selection of shopping facilities, making the town a centre for a number of villages in the area. Tourist attractions draw the visitors: especially the Kent & East Sussex Railway line to Bodiam; Chapel Down a local vineyard; Tentertainment Music Festival; and the Tenterden Folk Festival, held on the weekend of the first Saturday in October each year since 1993.
Tenterden is an important nodal centre with routes radiating to Rolvenden and Hastings (A28), Wittersham and Rye (B2082), Appledore and New Romney (B2080), Woodchurch and Hamstreet (B2067) and Ashford and Maidstone (A28/A262). It has a busy town centre which is home to many small boutiques and antique shops, as well as craft shops, book shops and various banks. There is also a large Tesco which is accessible to pedestrians from the High Street and vehicles from Smallhythe Road. Tenterden also has a Waitrose store accessed from Sayers Lane and Recreation Ground Road. There are numerous public houses in the town centre, The Woolpack (Enterprise Inns) next to the Town Hall, the former Eight Bells (now a Cafe Rouge), The White Lion (Marston's Inns), The Vine (Shepherd Neame) and The William Caxton (Shepherd Neame). The town also benefits from a leisure centre at the end of Recreation Ground Road. The centre was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales.

At Christmas time, Tenterden has a tradition of late-night shopping on the first Friday of December, with Christmas lights, stalls, entertainment and goodies for the whole family, as well as free parking.
Famous connections
Benn Barham, professional British golfer.
William Caxton (of printing press fame) is reputed to have been born in the town.
Edith Craig (daughter of Ellen Terry), actress, theatre director, producer, costume designer and early pioneer of women's suffrage, lived at Smallhythe Place.
Nicki French, international singer/songwriter.
Sir David Frost, media personality and daytime TV game show host, was born in the town.
Kevin Godley (of 10cc and Godley & Creme) was the owner of the West Cross tower which has recently been reconstructed.
Gary Hume, artist, Royal Academician and Turner Prize nominee.
Roderick Kedward, historian and specialist on Vichy France and the Resistance.
John Parker (Irish judge), died 1564, who became a leading statesman and judge in Ireland, began life as a cloth-maker in Tenterden.
Sir Donald Sinden, the actor, lives in the area and the local theatre is named after him.
Dame Ellen Terry, the actress, lived for many years at nearby Smallhythe Place (which is now under the care of the National Trust).
Samuel J. Tilden, who lost the U.S. presidency by one vote in 1876, is descended from the Tilden family of Tenterden.

It is also the name of one of the oldest working railway locomotives in the world, an 0-6-0 tank engine.

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Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Kent, England. In England the body responsible for designating SSSIs is Natural England, which chooses a site because of its fauna, flora, geological or physiographical features. As of 2008, there are 98 sites designated in this Area of Search, of which 67 have been designated due to their biological interest, 21 due to their geological interest and 10 for both.

Below is a "Where's the path?" link to map pages of each area of Special Scientific interest in Kent. Here you will be able to view various maps of each location including Aerial, Satellite, Dual View and even old Ordnance Survey maps with a modern day Google map overlay, Cycle routes and much more.

Parsonage Wood

Parsonage Wood is a good example of a wealden ghyll woodland. The damp stream banks support many species of fern, moss and liverwort, some of which are rare in eastern Britain.
The woodland is predominantly hornbeam, sweet chestnut and ash coppice under pedunculate oak standards, with a rich ground flora dominated by brambles and bluebells. The coppice layer includes some hazel, field maple Acer campestre and wild service tree Sorbus torminalis. In the ground flora are plants which suggest that this is ancient woodland, subject only to traditional woodland management for many centuries; these include butcher’s broom Ruscus aculeatus, violet
helleborine Epipactis purpurata, and pendulous sedge Carex pendula. The last species is especially abundant around the ponds in the north and west of the wood, but these are largely shaded and have little aquatic vegetation. The ghylls cut through the Wadhurst Clay to expose the hard Ashdown Sands. The steep-sided gullies are kept moist by their shape, the woodland canopy, and the streams flowing through them, so that plants, which otherwise are restricted to the damper western seaboard of Britain, can flourish here. Examples of these ‘Atlantic’ ferns and bryophytes are the hay-scented buckler fern Dryopteris aemula and the mosses Fissidens celticus, Hookeria lucens and Dichodontium pellucidum.
Parsonage Wood Maps

Hothfield Common

Hothfield Common contains the best example of a valley bog in Kent; the associated heathland, though fragmented, forms a good example of the vegetation type. Both of these habitats are scarce in Kent. The entomology has been well studied and an outstanding assemblage of over 1,000 species of insects has been recorded, including several notable species found nowhere else in Kent. The common also has an interesting breeding bird community. Acidic bog communities have formed in four small valleys at Hothfield Common where springs emerge at the junction of the sandy Folkestone Beds and the impervious Sandgate Beds. Changes in management since 1940 have resulted in scrub encroachment and the loss of true bog conditions in all except one valley. Elsewhere various types of marshy grassland and fen are now present, although recent management has attempted to reverse the encroachment by scrub in some areas. The areas of true bog are dominated by bog mosses Sphagnum species; twelve species have been identified including two for which this is the only locality in Kent. Several species of flowering plant are present which are very scarce in Kent, including bog asphodel Narthecium ossifragum, marsh St John’s wort Hypericum elodes, round-leaved sundew Drosera rotundifolia; flea sedge Carex pulicaris and cotton-grass Eriophorum angustifolium. The relict bogs are now dominated rushes Juncus species, grasses especially purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea, and mosses, and in the northern valley, greater tussock-sedge Carex paniculata.
Some remnants of the former plant communities remain, including some Sphagnum moss, and bogbean Menyanthes trifoliata in the northern valley. Invasion of the bogs by birch and sallow has been a serious problem since grazing ceased about 1940, but attempts are now being made to prevent further encroachment. The majority of the common was formerly a patchwork of heather- dominated heathland and acidic grassland. Invasion by birch and bracken following the cessation of grazing and serious fires have resulted in the loss of most of the grassland, and about half of the heathland. The remnants are of interest, however, since these plant communities are uncommon in Kent. The heathland is dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris, with cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix and purple moor-grass being generally frequent. Several uncommon plants also occur, including petty whin Genista anglica, dwarf gorse Ulex minor and heath rush Juncus squarrosus, and there is a good lichen flora which includes several Cladonia species.
The acidic grassland is especially notable for the presence of several 'spring ephemeral' plants, such as whitlow-grass Erophila verna and bird’s-foot Ornithopus perpusillus, and eight species of clover have been recorded, including the scarce clustered clover Trifolium glomeratum. These are now restricted to small patches of grassland beside the roads, but bracken control is being carried out, with the intention of re-establishing the grassland. Much of the site now colonised by bracken and woodland. Of the latter, most is fairly recent but the Tolls on the east side of the common were planted with a variety of trees including beech, oak, Scots pine, sweet chestnut and Wellingtonia during the nineteenth century. Silver birch is predominant elsewhere, but some oak, sallow and other species also have become established. The woodland supports a good breeding bird community, including woodpeckers, treecreeper and tree pipit. Draining the common on its western side are a series of small streams, and there is also a small pond. All three British species of newt have been recorded in the pond.
The common has outstanding entomological interest. The insects associated with heathland and bog are of special importance in view of the limited amounts of these habitats in Kent. Bugs, moths, Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants) and flies are especially well represented, with several species which are nationally rare, including the bee Lasioglossum semilucens and two species which have only been recorded in Kent at Hothfield; the bug Pachybrachius luridus and the cranefly Tipula holoptera. Several other species also have here their only locality in Kent.
Hothfield Common Maps
More Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Kent
Kent Parishes

Kent Parishes
Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales 1894 -1895

TENTERDEN PARISH

Tenterden, a market-town, a municipal borough, and a parish, in Kent. The town stands on elevated ground, 7 1/2 miles WNW of Appledore station on the S.E.R., and 12 SW of Ashford. It was anciently called Theinwarden; became, in the time of Henry VI., a member of the Eye cinque port and a municipal borough; is governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors, who act as the urban district council; includes within its borough boundaries all Tenterden parish and part of Ebony; is a seat of quarter sessions, petty sessions, and county courts. It consists chiefly of one street about a mile long, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Ashford; two banks, three good inns, a town-hall, a church, two working men's clubs, a union workhouse, a weekly market on Friday, a fair on the first Monday of May, and a lamb fair in Sept. The parish church belonged anciently to St Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury; is a large and fine building of Later English, with a lofty pinnacled tower and a fine peal of eight bells. The tower is of a later period than the main body; was erected in the time of Henry VI., and ia notable for a proverbial expression that Tenterden Steeple was the cause of the Goodwin Sands, the funds for maintaining the sea-wall having been taken for the erection of the steeple. The living of St Mildred is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury; net value, £240 with residence. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury. Area of municipal borough, 8948 acres; population, 3429. There are Wesleyan, Baptist, and Unitarian chapels. Heronden, Heronden Hall, Morghew, Hales Place, and Westrom are chief residences. Kenchill, formerly a mansion, is now a farmhouse. A section in the N was constituted a separate charge, under the name of St Michael, in 1864; and another section, noticed in our article SMALL HYTHE, is also a separate charge. The church of St Michael is a building of stone in the Early English style. The living is a vicarage; net value, £280 with residence. Patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Population, 786.
More Kent Parishes


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Tenterden
The town grew from the 14th century around the wool industry. Unlike other such centres in the Weald it had the advantage of access to the sea. Much of what is now Romney Marsh was under water, and ships docked at Smallhythe. Timber from the Wealden forests was used to construct ships, and in 1449 Tenterden was incorporated into the Confederation of Cinque Ports as a limb of Rye. Ships built in the town were then used to help Rye fulfil its quota for the Crown.
Tenterden's broad tree-lined High Street offers a selection of shopping facilities, making the town a centre for a number of villages in the area. Tourist attractions draw the visitors: especially the Kent & East Sussex Railway line to Bodiam; Chapel Down a local vineyard; Tentertainment Music Festival; and the Tenterden Folk Festival, held on the weekend of the first Saturday in October each year since 1993.

Tenterden is an important nodal centre with routes radiating to Rolvenden and Hastings (A28), Wittersham and Rye (B2082), Appledore and New Romney (B2080), Woodchurch and Hamstreet (B2067) and Ashford and Maidstone (A28/A262). It has a busy town centre which is home to many small boutiques and antique shops, as well as craft shops, book shops and various banks. There is also a large Tesco which is accessible to pedestrians from the High Street and vehicles from Smallhythe Road. Tenterden also has a Waitrose store accessed from Sayers Lane and Recreation Ground Road. There are numerous public houses in the town centre, The Woolpack (Enterprise Inns) next to the Town Hall, the former Eight Bells (now a Cafe Rouge), The White Lion (Marston's Inns), The Vine (Shepherd Neame) and The William Caxton (Shepherd Neame). The town also benefits from a leisure centre at the end of Recreation Ground Road. The centre was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales.

Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre, a large secondary school, catering for the Weald and South Ashford is situated in Tenterden.

Tenterden Lions Club was formed in 1958; its members serve the community by giving time to local needs and raising money for local, national and international good causes. Every December, Father Christmas travels around Tenterden and some of the local villages providing enjoyment, as well as collecting money to support various good causes.

The Tenterden and District Chamber of Commerce promote and support businesses in Tenterden and the surrounding area. The Chamber hold regular meetings for members including networking events and the "TWITS" computer group. The Chamber also run the Tenterden Town website for the community, organise a Town brochure, have input into the many walking guides, help organise Late Night Shopping, various Christmas events, and support the Tentertainment Music Festival, an annual event normally held in July.

At Christmas time, Tenterden has a tradition of late-night shopping on the first Friday of December, with Christmas lights, stalls, entertainment and goodies for the whole family, as well as free parking.
Famous connections

Benn Barham, professional British golfer.
William Caxton (of printing press fame) is reputed to have been born in the town.
Edith Craig (daughter of Ellen Terry), actress, theatre director, producer, costume designer and early pioneer of women's suffrage, lived at Smallhythe Place.
Nicki French, international singer/songwriter.
Sir David Frost, media personality and daytime TV game show host, was born in the town.
Kevin Godley (of 10cc and Godley & Creme) was the owner of the West Cross tower which has recently been reconstructed.
Gary Hume, artist, Royal Academician and Turner Prize nominee.
Roderick Kedward, historian and specialist on Vichy France and the Resistance.
John Parker (Irish judge), died 1564, who became a leading statesman and judge in Ireland, began life as a cloth-maker in Tenterden.
Sir Donald Sinden, the actor, lives in the area and the local theatre is named after him.
Dame Ellen Terry, the actress, lived for many years at nearby Smallhythe Place (which is now under the care of the National Trust).
Samuel J. Tilden, who lost the U.S. presidency by one vote in 1876, is descended from the Tilden family of Tenterden.
It is also the name of one of the oldest working railway locomotives in the world, an 0-6-0 tank engine.
Kent Place Names
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If you have wandered through the Kent Downs whether on foot, by horse, bicycle or car will have, at one time or another, pondered over the meaning of place names of towns , villages or hamlets that we normally take for granted in our everyday lives. Places such as Pett Bottom, Bigbury and Bobbing conjure up all manner of intriguing images as to the activities of former inhabitants, while others such as Whatsole Street, Smersole or Hartlip appear completely baffling.
Although most place names may appear at first sight to be random elements of words thrown together in no particular order, most are surprisingly easy to decipher with some elementary grounding in Old English. Over the centuries most of the Old English words have themselves corrupted and changed to appear as we know them today.
Kent Place Names
Kentish Dialect
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Modern Kentish dialect shares many features with other areas of south-east England (sometimes collectively called "Estuary English"). Other characteristic features are more localised. For instance some parts of Kent, particularly in the north west of the county, share many features with broader Cockney.

A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms: in use in the county of Kent' by W.D.Parish and W.F.Shaw (Lewes: Farncombe,1888)
'The Dialect of Kent: being the fruits of many rambles' by F. W. T. Sanders (Private limited edition, 1950). Every attempt was made to contact the author to request permission to incorporate his work without success. His copyright is hereby acknowledged.
Kentish Dialect

Towns and Villages Nearby

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