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Georgian buildings on the High Street, Yalding

Yalding (Kent)

Yalding shown within Kent
OS grid reference TQ699492
District Maidstone (borough)
Shire county Kent
Region South East
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Maidstone
Dialling code 01622
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
European Parliament South East England
List of places: UKEnglandKent

Coordinates: 51°12'60?N 0°25'60?E? / ?51.2166, 0.4333

Yalding is a village and part of Yalding civil parish in the Maidstone District of Kent, England. The village is situated six miles south-east of Maidstone at a point where the Rivers Teise and Beult join the River Medway.

The Twyford Bridge.
The Twyford Bridge.
Yalding lies where the Greensand Way and the Medway Valley Walk cross, 10km SW of Maidstone, at the confluence of the rivers Medway, Teise and Beult.
Yalding lies where the Greensand Way and the Medway Valley Walk cross, 10km SW of Maidstone, at the confluence of the rivers Medway, Teise and Beult.

There are three bridges in the village; the Twyford Bridge (meaning twin ford, where there was originally a double crossing of the two rivers) is one of the finest medieval bridges in the south-east of England. Yalding was one of the principal shipment points on the River Medway for cannon, from villages of the Wealden iron industry. One iron master was John Browne from Horsmonden.

The wharf was later used for transporting fruit from the many orchards in the area. Today, the UK's leading organic growing charity, Garden Organic, has a demonstration garden located near the village.


[edit] History

The Saxon village was called Twyford and was close to the bridge. But the name was recorded in the Domesday Book as the Saxon manor of Hallinges owned by Aldret, though it was known as Ge-aeldinge (the old village). By 1642 this had mutated to Yaldinge.[1]

The medieval records from Yalding are so complete that it was used in a History Case Study for Secondary Schools, called the The Yalding Project.

During the English Civil War in 1643, a battle took place at Town Bridge between the Roundheads and Cavaliers. The Cavaliers had advanced from Aylesford towards Tonbridge, but the Parliamentarian soldiers had marched to block their movements, bombarded them and forced their surrender, with the result that 300 were captured and 300 escaped.[1]

[edit] Buildings

The parish church is dedicated to St Peter and St Paul.It is built from ragstone, and is judged to be from the 13th century. The tower turret has a weather vane dated 1734.[2]

The Post Office, on the High Street, at the end of Town Bridge -ship lap and peg tiles.
The Post Office, on the High Street, at the end of Town Bridge -ship lap and peg tiles.

[edit] Rivers

Twyford Bridge crosses the River Medway. It is just downstream of the automatic sluice where the river drops from +11.2m to +7.41m above mean sea level, the navigation bears left through the Hampstead Rd Canal, and the Hampstead Lock, the main stream drops over the weir and sluice and is joined here by the River Teise (Lesser Teise) and both pass under Twyford Bridge. The river then flows in a loop towards the village where it is joined by the River Beult which has passed under Town Bridge. However the main stream of the River Teise flowed into the Beult near Benover, 3km upstream of Town Bridge. Twyford Bridge is not navigable. Twyford bridge is 16km from Allington, where the Medway becomes tidal.[3] The medieval Town Bridge is built of ragstone in the 1400s, it has seven arches and spans the Beult and the marshy ground each side.[2] It is reputed to be the longest existing medieval bridge in Kent being 150m in length.[1]

Riverside dwellings on the River Beult, photographed from Town Bridge.
Riverside dwellings on the River Beult, photographed from Town Bridge.

The riverside properties are prone to flooding. Yalding was severely flooded eight times in the winter of 2000/1.[4][5] Another memorable flood was on Christmas Day in 1927.[6]

[edit] Transport

The village railway station lies on the Medway Valley Line. On Weekdays trains run every hour to either Paddock Wood in one direction or Strood (via Maidstone West) in the other. On Sundays trains are every hour, running to Maidstone West in one direction or Three Bridges (via Tonbridge and Gatwick Airport) in the other.

[edit] Education

The village primary school is St Peter's and St Paul's Church of England Primary School. At secondary level, the school is in the Mascalls Comprehensive catchment area.

[edit] Leisure

Yalding has a cricket club, Yalding Cricket Club, that has existed since 1798 (first recorded game). The cricket pitch was once beside the River Medway on the Lees (Village Common). They currently play on the Kintons ground.[citation needed]

The Greensand Way long-distance footpath crosses the Medway at Twyford Bridge, and follows up the High Street, passes through Blunden Lane, and leaves the village by an ancient byway by Bustom Farm Cottages. The Medway Valley Walk follows the river from Tonbridge to the sluice on the east bank, then the Hampstead Lane Canal, and the river to Maidstone on the west bank.

Garden Organic Yalding has a display of fourteen individual gardens, demonstrating gardening through the last 800 years. The plants have been carefully chosen to make sure that they are accurate to their historical period.

[edit] References

  1. , a b c Village Net
  2. , a b The Greensand Way in Kent, 1992, Kent County Council, ISBN 1873010230
  3. , The Medway navigation, Leaflet,March 1991, NRA-National Rivers Authority
  4. , BBC Report
  5. , Independent 10th Feb 2001
  6. , BBC Report 8th Nov 2000

[edit] External links

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(Source: Wikipedia)
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