Tenterden

From Academic Kids

Template:GBdot Tenterden is a small town in the Weald of Kent, England.

The town's name is derived from the Old English "Tenet Waraden", meaning a den or forest clearing in the forest which belonged to the men of Thanet.

Contents

History

The town grew from the 14th century around the wool industry; although, 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.

A school was in existence here in 1521; later ( in 1666) it was referred to as a grammar school.

The town

Churches & chapels

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 twelve years.

The Unitarian Chapel, originally called The Old Meeting House, was built c1695. A plaque on the wall records that Dr Benjamin Franklin worshipped here in 1783, where he was to hear Joseph Priestley preach.

The town

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 and a local vineyard.

Famous connections

  • William Caxton is reputed to have been born in the town.
  • Dame Ellen Terry (1847-1928) the actress, lived for many years at nearby Smallhythe Place, which is now under the care of the National Trust.

Population

The district had a population of 7,600 at the 2001 census.

External links

  • Town website (http://www.tenterdentown.co.uk)
  • Village notes (http://www.villagenet.co.uk/highweald/villages/tenterden.php)
  • Smallhythe Place (http://www.theheritagetrail.co.uk/notable%20houses/smallhythe_place.htm)
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