Friday, July 03, 2009

Kent hit or myth? - 27 June 2009

Hall Place GardenOur first destination this morning was on the A2 just south of the Blackwall Tunnel. The satnav took us through some areas that we have heard of in the news, such as Holloway (prison) and Haringey (Baby P).

Red HouseHall Place is a medieval Tudor mansion that was built by a Lord Mayor of London in the reign of Henry VIII. It is now in the care of a Trust and the local council so is open free to the public. It has extensive award winning gardens that we enjoyed in beautiful sunshine,

Nearby is a National Trust property called Red House, a home of William Morris, Old pumps at Hollingbourneso we stopped off there to have a look. Unfortunately we did not realise that booking for a house tour was necessary and although we were there shortly after it opened at 11 a.m., the first available tour was not until 2:30 p.m. We decided to move on and take a circular tour of some Kentish towns and villages we had not visited before.

LenhamThe tour started in Hollingbourne round to Lenham, which is a stunning little town. We have passed through Ashford in the Eurostar, but never explored by foot before. They have developed a pleasant pedestrianised town centre. The tour continued to the picturesque town of Smarden. This has over a 100 listed half-timbered houses, away from busy roads, it is a lovely spot. BiddendenNot far away is another attractive town with an interesting history. Back in 1100, twin girls were born, joined at hip and shoulder. They lived until age 34, that seems a pretty fair age in those days, let alone for co-joined twins. Their will set up a foundation, which may or may not still exist. Depending on the web site you read, some say the charity is no longer operating, others say the charity still operates but that the likelihood of it having been set up by co-joined twin females who owned land in feudal Norman times is simply a myth. The truth may or may not be out there.

After the final stop at Sutton Valence, we decided to find somewhere closer to home to eat,The Biddenden Twins as the historic pub there was not serving dinner yet. That was a bad move, and we experienced our first proper traffic jam on a motorway, due to an accident, Having previously passed stationary queues when travelling in the opposite direction, we had the frustration of idling for an hour to cover one mile to the next off-ramp.

No comments: