Pictures of Chiddingstone
Fascinating village, owned by the National Trust which is crammed with beautiful properties from the 16th and 17th-century probably built with iron-industry money.
The village takes its name from the Chiding Stone, a large sandstone rock which is located beside a footpath in the park of Chiddingstone Castle. Legend has it that centuries ago nagging wives were brought to the stone to be chided by the village population.
Close to St.Mary's church which was built mainly in the 17th-century, you can see a fabulous group of houses which are characteristic of Kentish architectural style, with half-timbering, colour-washed plaster-work, tile hangings, wide eaves, gables, steep pitched roof and tall chimneys. Sadly, the houses we see today are all that is left of a larger village which was demolished to make way for the romantic parkland surrounding Chiddingstone Castle. For centuries the castle and the village was owned by the Streatfield family until the death of Denys Bower in 1977. The castle and park are open to the public, and although you can take pleasure in admiring much of the village, none of the houses are open to public view.
The village is set in outstanding Kent countryside within easy reach of Hever Castle and Penshurst Place. Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and Penshurst Place is a handsome 14th-century manor house which has been the home of the Sidney family since 1552. Both properties are open to the public and make a worthy addition to a day visiting Chiddingstone.
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