Pictures of Rolvenden
in the county of Kent
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Surrounded by a well-wooded landscape, this delightful village was first mentioned in the Doomsday Book, so we are assured of its long history. It shows a pleasing mix of weather-boarded houses set along grass verged streets and has an unusually wide High Street.
The village has a lot to offer, it is a short distance from the Wittersham Road railway station, which is on the track of the Kent and East Sussex Steam Railway covering a delightful seven mile exploration of glorious Kentish countryside between Tenterden and Northian.
A dominant feature of the village is the church of St.Mary the Virgin which is thought to date from the 14th-century. It contains two well preserved squire's pews amongst its many treasures, with the most unusual being a font from the 14th-century which is hexagonal in shape and bears the arms of Guildeford and Culpepper. It has a lid from the 18th-century and the hasps used for locking the lid, thus preventing the holy water from being stolen by witches, can still be seen. The church clock dates from 1810 and its eight bells are from 1819. In the quiet churchyard lie graves and memorials covering centuries, central to them all is a splendid war memorial designed by Sir Edwin Luytens, and dedicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1922. A short way from the church stands Great Maytham Hall, this gracious building was also designed by Luytens in 1910, it is now converted into comfortable apartments and stands in gardens that were originally laid out by landscaper Gertrude Jekyll. This house is thought to have been the inspiration for Frances Hodgson Burnetts novel, The Secret Garden.
When in Rolvenden everyone calls in to the C.M.Booth Motor Museum in the High Street. The museum houses a fascinating collection of vintage cars, motorcycles and bicycles, which includes Morgan 3 wheelers. From past era's there are toy and model cars and plenty of automobilia to see.
You will find the usual friendly village shops and welcoming inns but for a wider range of shops and facilities try the splendid little market town of Tenterden. Rolvenden has a warm, friendly atmosphere and is well worth a visit when exploring the lovely Kentish countryside.
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