Aldington, Kent

Aldington, Kent

infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Aldington
latitude= 51.0905
longitude= 0.9470
civil_parish= Aldington
population = 981
shire_district= Ashford
shire_county= Kent
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Ashford
post_town= TONBRIDGE
postcode_district = TN25
postcode_area= TN
dial_code= 01233
os_grid_reference= TR063365

Aldington is a village and civil parish in the Ashford District of Kent, England. The village centre is eight miles (12.8km) south-east of the town of Ashford. Set on a hill top above Romney Marsh, the village offers breathtaking views over the marsh out towards Lympne and Dungeness.

The parish

The parish is bounded to the north by the M20 motorway and the rail links that include High Speed 1. To the south it drops to the Romney Marsh (about 10% of the parish lies there) to the north bank of the Royal Military Canal. It covers 3,400 acres (1376ha) and has a population of 981. The parish, part of the North Downs), is considered an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and a large area is also part of the Old Romney Shoreline Special Landscape Area. The main road across the parish follows the path of a Roman road [ [ Ashford Borough Council notes on the parish] ]

St Martin's church

The parish church dates from the 12th century: its 16th-century tower became a landmark for seamen. It is built in Perpendicular style. [ [ St Martin's church] ]


The village of Aldington is steeped in history and there are more than 50 buildings of historical or architectural interest in the wider parish. Here was one of the Archbishop of Canterbury's palaces, of which only ruins remain. ["Aldington: A Village History" by John Wood and Christine Rayner]

After the Napoleonic Wars, Aldington was the stronghold of The Aldington Gang, an infamous band of smugglers who roamed the marshes and shores of Kent plying their trade. The gang's leaders, Cephas Quested and George Ransley, natives of Aldington, made the Walnut Tree inn (see below) their headquarters and drop for their contraband. High up on the southern side of the inn is a small window through which the gang would shine a signal light to their confederates on Aldington Knoll.

In 1511 Erasmus of Rotterdam, the theologian and scholar, was appointed rector of Aldington by Archbishop Warham. He lived at the rectory next to the church in what is now called Parsonmage Farm. Erasmus spoke Latin and Dutch but no English. He could therefore not preach to the English congregation and resigned one year later after a kidney complaint, which he blamed on the local beer.

Elizabeth Barton born in the village in 1519, became a maid to one of the local families, but claimed she had visions. She was provided a place in the convent at Canterbury, and through some manipulation by Bishop John Fisher and Sir Thomas More she prophesied that King Henry VIII would die a villain's death if he divorced Catherine of Aragon.

Many famous literary figures have made their home here, including
* Joseph Conrad (December 3, 1857August 3, 1924), the Polish-born novelist.
* Ford Madox Ford (December 17, 1873June 26, 1939) the novelist and publisher.
* Sir Noel Coward (December 16, 1899March 26, 1973) the actor, playwright, and composer of popular music.

More recently it has been home to Noel Redding, bass player with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, as well as comedians Vic Reeves and Paul O'Grady (Lily Savage) and Julian Clary.


In Aldington and its near neighbour, Aldington Frith, the amenities include a primary school; two pubs, "The Walnut Tree" and "The Good Intent", both with restaurants); a post office/village store; and a butchers & bakery. There is a village hall and recreation ground including a tennis court and children's play area.


External links

* [ Notes on the parish]
* [ VillageNet]

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