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(The Search for the Treacle Mines)

Name Derivation

General Details

Frittenden is a small village in a very quiet part of the Weald of Kent, it lies between Headcorn and Staplehurst .

The village lay on an old Jutish track along which pigs were driven into the forest of Andreadsweald, and some Roman remains have been found nearby.

The first mention of the village is in a charter of 804 where Friddingden and other nearby manors are recorded. In 839 the Anglo Saxon chronicles record that land in the village had been given to St Augustines in Canterbury by King Aethelwulf (839-855AD).

It is believed that an old Saxon church lay in the village, but the first written record of the church is in a supplement to the Domesday Monochorum. The church is recorded as being part of St Augustines Abbey in Canterbury , along with that of Tenterden .

During the reign of King Henry VII , Lord Thomas Cromwell was given land in the village.

In the times of Queen Mary (1553-1558AD) a local miller and his wife who were both of the Protestant religion were accused of selling corn cheaper than they were supposed to. They were tried at Sissinghurst by 'Bloody' Sir John Baker as heretics and were burnt at the stake on 18th June 1557 in Maidstone . There is a memorial in nearby Staplehurst to the martyrs from this area.

In 1790 the church steeple was struck by lightning, and the Cranbrook Fire Brigade was called out to fight the fire. Due to the effects of the fire, the church was very badly damaged, and in 1848 the curate had the church almost completely taken down, then restored.

An amusing anecdote about Frittenden comes from the 1930's when many visitors from London came down to the area in their new fangled motor cars. One local wag decided that these 'Tourists' should visit the Treacle Mines at Frittenden which were reported to produced much of the worlds treacle supply. So many Londoners were sent into the country lanes of Kent on a wild goose chase.


Frittenden is a very small village, but has a few local shops.

The shopping at nearby Staplehurst and Headcorn provide small town services. The major shopping centre in the area is at Maidstone about 7 miles to the north.

Trains can be caught at Headcorn or Staplehurst , both on the Ashford to London train line, with regular services to the Capital.


Frittenden is in a very rural part of the country, and is surrounded by beautiful farm land.

The church is well worth a visit, and the grounds are very attractive.

The village is quiet and peaceful, with a relaxing atmosphere, but I still hav'nt found the Treacle Mines, and I have been searching since the early 1970's.

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