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(Centre of the Broadcloth industry)
Limb of the Cinque Ports Public Car Park Public Toilets Tourist Information Office

Name Derivation

General Details

 The high street.
Tenterden lies on the border of the dense woodlands of the Weald, and the flatter farmlands of the Rother Levels, that run down to the Romney Marshes.

In earlier times it was known as 'Tenet ware den', meaning, 'pig-pasture of the men of Thanet'. However it was sheep that made the area prosperous.

In 1331 the export of unwashed wool was prohibited by King Edward III. He encouraged Flemish weavers to settle here, thus bringing their weaving and dyeing techniques to England. Tenterden and some of its neighbouring villages soon became an important centre of the Broadcloth manufacturing industry.

Smallhythe and Reading Street , just out of Tenterden , provided access to the sea. These two small ports were founded to transport lumber from the Wealden Forests. However the 14th Century Smallhythe had a well established boat building industry.

At the heart of Tenterden can be found the beautiful old church of St Mildred, whose records date from 1180. It has a finely carved wooden ceiling which dates from the 15th Century, and a tower made of Bethersden marble.

Tenterden's High Street features a wealth of historic shops and houses dating from the 15th to 18th centuries, many with their original facades.

Tenterden Station is a must for Steam Train enthusiasts. The Kent and East Sussex Railway runs Steam Trains along a seven mile stretch of track through the beautiful countryside from Tenterden to Northiam .

During the early part of the year 2000, the line was opened as far as Bodiam , with its magnificent castle.

A few minutes walk away from the station, in Station Road can be found Tenterden Museum, housed in a two storey weatherboard building. This building is the last once common industrial building from the 19th century. The museum houses displays relating to hop-picking, farming, the Cinque Ports , and Victorian domestic life, all illustrating the history of Tenterden and the surrounding area.


 The high street.
Tenterden is the main town in the area, and provides much of what is required.

The nearest large town is Ashford about 14 miles north east, which provides access to the M20 Dover to London motorway.

The nearest trains are from Ashford , with a very frequent service to London.

Tenterden is on the main Hastings to Ashford bus route.


Tenterden is on the top of a hill, and the church tower can be seen on all routes into the town.

The town boasts the main terminus of the Kent and East Sussex Railway , which takes steam train passengers to Northiam , and to Bodiam with its castle.

On the road down to the station, lies the museum, which shows the history of the town.

The main high street has a wide feel to it, the tree lined road with shops to the side have a european feel to them.

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