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(longest medieval bridge in Kent)
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Name Derivation

General Details

Yalding is a small village between East Peckham and West Farleigh about 5 miles from Maidstone.

Gaeling or Haelling was a Saxon boundary fort settled in the late 400s AD and was probably built to control the crossing of the medway.

The name is recorded in the Domesday book as the Saxon manor of Hallinges owned by Aldret, and that it was given to Richard de Tonbridge by William the Conqueror . The name had changed to Yaldinge by the time of the civil war (1642 - 1648).

An original Saxon village known as Twyford 'twin ford' was found on the the point where the Medway and Teise joined. It is believed that flooding moved the village uphill to its present location. It is probable that the bridge at Twyford was constructed before Town Bridge, as this was the main crossing point of the rivers, and would have been impassable when heavy rain had fallen.

Town bridge, the main crossing point within the current village over the river Beult is a stone bridge about 450 ft long and was constructed in the 1400's probably on the site of an old wooden structure. This bridge is the longest surviving medieval bridge in Kent, and is very attractive .

The village does not appear to have been badly hit by the early occurrences of the Black Death but in 1510 the pestilence claimed half the village.

This Wealden iron industry was important to the area, as Yalding was a main shipment point for the cannons manufactured at nearby Horsmonden and other villages, to the naval base at Chatham. The Iron Master John Browne from Horsmonden shipped most of his cannons from Yalding .

During the Civil War in 1643, a Battle took place at Town Bridge between the Roundheads and Cavaliers. The Cavaliers had advanced from Aylesford towards Tonbridge , but the Parliamentarian Soldiers had marched to block their movements, bombarded them and forced their surrender. Equipment for about 600 men was seized, but only 300 were captured, the rest escaping into the Weald.

When the iron industry had declined, the area around Yalding reverted to its original farming industries, mostly fruit farming with apples and pears being very common. Yalding was a good shipping point for the fruit due to its navigable river, the Medway providing access to the sea.

The hop growing industry was also within the area, but declined in the early 1900's.


Yalding is a small village with a few shops and facilities, the nearest small town shopping centre is at Paddock Wood about 5 miles south west.

The nearest major shopping centre is at Maidstone about 6 miles to the east which provides major supermarkets and facilities.

There is a train service that runs through the outskirts of the village, which connects Maidstone to Paddock Wood , providing a regular service, to the Ashford London line.


Yalding is a very attractive village, with many old buildings to look at.

The church has an unusual spire, and the area around the church is worth visiting, with the old Town Bridge and its long and narrow stone span providing a picturesque walk over the river.

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