The Village of Biddenden
Another typical Kentish 'den'
The beautiful village of Biddenden lies on the A274 between Maidstone (14miles) and Tenterden (5 miles). The Village just falls within the Ashford Borough, Ashford being 13 miles to the east.
The main street has some wonderful old Flemish Weavers Cottages dating back to the 17th. centurywhich lead nicely along to the high standing All Saints Church (the best view coming from the Cranbrook direction).
The Village is famous for the twin sisters Elisa and Mary Chulkhurst, born in 1100, who were joined together at the hips and shoulders from birth to the age of 34 when one of them died followed shortly by the sister. They have always been known as 'The Biddenden Maids', the main Village sign is in their honour.
For over 400 years the income earned from the twenty acres owned by the Sister's income has been donated to needy charities in the area.
Like the other towns and villages in the area ending with 'den', it was once yet another clearing in the great forest of Andred.
There are many grand houses around the Village including Biddenden Place, Vane Court and Birchley House.
Towards Tenterden there are the fruitful Biddenden Vineyards which boasts a very popular shop. Growing over 11 varieties of Grapes in 23 acres it is a beautiful setting and worthy of a visit
A couple of miles toward Maidstone you have Headcorn Airfield which was sued in WW2, there's a good Museum with plenty of relics to view plus a small Cafe.
It is now mainly used for Parachute jumping and small pleasure flights.
Driving out about three miles toward Cranbrook on the A262 is the famous Sissinghurst Castle along with it's beautiful gardens owned by Vita Sackville-West and often featured on various TV Gardening Programmes.
You don't need too much time to wander around the Village but visited together with the other 'den' Villages in the area you will capture the feel, the architecture of the area and how things have evolved since medievil times.
A little tip is to visit these villages using the B roads and lanes, along those you will never be short of a splendid Wealden building to look at and imagine more how things were in 'the good old days'.