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Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 14 -1882  pages 34
                                                                   
SMARDEN CHURCH By the Rev  Francis  Haslewood     Continued

the manufacture of broadcloth was carried on and within the memory of living persons a picturesque house, still standing in the village, with carved gable, was used for the manufacture of linen.
   We must now quit Smarden, which, according to Philipot, signifies "fat valley." Though low, the locality is healthy, the registers mention many who reached their threescore years and ten; whilst stones in the churchyard record lives of 91, 96, and even 104 years.
   Hasted describes Smarden as very unpleasant and watery, and the road hardly passable through the parish, even for waggons. Old parishioners remember when they stuck fast in the middle of the town, and horses sank into 

the mud up to their knees. Goods were then conveyed by trains of packhorses, upon paved foot-paths, some of which still remain; and, as late as 1814, corn was thus carried to Maidstone market. To the badness of the roads in former times, we attribute the fact that Smarden has been so little explored by archaeologists.
   However, another remarkable event may now be added to our annals, for though Smarden has more than once been visited by royalty, yet it could never before boast of what future historians may now record, namely, that it was visited in July, 1880, by the members of the Kent Archeological Society.

Page  34   (This page was prepared for the website by Aaron Meyer)      

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