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
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
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.