The only Roman remains that have been discovered
during the present century, in this locality, to my knowledge, were
found by Mr. Stephen Judge while draining a field in Tenterden, near
Reading Hill, and consisted of a Roman urn and coins and a quantity of
ashes deposited in a bank which had evidently been raised.
In Saxon times this district extended over the
south-western extremity of the Kentish kingdom, and parts of the South
Saxon and West Saxon kingdoms. It was in King Alfred's time, according
to the Saxon Chronicle, 120 miles or longer from east to west, and 30
The Limen or Rother flowed out of it, and its western
confines were near Privett in Hampshire.
Many places now bear very different names from those they
once bore. What is now known to us as the Weald, which signifies in
Saxon a woody country or forest, was known to the Britons as Coed-Andred,
Coed being the British word for wood. The Romans called it Silva-Anderida.
The Saxons called it Andred, Andredsley, and Andredsweald, and it
retained the name of Andred for
centuries after the Romans abandoned Britain. In our
earliest Anglo-Saxon charters it is called sometimes Saltus-Andred (a
country of wooded glades), Silva-Andred, Saltus-Communis, and Silva-Regalis.
The name Andred was given to it, according to Lambarde, from its vast
extent; Andred is in British "great or wonderful." One of our
modern writers, Dr. Guest, says its signifies "the uninhabited
district," from "an," the Celtic negative particle, and
"dred," a dwelling; another modern writer (the late Mr. Lewin)
says Anderida signifies "the black forest," from
"an," the, "dern," oak forest, and "dy,"
black; while a third (Mr. Edmunds) says Andred is often met with as an
owner's name. All this shews what little dependence is to be placed on
The earliest notice of Andred in Saxon times, that I have met
with, is in the eighth century, when the chronicles record that Sigebert,
a deposed king of the West Saxons, having committed murder, fled into
"Andred," and was there slain. During the remainder of our