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Maidstone, Kent

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Maidstone, Kent

Maidstone is the county town of Kent, England, 32 miles south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the centre of the town linking Maidstone to Rochester and the Thames Estuary. Historically, the river was a source and route for much of the town's trade. Maidstone was the centre of the agricultural county of Kent, known as the Garden of England. There is evidence of a settlement in the area dating back to beyond the Stone Age. The town is within the borough of Maidstone.
Administrative CountyKent
Traditional CountyKent
OS GridTQ7655
OS Settlement ClassificationTown
RegionSouth East
Police AuthorityKent
Fire and Rescue AuthorityKent
Fire and Rescue AuthorityKent
Ambulance AuthoritySouth East Coast
Dialling code01622
Population75,070 (2001)

Other names by which Maidstone, Kent has been known in the past

Ad Madam ~ Caer Megwad ~ Madus ~ Maidston ~ Medweageston ~ Medwegston ~ Vagmiaci ~ Vagnicace ~ Meddestane

Maidstone, Kent in John Bartholomew's "Gazetteer of the British Isles" (1887)

Maidstone.-- parl. and mun. bor., par., and co. town of Kent, on river Medway, 39 miles SE. of London by rail - par., 4576 ac., pop. 29,647; bor., 4008 ac., pop. 29,623; 2 Banks, 6 newspapers. Market-days, Thursday and Saturday. Antiquaries affirm that there can be no doubt that this town had ancient British and Roman associations. During the Saxon era its name was Medwegeston, and in Domesday Book it appears as Medestane. In more modern times the town has historical associations with the revolts of Wat Tyler (1381), Jack Cade (1450), and Sir Thomas Wyatt (1554). For its share in the last mentioned rising it was disfranchised by Queen Mary, but received a new incorporation from Queen Elizabeth. In 1648 Maidstone having declared for the King, was stormed and captured by the Parliamentarians under Fairfax. All Saints Church (probably of 14th century), 227 ft. by 91 ft., is one of the largest parish churches in the kingdom. In the district are various well-known paper mills; other leading occupations being the mfr. of oil, brewing, malting, iron founding, tanning, coachmaking, and the mfr. of agricultural implements. The principal trade, however, is in hops, Maidstone being the centre of a great hop district. The river is from 12 to 15 ft. deep at Maidstone, and is navigable for heavy barges. Andrew Broughton, mayor of the town, read the death sentence to King Charles I. Maidstone returns 1 member to Parliament; it returned 2 members from Edward VI. until 1885, when its parl. limits were reduced by the exclusion of the Hamlet of Loddington.

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