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Window in St Mildred.
Tenterden is a small town in the Ashfordmarker District of Kentmarker, Englandmarker. It stands on the edge of the Wealdmarker, overlooking the valley of the River Rothermarker.

The town's name is derived from the Old English "Tenet Waraden", meaning a den or forest clearing in the forest which belonged to the men of Thanetmarker.


The town grew from the 14th century around the wool industry. Unlike other such centres in the Weald it had the advantage of access to the sea. Much of what is now Romney Marsh was under water, and ships docked at Smallhythe. Timber from the Wealden forests was used to construct ships, and in 1449 Tenterden was incorporated into the Confederation of Cinque Ports as a limb of Rye. Ships built in the town were then used to help Rye fulfil its quota for the Crown.

A school was in existence here in 1521; later (in 1666) it was referred to as a grammar school.

The town

Town Council

For the purposes of local government, the town is divided into four wards: North, South, West and St Michaels. The latter is the part of the town to the north (see below).

Churches & chapels

There are two parish churches:
  • St Mildred's is in the main part of the town. The church dates from the 12th century, and was progressively enlarged until 1461, when the distinctive tower was constructed. It was one of the churches in the 1588 system of warning beacons.
  • St Michael's: The suburb now called St Michael's was known as Boresisle until Victorian times, when a church dedicated to St Michael was built to serve this community. The church was consecrated in 1863, but construction of the steeple took a further 12 years.

The Unitarian Chapel, originally called the Old Meeting House, was built c. 1695. A plaque on the wall records that Dr Benjamin Franklin worshipped here in 1783, where he was to hear Joseph Priestley preach.

The town

Tenterden's broad tree-lined High Street offers a selection of shopping facilities, making the town a centre for a number of villages in the area. Tourist attractions draw the visitors: especially the Kent & East Sussex Railway line to Bodiammarker; a local vineyard; and the Tenterden Folk Festival, held on the weekend of the first Saturday in October each year since 1993.

Tenterden is an important nodal centre with routes radiating to Rolvendenmarker and Hastingsmarker (A28), Wittershammarker and Ryemarker (B2082), Appledoremarker and New Romneymarker (B2080), Woodchurchmarker and Hamstreetmarker (B2067) and Ashfordmarker and Maidstonemarker (A28/A262).

Homewood schoolmarker is situated in Tenterden.

Tenterden Lions Clubwas formed in 1958; its members serve the community by giving time to local needs and raising money for local, national and international good causes. Every December, Father Christmas travels around Tenterden and some of the local villages providing enjoyment, as well as collecting money to support various good causes.

At Christmas time, Tenterden has a tradition of late-night shopping on the first Friday of December, with Christmas lights, stalls, entertainment and goodies for the whole family, as well as free parking.

Famous connections


The district had a population of 7,600 at the 2001 census.


It is also the name of one of the oldest working railway locomotives in the world, an 0-6-0 tank engine.


  • Tenterden Town Football Club, established in 1889, is based off the High Street, along Recreation Ground Road whereit has played since formation. After many seasons of varied fortunes, for the 2008/09 seasonit has two teams: the 1st XI competes in the Kent County League, and the Reserve XI competes in the Ashford & District Football League, both on a Saturday afternoon. Tenterden's ground hosts the annual Weald of Kent Charity Cup Final, which Tenterden itself has contested on a number of occasions, most recently during the 2000/01 season, losing 3-1 to Tyler Hill.
  • Tenterden Tigers Junior Football Club, established in 1996.
  • Tenterden Cricket Club is based along Smallhythe Road.
  • The Tour de France raced through the town in July 2007, with a sprint for the Maillot vert (green jersey) taking place in Tenterden.

  • Homewood Badminton Club was formed over 30 years ago for intermediate and advanced players. They play every Tuesday at the Tenterden Leisure Centre and participate in local leagues.

Local media

Tenterden has one local commercial radio station, KMFM Ashford, which serves the entire borough of Ashfordmarker. The town is also served by county wide stations BBC Radio Kent, Heart Kent and Gold.It lies within the BBC South East and ITV Meridian regions.

The local newspaper is the Kentish Express, published by the KM Group. Tenterden is also served by two free newspapers - Ashford Extra from the KM Group, and yourashford published by KOS Media on Wednesdays.

External links


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