Tenterden, Kent

Historical Description

Tenterden, a market-town, a municipal borough, and a parish, in Kent. The town stands on elevated ground, 7 ½ miles WNW of Appledore station on the S.E.R., and 12 SW of Ashford. It was anciently called Theinwarden; became, in the time of Henry VI., a member of the Eye cinque port and a municipal borough; is governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors, who act as the urban district council; includes within its borough boundaries all Tenterden parish and part of Ebony; is a seat of quarter sessions, petty sessions, and county courts. It consists chiefly of one street about a mile long, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Ashford; two banks, three good inns, a town-hall, a church, two working men's clubs, a union workhouse, a weekly market on Friday, a fair on the first Monday of May, and a lamb fair in Sept. The parish church belonged anciently to St Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury; is a large and fine building of Later English, with a lofty pinnacled tower and a fine peal of eight bells. The tower is of a later period than the main body; was erected in the time of Henry VI., and ia notable for a proverbial expression that Tenterden Steeple was the cause of the Goodwin Sands, the funds for maintaining the sea-wall having been taken for the erection of the steeple. The living of St Mildred is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury; net value, £240 with residence. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury. Area of municipal borough, 8948 acres; population, 3429. There are Wesleyan, Baptist, and Unitarian chapels. Heronden, Heronden Hall, Morghew, Hales Place, and Westrom are chief residences. Kenchill, formerly a mansion, is now a farmhouse. A section in the N was constituted a separate charge, under the name of St Michael, in 1864; and another section, noticed in our article SMALL HYTHE, is also a separate charge. The church of St Michael is a building of stone in the Early English style. The living is a vicarage; net value, £280 with residence. Patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Population, 786.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient County Kent
Ecclesiastical parish Tenterden St. Mildred
Hundred Tenterden
Lathe Scray
Poor Law union Tenterden

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Tenterden from the following:


Online maps of Tenterden are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Kent newspapers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Kent, 1619 is available on the Heraldry page, as is also The Visitation of Kent, 1663-68.