Museum of Kent Life

Kent Life


This museum occupies an area of 28 acres of fertile farmland, Sandling Farm, which was once part of Cobtree Estate and dates back to the early eighteenth century.

The estate was owned by the Tyrwhitt-Drake family and Sir Garrard Tyrwitt-Drake was twelve times mayor of Maidstone. He established a small zoo on the grounds and the estate once boasted a sand pit, riverside wharf and loam pit which was let to nearby Aylesford Pottery. Cobtree Estate was set up as a charitable trust in 1951 and bequeathed to the people of Maidstone by Sir Garrard Tyrwitt-Drake in 1964. The Museum opened in 1985.

Sights, sounds and smells!

Here you can experience the sights, sounds and smells of Kent country life from over the last 150 years. Many country crafts are practised and demonstrated and the small farm is an ongoing concern. It is one of the few places in Britain where hops are still grown, harvested, dried and packed by hand. The oast house is the last coal-fired one in existence. The working farm contains hop, herb, fruit and kitchen gardens.


Things to see

There is a large collection of Kent historic buildings which have been saved from destruction, restored and rebuilt. They consist of 17th and 18th century cottages, 16th, 18th and 19th century farmhouses, an 18th century barn, a nineteenth century granary, a chapel and hoppers’ huts together with an early 20th century village hall. Many animals live on the farm including pigs, calves, chickens, goats, ducks, geese, cows, sheep and, in springtime, lambs. Many activities and special events are held during the year.



Most buildings have wheelchair access except for the first floors of the historic buildings. There are easily accessible toilets at three locations and dedicated parking. The Tea Rooms provide coffee/tea, light lunches and cream teas. Kent ale, cider and wines are also on sale.


Kent Life

Lock Lane



Kent ME14 3AU


Telephone or Fax

General Tel: 01622 763936

General Fax: 01622 662024



General information:





Disclaimer: The information on this leisure attraction was presented with the best of intentions. Any reported errors will be corrected immediately. People interested in contacting the above leisure attraction should confirm for themselves the accuracy of any data presented.

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015