Yalding Tourist Guide
Yalding is a small village between East Peckham and West Farleigh about 5 miles from Maidstone.
The name is recorded in the Domesday book as the Saxon manor of Hallinges owned by Aldret, and that it was given to Richard de Tonbridge by William the Conqueror . The village was identified as Gealding from the Anglo Saxon Ge meaning village and eald meaning old. The name had changed to Yaldinge by the time of the civil war (1642-1648).
An original Saxon village known as Twyford "twin ford" was found on the point where the Medway and Teise joined. It is thought that flooding moved the village uphill to its present site. It is likely that the bridge at Twyford was built before TownBridge, as this was the main crossing point of the rivers, and would have been impassable when heavy rain had fallen.
There are three bridges in the village; the TwyfordBridge (meaning twin ford, where there was originally a double crossing of the two rivers) is one of the finest medieval bridges in the south-east of England. Town bridge, the main crossing point within the current village over the river Beult is a stone bridge about 450 ft long and was constructed in the 1400's probably on the site of an old wooden structure. This bridge is the longest surviving medieval bridge in Kent, and is very attractive .
TwyfordBridge crosses the River Medway. It is just downstream of the automatic sluice where the river drops from +11.2m to +7.41m above mean sea level, the navigation bears left through the Hampstead Rd Canal, and the Hampstead Lock, the main stream drops over the weir and sluice and is joined here by the River Teise (Lesser Teise) and both pass under TwyfordBridge. The river then flows in a loop towards the village where it is joined by the River Beult which has passed under TownBridge. However the main stream of the River Teise flowed into the Beult near Benover, 3km upstream of TownBridge. TwyfordBridge is not navigable. TwyfordBridge is 16km from Allington, where the Medway becomes tidal.
The medieval TownBridge is built of ragstone in the 1400s, it has seven arches and spans the Beult and the marshy ground each side. It is reputed to be the longest existing medieval bridge in Kent being 150m in length.
The village does not appear to have been badly hit by the early occurrences of the Black Death but in 1510 the pestilence claimed half the village.
This Wealden Iron industry was important to the area, as Yalding was a main shipment point for the cannons manufactured at nearby Horsmonden and other villages, to the naval base at Chatham. The Iron Master John Browne from Horsmonden shipped most of his cannons from Yalding .
During the Civil War in 1643, a battle took place at TownBridge between the Roundheads and Cavaliers. The Cavaliers had advanced from Aylesford towards Tonbridge , but the Parliamentarian Soldiers had marched to block their movements, bombarded them and forced their surrender. Equipment for about 600 men was seized, but only 300 were captured, the rest escaping into the Weald.
When the Iron Industry had declined, the area around Yalding reverted to its original farming industries, mostly fruit farming with apples and pears being very common. Yalding was a first-class shipping point for the fruit due to its navigable river, the Medway providing access to the sea.
The hop growing industry was also within the area, but declined in the early 1900s.
The nearest major shopping centre is at Maidstone about 6 miles to the east which provides major supermarkets and facilities.
There is a train service that runs through the outskirts of the village, which connects Maidstone to Paddock Wood , providing a regular service, to the Ashford London line.
Yalding has a cricket club, Yalding Cricket Club, that has existed since 1798. The cricket pitch was once beside the River Medway on the Lees (Village Common). They currently play on the Kintons ground.
The Greensand Way long-distance footpath crosses the Medway at TwyfordBridge, and follows up the High Street, passes through Blunden Lane, and leaves the village by an ancient byway by Bustom Farm Cottages. The Medway Valley Walk follows the river from Tonbridge to the sluice on the east bank, then the Hampstead Lane Canal, and the river to Maidstone on the west bank.
Yalding Farmers' Market
Every 3rd Saturday in the Month 10am - 1pm High Street, Yalding.
Yalding Surgery, Burgess Bank, Benover Road, YaldingME18 6ES
Tel: 01622 814380 Fax: 01622 814549
Disclaimer: The information in this Tourist Guide has been researched from a variety of sources including books, articles and online information. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information the reader should check any specific facts for themselves before making any decisions based upon the said information.
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015