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MARKET TOWNS OF KENT (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Tenterden in 1836

Tenterden is locally in the hundred of Tenterden and lathe of Scray, but has a separate jurisdiction, being a member of the cinque-port of Rye. It is 55 miles from London on the road through the Weald of Kent to Romney. The parish comprehends 8620 acres, and had, in 1831, a population of 3177, about half agricultural.

The town an eminence, in a rich agricultural district, upon which it depends: it consists of one main street along the Romney road, and contains some good houses. The church is spacious and handsome edifice, chiefly of perpendicular character, having a lofty tower at the west end, to which a beacon was formerly attached. It has been a popular saying that ‘Tenterden steeple was the cause of Goodwin Sands.’ This has been supposed to originate from the circumstance of the funds destined for keeping up Sandwich haven having been applied to the building of this church. There are some dissenting places of worship. There is a townhall, a modern building, sometimes used as an assembly-room. The market is on Friday, and there is a yearly fair. When the clothing trade was carried on in the Weald of Kent, this town was one of the manufacturing places. Tenterden was incorporated by Henry VI. The corporation, under the Municipal Reform Act, consists of 4 jurats or aldermen and 12 councillors.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese and archdeaconry of Canterbury, of the clear yearly value of £177. There were, in 1833, a national school, with 190 children, endowed with the transferred funds of a decayed grammar-school; six other day-schools, with 127 children; and four Sunday-schools, with 181 children.