Monday, 21 May 2012

Day 19 – Sussex and Kent countryside

Today Kylie and I went for a drive through the countryside.  As it was early afternoon, we put a roast beef and potatoes in the oven and set it to cook slowly whilst we were out.  Everyone here seems to have roast for Sunday lunch, with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding hitting the top of the list.  We had the historic town of Chiddingstone in mind as our destination (which happily we got there)!  Our first detour of the day was to look at a part of the Ashdown Forest (which is the setting for Winnie Pooh).  There was a very cold wind so we only looked at one spot ‘Friends Clump’,  we will try to come back after tea tomorrow night for a walk as there is many other Pooh bear spots to see like fiddlesticks bridge etc.  A lot of the roads here are very narrow and either hedges on both sides or trees growing so they give a tunnel effect.   It is very pretty, but you can’t look out and ‘see for miles’ like in Australia, also you have to be careful as you can’t see very far in front of you!

Next detour was Hever, here we had a soft drink in the pub ‘King Henry VIII Inn’.  So many of the customers were having roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, which made us praying that what was cooking at home didn’t have a disaster, like burning!!! This building dates from 1647 but a pub has occupied the site since 1597. It has a Tudor chimney stacks, oak beams, open fireplaces, panelled bars and loads of Henry VIII memorabilia stuff, even the carpet has him all over it.  Hever castle was opposite but we chose not to go in today as you need a lot of time to thoroughly look through this.  Hever castle is where Anne Boleyn spent her early years.  The church here in Hever was built about 750 years ago and the site has been a place of prayer for at least 850 years! 

 Next stop was our destination Chiddingstone.  This is a very historic town in Kent.  The whole village was purchased by the National Trust in 1939 so it will be preserved as is!  One of the shops is believed to be the oldest working shop in the country.  This town is described as ‘the most unspoiled Tudor village in the UK’.  Obviously this village has been used for many TV/Movies for filming some being A Room with a View, The Wind in the Willow, Elizabeth R etc.  It is such a beautiful place. There is a castle here, but the National Trust don’t own this.  There is a Castle here names Chiddingstone Castle which can be traced back to the early 1500s.  We didn’t go in here today as we ended up being ‘time poor’!  We went into the church ‘St Mary the Virgin’, this date back to at least 1278, the first rector was Bartholomew de Farentino, during the reign of Edward I.  The stained glass windows were superb, there were also very old tapestries around and lots of slate headstones ‘sunk’ into the floors, mostly from the Streatfeild family, they were first owners of the Castle and are still around the town as the principal of the Primary School is a Streatfeild.

We were about to leave when we decided to follow a footpath to the 
Childer Stone.  This is another historic site with a very old history.  Chiding Stone is said, probably erroneously, to have given Chiddingstone its name.  The Chiding, or Judgement Stone, is a natural rostrum, which may well have been used in past times as a place of delivering judgement, mainly to remonstrate overbearing local wives. It was a very peaceful place and is situated behind the Castle Inn.

No detours on the way home.  The roast beef and potatoes was cooked just right when we got home.  I had to make Yorkshire pudding as it seemed to haunt us all day and Kylie did the veggies.  A god day all round J.


  1. You said the pub had Henry XIII stuff, did you mean Henry VIII?? Am I the only one who spotted that??

  2. Thankyou Deidre ... all fixed now!! I guess you are, or everyone else was being polite. I am not sure if anyone else is reading these blogs.


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