Place:Biddenden, Kent, England

Watchers
NameBiddenden
TypeVillage, Civil parish
Coordinates51.117°N 0.65°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoBerkeley Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Cranbrook Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Tenterden Rural, Kent, Englandrural district of which it was a part 1894-1974
Ashford District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality to which the parish was transferred in 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Biddenden is a large, mostly agricultural and wooded village and civil parish in the Ashford District of Kent, England. The village lies on the Weald of Kent, some 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Tenterden. It was a centre for the Wealden iron industry and also of clothmaking.

All Saints Biddenden is the parish church, built mostly in the 13th century. There was likely an earlier Saxon church here. During the half-century reign of Edward III, Flemish clothworkers were settled in the area. The ready availability of raw materials led to the establishment of a flourishing textile industry for the production of broadcloth. Wealth from this industry built many of the fine houses in town.

An important cottage industry has developed to the west, where numerous vineyards and orchards produce varietal wines, ciders and juices. The population of the parish, according to the UK census of 2011, was 2,574.

Biddenden was originally an ancient parish in the Berkeley Hundred and also in the Cranbrook Hundred. Between 1894 and 1974 it was part of the Tenterden Rural District. Since 1974 the area is covered by the non-metropolitan Ashford District.

Research Tips

  • Kent County Council Archive, Local Studies and Museums Service. James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ. This incorporates the Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone and the East Kent Archives Centre near Dover.
  • Canterbury Cathedral Archives see the Archives web pages on the Canterbury Catherdral site.
  • For information on the area around the Medway Towns, have a look at Medway Council's CityArk site.
  • Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Kent illustrates the parish boundaries of Kent when rural districts were still in existence and before Greater London came into being. The map publication year is 1931. An earlier map of 1900 may also be useful. The maps blow up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. Maps in this series are now downloadable for personal use.
  • Census records for Kent are available on FamilySearch, Ancestry and FindMyPast. The first site is free; the other two are pay sites but have access to microfilmed images. Steve Archer produced a very useful round-up of the available sources, but this information may not be up to date.
  • Registration Districts in Kent for the period 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.
  • England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911 The full database from Kent Archives Office, Maidstone, has been available online from FamilySearch since June 2016.
  • Kent had five family history societies (now only four):
  • Volume 2 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1926) is available online through the auspices of British History Online. It includes accounts of the early history of Canterbury and Rochester cathedrals, and of several sites now within the conurbation of London.
  • Volume 3 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1932) This includes the text of, and the index to, the Kent Domesday survey. It has been provided by the Kent Archaeological Society.
  • In place of the other volumes of the Victoria County History, British History Online has transcriptions of the numerous volumes of The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent by Edward Hasted (originally published 1797)
  • English Jurisdictions 1851, a parish finding aid provided by FamilySearch, is particularly helpful in locating parishes in large ancient towns and cities like Canterbury.
  • Kent Probate Records Numerous links provided by Maureen Rawson
  • GENUKI lists other possible sources, however, it does not serve Kent so well as it does some other counties.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Biddenden. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.