Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Best of Kent

October 2016 Monthly Meeting
The Best of Kent
Kev Reynolds

Typical scene in Kent with Oast Houses and Village Church

In the form of a travelogue, journeying around the Kent countryside on foot, Kev looked at the rich and varied landscapes, the history and architectural gems that make this corner of the country so special.

Hop Pickers from London in the 
early 20th Century
Did you know, for example, that there are over 20,000 historic buildings in our county and that the rhododendrons that flower so spectacularly in the spring were brought here from the Himalayas?

He started by talking about local landscapes and his favourite place, Mariners Hill and nearby Froghole Farm where, in December 1596 over a thirteen-day period the landscape changed dramatically with hills rising and falling, something which continues to this day albeit on a reduced scale.

Kev talks about the Kent Flora
Many of our nearby historic buildings got a mention including Knole (with its 365 rooms), Hever Castle (home of Anne Boleyn), Leeds Castle (one of the prettiest castles in the UK) and Ightam Mote (where we learned that mote means meeting place).  He showed us “before” and “after” pictures of Scotney Castle, the “before” and “after” referring to the hurricane of 1987 which devastated so much of our local countryside.

Famous people also got a mention including Dickens and Octavia Hill who is buried in the Crockham Hill church yard.

Moving further afield, he took us on a tour of the Medway, on to Rochester and ending near Canterbury after a diversion to the picturesque Elham valley.
Kev talks about the Kent Countryside
Octavia Hill Joint Founder of the National Trust