Posted by: madkentdragon | March 6, 2011

Maidstone, Part 3 – Royal Consorts and a Battle


I think we’ve finished with that area, so we will ignore the road, Palace Avenue, by the millpond and turn back to Knightrider Street, the reason is that this street was only built in the 1900s, but as a matter of interest the car park you see at the junction of the road was originally the bus station and the wooden booking hall was removed and re-assembled as a cafeteria at the Tenterden end of the Kent and East Sussex Steam Railway!

We walk along the length of Knightrider Street and on to Stone Street, which is part of a Roman Road from Rochester to Hastings, Gabriel’s Hill and Week Street are also identified as part of the same road.

But for the moment we’ll cross Stone Street and enter Mote Road and then into Mote Park, which was sold with condition that it stayed an open space for the people of Maidstone by Viscount Bearsted in 1929 and is approximately the same size as the city of London! Kent County Cricket Club have a ground there and there is also a good leisure centre in the grounds.

In former lives it has been the home of Elizabeth Woodville who married Edward IV, Thomas Wyatt the Younger who inherited the estate which then passed back to Elizabeth I, before being acquired by Lord Romney and in1799 the park was used for an Inspection of the Kent Volunteer Troops by George III & Prime Minister William Pitt. The road they travelled to the park is now called King Street – no surprise there!

OK, I promised you a Battle, so back to Stone Street which has a few remaining medieval houses and into Gabriel’s Hill where there is an entrance in to Chequers Mall where for those not interested in history can browse anything from Pound Shops to posh frocks and up to the sign of the Golden Boot where there has been a boot maker since 1790 and it on this Hill that the finale of the Battle of Maidstone took place between the Royalist Maidstonians and the Roundheads led by Fairfax who beat the Cavaliers leaving approximately 800 dead.

An extra point to note is that Andrew Broughton was mayor of Maidstone at this time; he was the Judge at the King’s trial.

Next part there will be rebellions, a friary and a grammar school amongst other inconsequential facts.

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Responses

  1. Enjoyed reading this Pat, interesting and nice writing style 🙂


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