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Tenterden in Kent

Nestling in the heart of the Weald of Kent, Tenterden, rich in history, has largely escaped much modern development and has consequently retained its charm. It has an attractive, broad tree-lined High Street, brimming with interesting shops that have something for everyone.

It is believed that the name Tenterden is derived from the Old English 'Tenet Waraden' which meant a clearing in the forest, belonging to the men of Thanet.

Tenterden was an important wool trading centre in the 13th century and became prosperous. It is difficult to believe today that Tenterden had access to the sea at Smallhythe, since the coastline has altered so much. Using the wood from the Wealden Forest as its source of timber, Smallhythe was a centre for shipbuilding and produced wooden ships that were large for the time. In 1449 Tenterden was incorporated into the prestigious Federation of Cinque Ports, and was able to enjoy all the privilege and status which this position brought.

Dating from the 12th century the the distinctive tower of the Parish Church of St Mildred can be seen from the High Street. To get an insight into the history of Tenterden pay a visit to the local museum which has exhibits spanning one thousand years.

William Caxton, who pioneered printing in England is believed to have been born in Tenterden. The actress Dame Ellen Terry lived at Smallhythe.

Other Towns and Villages Near Tenterden


What's On in Tenterden?

  • The Reduced Shakespeare Company

    Friday 22nd May
    Location: Tenterden

    Newbury Productions Presents REDUCED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY IN THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF COMEDY (abridged) Tickets: £14 & £16 They’ve skewered history, ... more

  • Jewel of the Weald Flower Festival

    Saturday 23rd May for 5 days
    Location: Tenterden

    Flower Festival at St Mildred's Church, Tenterden and all over Tenterden as shops and businesses will be joining in - ... more

  • Charity Plant Sale at Market Square

    Saturday 23rd May @ 10:00am
    Location: Tenterden

    Tenterden and District Horticultural Socienty's Charity Plant Sale at The Market Square, Tenterden. Our chosen charity this year is Demelza ... more

  • Woolpack Food Festival

    Saturday 23rd May @ 10:00am
    Location: Tenterden

    The first Woolpack Food Festival of 2015. Local producers, breweries and suppliers will have stalls at the festival selling their ... more

  • Highbury Hall Table Top Sale

    Saturday 23rd May @ noon
    Location: Tenterden

    The Friends of Highbury Hall are holding a Table Top Sale (Indoor Boot Fair) Stalls are available at £6 per ... more

  • Ellen Terry's Wardrobe

    Saturday 23rd May @ 2:15pm
    Location: Small Hythe

    Take a look at costume history. Tucked away in a storeroom at the back of Smallhythe Place is a collection ... more

  • Mermaid League at Tenterden Bowls Club

    Saturday 23rd May
    Location: Tenterden

    Mermaid League against Rye at Tenterden Bowls Club, Recreation Ground Road, TN30 6RA ... more

  • Flower Festival Opening Concertl

    Saturday 23rd May @ 7:30pm
    Location: Tenterden

    Flower Festival opening concert at St Mildred's Church, Tenterden with a quartet from the Academy of Ancient Music. Tickets £15 ... more

  • 80's Night at The William Caxton

    Sunday 24th May
    Location: Tenterden

    By popular request, we can't resist a boogie to those 80s classics, so come and let your hair down (or ... more

  • Jempson's Charity Boot Fair

    Monday 25th May @ 7:00am
    Location: Peasmarsh

    Hard-standing pitches from £5 (all sale of pitch proceeds donated to Rother Responders). Gates open at 7am, no need to ... more


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