Houses of Interest: Kent
Another, 'about as far as you can get from the KeepYourPowderDry estates without getting your feet wet' ECWtravelogue post.
Seventeenth century Kent, despite its proximity to London, was a bit of a rural backwater. Roads were bad, and often impassable; the local gentry, in comparison to the rest of the country, were relatively impoverished.
Whilst England's system of local 'government' was based upon hundreds, Kent was different being organised by "lathes". A system unique to Kent believed to date to the Kingdom of the Kentish (which existed until the 9th Century). See here for a brief description of the county's trained bands.Kent was a deeply divided county in the Civil War; although nominally under Parliamentary control, there were Royalist risings in Tonbridge and Sevenoaks in 1643, Canterbury in 1647 and a major uprising in 1648, culminating in the Battle of Maidstone.
|The entrance to Dover Castle|
|East Farleigh Bridge|
|Buff coat, claimed to have been worn by Black Tom at Maidstone|
🚨 Moated manor house klaxon 🚨 Regular readers (hello all eight of you) will be aware that I have a bit of a soft spot for moated manor houses, well be still my beating heart!
Now an entry which might provoke angst and a rekindling of the ancient Suffolk/Kent rivalry.
|Gun and Spitroast|
The Gun and Spitroast pub in Horsmonden was the likely business headquarters of the gun founder John Browne. Browne was the King's Gunfounder to James I, and Charles through to the outbreak of hostilities. Horsmonden owes much to Browne's business: Furnace Lane leads from the centre of the village to Furnace Pond. The pond was created to power the furnace hammers. It is located away from the centre of the village because the furnace burned seven days a week, and the Brownes did not want to incur the wrath of the church. There were also a number of furnaces operated by the Brownes in the neighbouring village of Brenchley. The Horsmonden foundaries employed nearly 200 people, the flames from the furnaces were claimed to be visible ten miles away