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Whether you are looking for relaxation and the chance to unwind or for something more active including great hand's on fun for the younger family members then Kent is the place for you. With many award winning attractions featured together with the best known places to visit and many smaller less well known attractions.
Choose from enchanting gardens, historic houses, mysterious castles, cathedrals and country churches, fascinating museums, animal parks, steam trains, amazing maritime heritage and much more.
Allington Shopping Nearby
There are hundreds of independent retailers situated in the Kent, offering an array of worldwide brands to locally sourced products. Each and every one of them offer a customer service that just can’t be found on the high street.
Check the Allington Directory
This area lies to the north west of the town centre and forms part of Maidstone, but is not a parish. The nearby locks on the River Medway are popular. The £8 million Kent River Walk, Maidstone's major Millennium project, stretches from here to Teston. The moated 13th century Allington Castle stands near the river and the Mid Kent Shopping Centre can also be found in Allington.
Allington Castle
Allington Castle is a Grade I listed building. Much of the stonework was laid in an intricate herringbone pattern which is still visible today. It was the birthplace in 1503 of the English lyrical poet Sir Thomas Wyatt and in 1521 of his son the rebel leader Thomas Wyatt.
The manor house on the site was fortified by Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports Stephen de Penchester in 1281 after a licence to crenellate was issued by Edward I. It was converted to a mansion in 1492 when the Wyatt family acquired the property. Towards the end of the 16th century whilst under the ownership of the Wyatt family the castle was badly damaged by fire, remaining largely derelict until 1905 when it was restored by Sir Martin Conway.
In 1951 the castle became home to a convent of the Order of Carmelites. It is currently the private residence of the psephologist Sir Robert Worcester and Lady Worcester. It is not open to the public.
Dining Near Allington
Whether you want to relax over a cappuccino, enjoy a light lunch, have a fun family meal or indulge in a taste sensation, Kent caters for every occasion.
customer service that just can’t be found on the high street.
Check the Allington Directory
Two miles NW of Maidstone, the village lies on a great bend of the River Medway and has a romantic looking medieval castle which was built to guard this strategic point. The castle has had an eventful history that converted it from a 13th century fortress to a grand Tudor mansion, a farmhouse, a stately home and finally a convent for Carmelite nuns.
The first castle on this site was raised in the 11th century, and was probably only a simple mound with a wooden structure on the top. A stone castle was built by Stephen of Penchester, 13th century Constable of Dover Castle, under a licence granted by Edward I in 1281, the oldest part of this early building which survives is a section of wall with a distinctive herringbone pattern.
Later, it was owned by the Cobham family and in 1492 it was bought by Sir Henry Wyatt who carried out some restoration work but is far better remembered for the legend that, while imprisoned in the Tower of London by Richard III because of his Lancastrian sympathies, he was saved from starving to death by a cat which brought a pigeon to his cell every day.
It was afterwards that he was knighted and came to Kent where his son, later Sir Thomas, was born at Allington in 1503. Thomas became a renowned soldier, scholar, statesman, poet and self-confessed lover of Anne Boleyn. His son, another Sir Thomas benefited substantially from Henry VIII's Reformation by the acquisition of property of the dissolved priory at Aylesford, and when Queen Mary declared her intention to turn back the clock and marry the Catholic King Philip of Spain, Wyatt led an insurrection against the marriage. But he misjudged the support he could expect in London. He was arrested and, a few months later, executed and the castle was forfeited to the Crown while Maidstone lost its Charter for five years for supporting him.

When Elizabeth came to the throne she restored Maidstone's Charter and leased Allington Castle to to one of her courtiers, John Astley, but after his successors moved into Maidstone, the castle was left to deteriorate. By the mid-19th century, the whole place was derelict and remained in that state until, in 1905, it was bought by British traveller Sir Martin Conway, who spent œ70,000 on restoration.
The castle again changed hands in 1951 when it was bought by the same group of Carmelite Friars who rebuilt Aylesford Priory. They carried out further restoration work and used Allington Castle as a retreat and study centre until they, in their turn, sold it and it became an international conference and residential training centre.
The last service was held in the old riverside church of St Lawrence, just outside the castle gates, in 1969, after which it was converted into a private residence. During conversion, efforts were made to open an old safe in the vestry, the keys to which had been long lost. In the end, oxyacetylene cutting equipment was used and the old safe yielded up its secret at last - a single sheet of lining paper charred by the heat of the cutting!
The new development of Allington, on either side of the A20 brought demands for a new church during the 1930s, St Nicholas' church was built in Poplar Grove. Then, in 1973, the present church, still St Nicholas', was built next to the previous one, in Poplar Grove, continuity being achieved by furnishing it with the font, a bell and three stained glass windows from old St Lawrence's.

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If you have wandered through the Kent Downs whether on foot, by horse, bicycle or car will have, at one time or another, pondered over the meaning of place names of towns , villages or hamlets that we normally take for granted in our everyday lives. Places such as Pett Bottom, Bigbury and Bobbing conjure up all manner of intriguing images as to the activities of former inhabitants, while others such as Whatsole Street, Smersole or Hartlip appear completely baffling.
Although most place names may appear at first sight to be random elements of words thrown together in no particular order, most are surprisingly easy to decipher with some elementary grounding in Old English. Over the centuries most of the Old English words have themselves corrupted and changed to appear as we know them today.
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Modern Kentish dialect shares many features with other areas of south-east England (sometimes collectively called "Estuary English"). Other characteristic features are more localised. For instance some parts of Kent, particularly in the north west of the county, share many features with broader Cockney.

A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms: in use in the county of Kent' by W.D.Parish and W.F.Shaw (Lewes: Farncombe,1888)
'The Dialect of Kent: being the fruits of many rambles' by F. W. T. Sanders (Private limited edition, 1950). Every attempt was made to contact the author to request permission to incorporate his work without success. His copyright is hereby acknowledged.
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Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales 1894 -1895


Allington, a parish in Kent, on the river Medway, 2 miles from Aylesford station on the S.E.R., and 1 1/2 mile from Maidstone, which is the post town. Acreage, 608; population, 157. The manor was granted to William de Warrene at the Conquest; passed to the family of Allington, to Sir Stephen de Penchester, to the Cobhams, the Brents, and the Wyatts; was the birthplace of Sir Thomas Wyatt the poet, and of his son, Sir Thomas, who headed the insurrection against Queen Mary; was given, at the confiscation of manors, to Sir John Astley; and passed in 1720 to the Earl of Romney. A castle was built on it by Warrene, rebuilt by Penchester, extended by the Wyatts, and abandoned to ruin by Astley. A considerable part of the structure still stands, and presents interesting features. The exterior is a long parallelogram, with projecting circular towers, and the interior is divided by a range of low buildings, with archway, into two distinct courts. A wide moat, fed from the Medway, nearly encircles the pile, and a farmhouse, of picturesque character, built out of fallen parts of the castle, stands adjacent. Gentle hills, mostly covered with wood, rise in the vicinity, and irregular mounds, which probably were ornamental features in the once-noble park, lie between the castle and the river. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Canterbury; value, £154. Patron, the Earl of Romney. The church is Decorated English, in very good condition.
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