Biddenden is a very picturesque village in the heart of the Weald of Kent. The village sign depicts the famous “Maydes”, Eliza and Mary Chulkhurst, who were 12th century conjoined twins and generously bequeathed land to feed the poor of the village. The charming tradition continues to this day with bread and cheese distributed to pensioners and widows.
Biddenden has a very good choice of places to eat from a Chinese takeaway to a Michelin starred restaurant as well as pubs and tea shops. It was once a thriving centre of cloth production and many of the cottages that line the high street were originally weavers’ cottages. There are some fine houses that belonged to wealthy wool merchants, one of which became home to the King Rama VII of Siam after his abdication in 1935. The pavements are paved in Bethersden marble, a material created by fossilised crushed shells that positively gleams when polished. It is frequently used as a decorative finish on pillars and fireplaces in many fine houses and Churches in Kent.
Just outside the village is the splendid “Millennium Field”, the perfect place for nature lovers and dog walkers. There is a wooded area known as the Rookery with a stream and footbridge and at the top of the field a sun clock and direction indicator along with some marvellous sculptures carved out of oak, including a magnificent pig that doubles as a seat. Just stand on the sun clock and your shadow will tell the time. This lovely open space was opened in 1999 to celebrate the Millennium and is adjacent to the Recreation Ground with tennis courts, a bowling green and football pitch.