Originally an Anglo Saxon village known as Tenet ware den (the pig pasture of the men of Thanet) Tenterden initially became prosperous because of the large number of sheep in the area. After Edward 111 banned the export of unwashed wool in 1331, he encouraged Flemish weavers to bring their weaving and dying skills to England and, after many of them settled in this area, Tenterden soon became an important centre of broadcloth manufacture. The wide tree-lined verges that border the High Street are lined with medieval buildings that hide their age behind weather boarded, Georgian or tiled facades. William Caxton the first English printer was born in Tenterden around 1422. He was a merchant and lived for some time in Bruges. In the early 1470’s he studied the art of printing in Cologne and returned to Bruges to set up a printing press. When he came back to England he established the country’s first printing press at Westminster in 1476. The first book printed in the English language was ‘The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye’ from Caxton’s own translation.
Known as the jewel in the Weald. A former Cinque Port unlike other such centres in the Weald it had the advantage of access to the sea. Much of what is now Romney Marsh was under water, and ships docked at nearby Smallhythe. Timber from the Wealden forests was used to construct ships, and in 1449 Tenterden was incorporated into the Confederation of Cinque Ports as a limb of Rye. Ships built in the town were then used to help Rye fulfil its quota for the Crown.
Today its fine High Street must rank amongst the most attractive in the Country with historic houses, individual boutiques and shops, supermarkets (Waitrose and Tesco) restaurants and pubs separated from the carriageway by wide expanses of tree-lined grass verges.
Situation: 12 miles North of Rye. 10 miles west of Ashford.
High speed rail services to London via Ashford from Appledore and Hamstreet.
Towns and villages within 8 miles of Tenterden: Wittersham, Rolvenden, Smallhythe, Ebony, Hamstreet, Appledore.
High Halden Church of England Primary School
Rolvenden Primary School
St Michaels Church of England Primary School
Tenterden CE Junior School
Tenterden County Infants School
Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre