Teynham, Oare thereabouts

Teynham’s rich brown brick earth was where the first cherry orchards sprang, planted by command of Henry VIII. As I walked under another Spring blue sky accompanied as ever by a razor sharp wind from the northwest, I could find no sign of old manor or other tell-tale history apart from the church on the low hillContinue reading “Teynham, Oare thereabouts”

Eastling Spring

I found the village hidden deep in downland hills, quiet in its solitude.  By virtue of its geography, remote from Watling Street to the north, the village was little grown, with only a few recent cul-de-sacs and closes tacked on to those that had been standing for centuries and not much more than recorded at Domesday.  The Carpenters Arms wasContinue reading “Eastling Spring”

A Murder in Reculver

Yesterday, I drove the A2 east under clear skies to the hamlet of Reculver, located on the flat coast not far from Margate and parked next to the pub beneath the remnant twin towers of the 12th century church.   Admiring its fearful symmetry and outstanding location, I reckoned this would never get planning permission today. The stark, stoneContinue reading “A Murder in Reculver”

Raspberry Hill to Bedlams Bottom

On Thursday, I walked north-west from Swale railway station across the grazing marshes that fringe the Medway to the west of Sheppey.   I endured a wild arctic wind but under the brightest of blue skies. Keeping to the lee of flood banks helped.  I hoped to explore Ferry Marshes but had to contain myself toContinue reading “Raspberry Hill to Bedlams Bottom”

Against the Grain

North Kent is a land of low lying estuary and grazing marsh shouldered by rolling chalk downs riven by the Medway, M2 and M20.  The mud brown estuary boasts gleaming oil refineries, grey power stations and a necklace of old port towns, tied together by new housing estates, and all stitched by endless pylon lines. Inland are chalk quarries, cement factories and paperContinue reading “Against the Grain”

Butcher’s Broom and Privet

Walking up the narrow lanes from Horton Kirby takes me past dark ivy-clad hedgerows topped by trails of clematis. These hedges house ancient woodland species such as holly, privet and spindle together with a spiky, evergreen shrub which once seen is not readily forgot – Butcher’s Broom.  It was, apparently, used to sweep the blood and guts off butchers’ floors.  Continue reading “Butcher’s Broom and Privet”