I invite you today to the village of Teston. The name is pronounced teeson, without the letter t. Apparently this was the original name of the place, but a new, young employee of the formerly existing railway station here, when he wrote the sign, he made a mistake and wrote Teston. Although neither the sign nor the station itself exists, the spelling of the name has remained to this day. The village is beautifully situated in the hills above the Medway River valley, on the western edge of the Kent capital, Maidstone.
Bridge and Park
The Medway River forms the southern border of the village and is connected to the other bank by a six-span stone bridge. There used to be seven spans, but one of them was removed to allow navigation. The bridge was probably built in the 13th century, and limestone from local excavations in Tovil was used for the construction. This local stone is called ragstone, and is one of Kent’s treasures. One day I will write a separate entry on this topic; about sending ragstone to build Westminster Abbey or about some stone fossils.
Near him, a park was created along the river, which is a rural part of the larger Maidstone Millenium Walk project. You can come here for a walk, picnic and spend a really nice time. Of course, I was strolling around with my dog.
A walk along the river is a real pleasure, you can see how the boats on the local lock are doing, or feed the majestic-looking swans.
After a walk by the river, I returned to the village. There, of course, I directed my first steps to the church. I love these stone, English temples.
A charmingly smiling lady greeted me at the door. She was preparing refreshments for parish guests who were about to visit for tea. The lady asked me if I was maybe a wedding photographer of James and Kate, but I denied it. I said that I like taking amateur photos, exploring, walking and visiting historic buildings. The lady told me a little about the past of Teston, about the participation of the Barham family in the slave liberation movement and about cricket, and invited me to a flower exhibition that was to take place in the village. I thanked her beautifully and went to explore the secrets of the church of St. Peter and Paul.
Off course this church was built of gray-blue Kent ragstone. Its soaring tower can be seen from afar, from the busy Tonbridge Road passing below.
The village of Teston is just 250 houses built at the intersections of several streets, but it is worth coming there for a good cool beer, to one of two pubs and visit a local store, where on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, bread is delivered, the real sourdough, from the local farm. Of course, there is also an agricultural store, and on the farm you can pick apples, plums and strawberries in spring.
What’s up with the cricket I mentioned earlier? In the 19th century Thomas Martin began to produce cricket balls as one of the first in England in Teston. His successor Alfred Reader expanded to include hockey balls. Now only the building has been converted into apartments. Built of brick with the addition of a local ragstone.
I was a little sad to leave charming Teston, where time seemed to stop, but as said lovely Terminator “I’ll be back”