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Posted over 5 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

The thought of sending eggs in today's post is quite frankly laughable, even with fragile tape, special containers and pleas for caution, things don't always arrive in the condition that one would like but during World War II eggs became a rare and special...

Posted over 5 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

Queen Victoria's love of Prince Albert is well documented as is her withdrawal from society after his death. Her enduring grief has been portrayed in many ways but it is perhaps a little easier to understand once you have seen the interior of Osborne...

Posted over 5 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

Image owned and taken by Rachael Hale 2013 There are no names on the cross, no fancy markings and the inscription is barely legible yet this simple headstone marks the mass grave of forty three 'strangers' who died from cholera in 1849. Cholera had been...

Posted over 5 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

'Dear Molly Stone is all my own'. The message is simple, the declaration clear and how cherished it must have been. During the 17th and 18th centuries engraved coins were a popular love token. This one is a favourite of Giles Guthrie, the Collections...

Posted over 5 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

Memorial Window to Robert Aubrey Hildyard, St Leonard's Church, Hythe. Image taken by Rachael Hale 2011 This soldier looks so peaceful doesn't he? As if he is just taking a nap after a long journey but the reality is rather more poignant. His name is...

Posted over 5 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

Far from being a relatively new term, it seems that 'being on the dole' can be traced back centuries. This rare Dole Table can be found in the churchyard of St John the Baptist church in Penshurst and was used to distribute bread and money to the poor...

Posted over 5 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

Approximately 400 years ago this oak tree was a little sapling and the first barrels of cured tobacco were arriving in England from Virginia. Now children hide inside its hollow trunk, cricketers use it as a boundary marker and walkers sit under it for...

Posted over 5 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

It's well known that the tunnel's beneath Dover Castle were the military headquarters during World War II but did you know an underground hospital was also concealed there? Between 1941 and 1942, an extra annexe level of tunnels was created to house a...

Posted over 5 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

This old man is a representation of time itself. From 1767, he held his hourglass over the church clock in Cranbrook but in 1922 he finally grew weary and fell down. He now rests in Cranbrook Museum while a replacement made of pre-cast stone, with a real...

Posted over 5 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

Dame Ellen Terry was a hugely successful Victorian stage actress. Smallhythe Place near Tenterden was her retreat from the world and I wonder, whilst practicing her parts, how many expressions did this mirror see? The above image was taken with the kind...

Posted over 5 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

If you haven't managed to visit the new Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone you now have even more reason to do so. A new programme of talks has just started and covers a great variety of topics including 17th century shopping, reading journals...

Posted over 6 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

This weekend the fires of Britain's last working coal-fired oast house will roar into life once more. Signalling the start of the 26th Hops 'n' Harvest Festival at Kent Life Rural Farm attraction in Maidstone and re-igniting a way of life that was once...

Posted over 6 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

Now contained within special air-tight boxes, Dame Ellen Terry's Victorian theatre costumes and day dresses rarely see the light of day, but a talk being given by the National Trust at Smallhythe Place on Wedesday 6 June plans to reveal some of her hidden...

Posted over 7 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

The sight of fifteen hundred skulls is not one to forget in a hurry but as the oak door of the Bonehouse swings back and the overhead light flickers into life, anxiety gives way to astonishment. *WARNING SHOWS PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN WITHIN A CRYPT* The sight...

Posted over 7 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

It has survived desecration by Cromwellian Troops and a falling doodlebug but now St John the Baptist church in Penshurst has to prove its resilience once more. No visitor to Penshurst can fail to spot the magnificent building known as Penshurst Place...

Posted over 7 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

Life under King Edward II was turbulent. As a younger son unexpectedly inheriting the throne, Edward of Caernarfon was far more interested in pleasurable pursuits than running the country and his opinions could be easily swayed by Court favourites. Political...

Posted over 7 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

Danson House in Bexleyheath epitomises everything you could wish for in a Georgian house. Surrounded by 200 acres of parkland, its beautifully furnished and well appointed rooms ooze glamour and provide a real insight into the social climbing aspirations...

Posted over 7 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

Since the 1870's Leigh's Village Halls have been at the heart of the community. Their use changing with the needs of the time but always as a place for the locals to meet and now, following a huge restoration project, your memories of them are needed...

Posted over 7 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

Tunbridge Wells Museum is currently running a series of talks focussing on local history and I was lucky enough to catch one of them. ‘A Cut Above the Rest' was presented by Jo Wiltcher, the museum manager and costume expert, and based around was the...

Posted over 7 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

A cinema affectionately known as the 'Bug Hutch', a blind church organist and a daily promenade to monitor the buiding of Woolworth - Tonbridge has seen it all. Walking through the streets of Tonbridge you can't fail to notice the affect the recession...

Posted over 8 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

The Russian artist, Marc Chagall, is famous for his modern, slightly fantastical styled paintings. So how did Tudeley Church become home to a full set of his stained glass windows? The car park of Tudeley Church was surprisingly busy for 11 o’clock...

Posted over 8 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

The National Trust needs no introduction but although its name is now synonymous with grand estates and beautiful gardens its origins began with the preservation of open spaces and an area at Toys Hill was one of its first. Toys Hill is a walker’s...

Posted over 8 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

What do a first World War hero, the first jewish Mayor of London and an electrical pioneer have in common? Salomons is well known for being a wedding and conference centre and part of Canterbury Christ Church University but three generations of one amazing...

Posted over 8 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

What does the industrial revolution, the first Christmas card and the tune of 'On Ilkla Moor baht'at' have in common? The Cranbrook Colony. But who were they? I travelled to the Cranbrook Museum to find out. Arriving at the home of the Cranbrook Museum...

Posted over 8 years ago by Rachael Hale with 0 comments

Sitting on a bench outside Tonbridge library I try to get to grips with the little MP3 player and map I have just been given. Music plays into my ear and then the calming voice of the actress, Louise Jameson. ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged...