The village of Aylesford, situated at the lowest fording point over the River Medway, has been the site of human settlement since Neolithic times. This collection of 200 old photographs and ephemera gives a comprehensive portrayal of the last 120 years or so of this long history and shows how the village's buildings and inhabitants have changed. The first few chapters take the form of a tour around the village and its environs, with sections on the old village, the church and the fourteenth-century bridge which helped to consolidate Aylesford's position as an important crossing point over the Medway. The Friars is also featured, including a group of photographs showing how the Carmelites have restored the buildings, many of which had been derelict since the Dissolution. Preston Hall and its estate are shown in a series of pictures from before 1904. The penultimate chapter ventures further afield along the Medway, to include Allington Castle, Malling Abbey and Wouldham. Some evidence of Aylesford's earliest inhabitants can also be found here in the form of Neolithic sarsen stones and barrows such as Kit's Coty and the Coffin Stone.
The final section portrays the village's inhabitants, from late ninenteenth-century agricultural labourers to street celebrations of recent decades. Most of the pictures are drawn from the archives of the Aylesford Society and from the author's own collection. They are accompanied throughout by informative captions and a wealth of background detail; this book is sure to appeal to all residents of Aylesford, young and old.
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- ID: 9780752411767
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