From its origins as a clearing in the Wealden forest, the Saxon settlement of 'Tenet-warre-den' rose to a position of prominence with the fourteenth-century burgeoning of the English wool trade. During the reign of Henry VI, its fortunes improved further when the town was incorporated into the Confederation of Cinque Ports. When significant changes to the landscape ended its maritime associations, Tenterden's prosperity was maintained by a robust agricultural industry. Its broad, tree-lined High Street once resounded with the hubbub of livestock fairs, and its warren of side roads and hidden courtyards were filled with the activities of everyday life. Situated at the heart of the Kent Weald, Tenterden serves as a hub for the surrounding small villages and hamlets, a vibrant and thriving market town which, while undergoing continuing development and modernisation, has retained the charm of its rural character.
Naomi Dickins has lived in this area of the Weald for the last twelve years, with her husband and two children. Since gaining her BA in History from Bristol University, she has worked as a private tutor, while continuing with history research projects in her spare time. She also has an Advanced Diploma in Local History Studies from Oxford University. Her particular interest in local history has developed through her role as the archivist for her village history society and the establishment of a local history archive centre. Naomi has worked closely with Tenterden Museum to produce Tenterden & District Through Time.