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Next Meeting

Date of the next Meeting - 21/03/2011
The next meeting will be held on 21st March 2011 at the Marriott Tudor Park Hotel. at 7.30pm.…

Meeting Details

Places of Interest

The Parish of Thurnham is located 3 miles north east of the centre of the County Town of Maidstone. Its small population is mainly concentrated in the south of the parish, the remaining area comprises of farmland and the south escarpment of the North Downs.

Although we're a small Parish, we have a great deal to offer to both local Kentish residents and visitors. Whether you're interested in the history of the local area, trekking the Pilgrims Way over the North Downs or simply taking in the natural beauty of Kent Downs Area, there's plenty to see and do for everyone.

National Grid Coordinates: TQ 810 584

 

St Mary's The Virgin Church, Thurnham

A charming church set just off the Pilgrims' Way. In the north wall of the nave is a blocked Norman window, while the north chapel may be entered under an arch of possibly twelfth-century origin. For much of its history this chapel was the private pew of the Sheldon family.

The nave runs straight into the chancel which is distinguished by a graceful east window of four lights capped with three circles of tracery. Below the window there is much panelling given in the early part of the twentieth-century and a small single sedile, piscina and aumbry of thirteenth-century date.

 

Thurnham CastleThurnham Castle

Built in the 12th century by Robert de Thurnham, the medieval ruins of Thurnham Castle can be found about a third of a mile north of St Mary's Church.

Apart from the castles historical past, it's well worth the small walk where panoramic views over the surrounding countryside of the Kentish Weald and our Parish can be enjoyed.

For more information see our History page

 

White Horse Wood Country ParkWhite Horse Wood Country Park

White Horse Wood is Kent County Council's newest country park.…and it's growing. The 26-hectare site was purchased by KCC specifically to create a woodland park for the enjoyment of the people of Kent. Over 20,000 trees have been planted - oak, ash, silver birch, wild cherry and crab apple - and seeded five hectares to create an area of open grassland. The next phase of work will include an arts project, the creation of an unusual maze by local children and the surfacing of the paths. Set in the heart of rural and historic Kent, White Horse Wood will soon open to the public.

Also within the boundaries there are traces of an Iron Age settlement in the woodland area, which adds even more historical interest to this exciting new country park.

 

Pilgrims WayThe Pilgrims Way

Within Thurnham Parish is this legendary route immortalised by Geoffrey Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales. This scenic pathway was used by mediaeval pilgrims travelling from village inn to village inn on their pilgrimage from Winchester to Canterbury.

These ancient trackways had run ran along the ridge of the North Downs since the Bronze Age, until the Romans improved them to be used as part of their cross-country route from AD 43 - 409.

Often confused with the North Downs Way, though in places they overlap, the old trackway along the top of the North Downs has been restored and became the public footpath known as the North Downs Way. It runs for 153 miles through beautiful countryside.