Accessed by a footpath between the school and new Rectory, the Chiding Stone is said, probably erroneously, to have given Chiddingstone its name. The Chiding, or Judgement Stone, is a natural rostrum, which may well have been used in past times as a place of delivering judgement.
This engraving of the stone was publishes on the 25th June 1784 by S Hooper. It was engraved by Sparrow. It is interesting to note there is a building on the right hand side - this has long gone, in my childhood the stone stood at the side of a large, empty pasture. Some artistic licence has been used in this image - the platform is shown very wide, although I suppose it is possible this was 'improved' by later generations.
This scan taken from a magic lantern slide shows a group of children sitting on top of the stone. I would guess it dates from the late 19th century.
Published by W C Lawrence of Tonbridge, this rather dark postcard was posted in 1905.
Whatever the truth of the legends, the stone is certainly an interesting natural phenomenon and is worth seeing if you ever visit the village. I have happy memories of climbing on it as a boy.
Here is another picture, this time card number 143 in the Mockford Series from c.1900.
More about Chiddingstone can be found here.
Scanned antique postcard
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