Chiddingstone Church of England Primary School was my first school. It is situated to the left of where the photographer is standing (out of sight). The whole of this row of houses is now owned and cared for by the National Trust.
The first image is early as it shows a five bar gate in this location which is not there in later pictures - also the dress of the people standing in front of the shop suggest a date before or around 1900?
St Mary's Church is to the right behind the Cedar tree, which has sadly gone, having become dangerous due to age I am told. A new one has been planted for future generations to enjoy.
Here is another card of similar vintage - this time by Valentines (number 37110) and hand coloured. A lovely period view with the children and carts.
This card is number 36 published by Eagleton, Penshurst and dates from c.1901. The Castle Inn is the first building on the right. It's obviously a hot day - all the windows seem to be open!
Here is a nice animated card, from an original water colour painted by F W Burton, of the village, number 854 published by J Salmon of Sevenoaks.
Here is a another nice image, again painted by F W Burton, of the village, number 801 published by J Salmon of Sevenoaks.
The next artist drawn card, number 7332 in the Oilette series published by Raphael Tuck, carries the following legend on the rear: "A beautiful village embowered in trees, situated about 6 miles north-west of Tunbridge Wells, on the Eden, a tributary of the Medway. It is supposed to derive its name from a fantastic mass of sandstone rock, shaped like a pulpit, or 'chiding-stone', situated in the Castle park behind the Inn."
This second card (with a little foxing unfortunately) shows the village from the other end of the street - roughly where the horse and cart can be seen. I wonder who the man driving the sheep and the man leaning against the porch pillar were?
The next card, a hand coloured view in the Valentine's Series was posted in 1904. Notice the two small girls on the steps of the old house and the wagon in the background in front of the Castle Inn.
Number 48 in a series produced for C. F. Wells, Ye Olde Shoppe, Chiddingstone, by H. H. Camburn of Tunbridge Wells, this card shows the said shop, with the Castle Inn in the right background.
A similar view, this time Number 25.
Here is an image of the village painted by A R Quinton, number 1278 in the series produced by J Salmon of Sevenoaks. It was posted in 1917.
An artist drawn card by E W H (no further information on the card), this time published by Valentine's dates from c. 1915.
Here is a slightly later card published by William J. Tassell, General Stores, Chiddingstone.
The village hall is set back behind the High Street, between the house nearest the camera above and the village school. This H H Camburn card, number 13, shows the hall together with its forecourt. Although a Victorian building, it was built in a style sympathetic to the medieval context.
The final view was taken on 26th June 1948. I was fortunate in being able to buy this photograph on eBay; sadly I don't know who the photographer was.
More about Chiddingstone can be found here.
Scanned antique postcards
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