Oast houses are actually kilns built to dry hops used in the manufacture of beer. This view of the Chiddingston oast is number 44 in the Wells Series published by H H Camburn of Tunbridge wells. It is situated on the road from Chiddingstone towards Weller's Town and Chiddingstone Hoath.
I was fortunate in being able to purchase this picture on eBay. It was taken in the 1960s by a travel writer and depicts the oast house which has now been converted into a dwelling. Notice how the cards have been adapted with iron tow bars suitable for tractors (compare with the wooden shafts visible in the picture above).
On the other side of the road, and across a field is this splendid building, now also a residence. This rather poor scan came from the internet and is cropped so the number is not visible, however it is clear it is probably an H H Camburn card from the 1920s.
The same building depicted on a Frith's card, number CDS. 31.
This more recent photograph is from the collection of my Great Aunt Edwina Hall.
This final view was taken by a friend of the family, Shirley Covey, in 1970. It shows both the large, on the left, and small oast houses from Chandlers Lane. The large field in the foreground was a hop garden when I was a boy in the 1960s. Now the taste for lager and cheaper production of hops on the continent has seen most of these, like this one, disappear.
Scanned postcards & photographs
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