Until , the Sharps toffee factory later part of Cadbury Trebor Basset , was in central Maidstone and provided a significant source of employment. KEF still occupies the same river-bank site. In the late s KEF manufactured a loudspeaker called "the Maidstone". The town centre has the largest office centre in the county and the area is a base for the paper and packaging industry. Many high-technology firms have set up in surrounding business parks. The town is ranked in the top five shopping centres in the south east of England for shopping yields and, with more than one million square feet of retail floor space, in the top 50 in the UK.
Other recent developments include the riverside Lockmeadow Centre, with a multiplex cinema , restaurants, nightclubs, and the town's market square. In the UK census, These figures were roughly in line with the national average. Compared to national figures, Maidstone had a high percentage of workers in construction and public administration, and a low percentage in agriculture. One of the first roads in Kent to be turnpiked was from Rochester to Maidstone, in The A20 runs through the town and the M20 motorway runs to the north.
The M2 motorway is a short distance to the north. The historic centre of the town is largely pedestrianised or with restricted access for private vehicles, which are diverted around a one way system.
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The River Medway was, until the coming of better roads and the railways, the principal means of transporting goods. Improvements had been made in about to the river so that barges of 40 tons could get upriver to East Farleigh , Yalding and Tonbridge. This meant that a good deal of trade, including corn, hops, fodder, fruit, stone and timber passed through the town, where there were several wharves.
The medieval stone bridge was replaced in to give better clearance: it was designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette. A second bridge, St Peter's Bridge, was built in Today the river is of importance mainly to pleasure-boat owners and the considerable number of people living on houseboats. For many years there has been a river festival during the last weekend in July, and a millennium project inaugurated the Medway River Walk, the Medway Park and a new footbridge linking the former cattle market now a multiplex cinema and nightclub west of the river to the shopping area to the east.
Most services are operated by Arriva and some operated by Nu-Venture. Stagecoach also operates route 10X in the town to Ashford via Lenham , with most buses continuing onto Hythe and Folkestone.
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In the centenary of Maidstone Corporation Transport was marked with several events, featuring a preserved Maidstone trolleybus. When the railways were built in the s, Maidstone was not well served. In , the South Eastern Railway , to reach the Channel ports of Folkestone and Dover , put its main line through Tonbridge and Ashford, some 6 miles 9. A station named Maidstone Road was built in an isolated spot called Paddock Wood , from where coaches were run to the county town.
Two years later a branch line was built to Maidstone. In the Medway Valley Line connected Strood with the town. It was not until that the line from London arrived, and another ten years before Ashford was connected by rail.
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The only part built was a short branch serving the paper mills at Tovil. The Medway Valley Walk between Tonbridge and Gillingham passes through the town, following the banks of the river. Between and , Maidstone had a small trolleybus network. The town is served by 15 secondary schools, 23 primary schools, and two special schools. Alumni of the oldest school, Maidstone Grammar School founded , include James Burke , television presenter, and Lord Beeching , of the British railway cuts of the s.
William Golding , author of Lord of the Flies was once a teacher at the school. In the census, In , religions were All Saints' Church in the town centre was the collegiate church of the College of All Saints built in next to the Archbishop's Palace. It is a landmark building [ clarification needed ] and is one of the largest and widest parish churches in England.
Jubilee Church is an independent Maidstone-based Christian church which forms partnerships not only in Kent, but in Canada and the Ukraine. A Twinning Association Committee meets every month. It organises annual trips to the Jeanne Hachette Festival in Beauvais. An annual sporting weekend is also held, with Maidstone and Beauvais taking it in turns to host the event. There are several radio stations based in the town, or which broadcast to it.
It used to broadcast from studios on mill street, however now broadcasts from the studios of sister station KMFM Medway in Strood. Hospital Radio Maidstone, which broadcasts from Maidstone Hospital , is one of the longest serving hospital radio stations in the UK. Several national TV shows are also filmed at the studios. Heart Kent used to broadcast from studios in Earl Street. Whilst living in the slums of London in the summer of , he heads to Maidstone in search of hop-picking work up the London Road. He finds lodgings with a "Sea Wife" living in the poor quarter of Maidstone, and persuades her and her husband to let him stay in their front room.
Operated by Maidstone Borough Council , the museum is open seven days a week, with free admission. The core of the museum is located within the former Chillington Manor, an Elizabethan manor house completed in New wings were added to the building in the 19th century. The museum includes a collection of historic buildings including a chapel, village hall and old houses.
It also includes displays on agriculture, including a farm yard and farm animals. The museum was established by Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake , a former mayor of Maidstone, who amassed a large collection of horse-drawn vehicles.
Following the NASA tradition of naming craters on Mars after small towns, the Maidstone crater was added to the list of Martian geographical features in Maidstone United was formed in The club gained promotion to the Football League in , from non-league football. The club could not bring its London Road Ground up to Football League standards so it ground-shared at Dartford's Watling Street stadium and played its games there.
It went bankrupt in Maidstone Hockey Club is one of the oldest hockey clubs in the country, founded in Maidstone Rugby Football Club is one of the older rugby clubs in England having been founded in Mote Park is the town's largest park and includes a number of recreational and sport facilities.
The Lashings World XI exhibition cricket team is based in Maidstone and has included a number of high-profile professional cricketers. Maidstone Sailing Club sails on Mote Park lake. Maidstone also has a rowing club, a martial arts school, a tennis club, an athletics club, an American football team and a basketball club. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about Maidstone town. For larger local government district, see Borough of Maidstone. For other uses, see Maidstone disambiguation.
South East. Maidstone and The Weald. Main article: History of Maidstone.
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Trolleybuses in Maidstone. See also: List of schools in Kent. Dan Abnett born , author William Alexander — , painter Edward Balston — , head master of Eton College Angela Barnes born , actress and comedian, grew up in Maidstone.
Robert Blatchford — , socialist campaigner, journalist and author Daniel Blythe born , author Julius Brenchley — , explorer Georgina Campbell born , actress Michael Chaplin born , artist and author Thomas Culpeper c. Mouat — , surgeon Diana Noel, 2nd Baroness Barham , philanthropist and abolitionist John Orrell — , theatre historian and professor Anthony Pawson — , microbiologist Joe Pigott born , footballer  Mike Ratledge born , musician William Shipley — , founder of the Royal Society of Arts James Smith — , recipient of the Victoria Cross Ralph Steadman born , illustrator Simon Stock 13th c.
June Retrieved 7 September Archived from the original on 20 July Retrieved 5 August BBC News. Retrieved 2 September Bookbinding and the conservation of books; A dictionary of descriptive terminology. Government Printing Office. UK Parliament. Retrieved 9 December Archived from the original PDF on 7 April Retrieved 6 April London: Guardian.
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