Maidstone

Mar 1st, 2011 | By | Category: Lead Story

Maidstone is the county town of Kent, England, 32¬†miles (51 km) south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the centre of the town linking Maidstone to Rochester and the Thames Estuary. Historically, the river was a source and route for much of the town’s trade. Maidstone was the centre of the agricultural county of Kent, known as the Garden of England.
There is evidence of a settlement in the area dating back to beyond the Stone Age.

The town is within the borough of Maidstone. In 2001, the town had a population of 138,959.

Maidstone’s economy has changed over the years from being involved in heavy industry, to more light and service industries.

Saxon charters (c975) show the first recorded instances of the town’s name: de maeides stana and maegdan stane with the possible meaning of either stone of the maidens, or possibly stone of the people. The latter meaning may refer to the nearby megalith around which gatherings would take place. The name evolved through medestan/meddestane as reported in the Domesday Book until, in 1610, the modern name appeared. It has also been suggested that the name derives from stones set into the river to allow clothes to be rinsed in the cleaner water away from the banks of the river.

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