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Aylesford

Settlement in South East England, 4 miles NW of Maidstone, England, in the valley of the Medway River[?]. Originally a riverside village, Aylesford has expanded rapidly over the past thirty years to gain a population of around 11,000.

There has been a settlement in the area since neolithic times. Kit's Coty House[?], 1.5 miles to the north of the village centre, is believed to be the false entrance to a long barrow. A similar structure, just south of this, collapsed during an earthquake during prehistoric times.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records a battle near this town in AD 455, where Hengest defeated Vortigern, although his brother Horsa is said to have fallen in this battle .

The historic village centre contains some buildings constructed during the Middle Ages, when the majority of the church and the bridge over the Medway was also built. At this time Aylesford became the lowest bridging point of the river, and a small docks were built (although there had been stepping stones crossing the river before then). Simon Stock[?] also held his first chapter of Carmelites.

Further major construction followed during the Victorian era, when houses were constructed to serve the nearby quarry.

Recent expansion has been to the southern side of the river, where a substantial suburban housing estate has grown up. Many of these homes became owned by employees of the nearby paper mills, though recently this has become a less important source of employment in the area.



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