Maidstone. Steel engraving. Drawing by Tomblesons and engraved by P. Sands. From Eighty Picturesque Views of the Thames and Medway.

Text accompanying the engraving

Shortly curving to the left, the Medway now pursues its course through the ancient bridge of Maidstone. This town is supposed to be the Caer-Meguiad, or Megwad, mentioned by Nennius, and the Vagniaces of Antoninus. It occupies a sloping eminence on the eastern bank of the river, and is deUghtfvdly situated in the midst of a well-wooded and finely cultivated country, watered in every part by the river or the rill.The soil adjoining the town and its neighbourhood is well adapted to the growth of fruit and the culture of hops, the prosperity of the place being much indebted to this branch of agriculture. Its central situation has rendered it well adapted for a country town, and for the purposes of provincial meetings and public business. It is an ancient borough by prescription, returning two members to parliament, and containing 15,387 inhabitants. The river Len flows through the town into the Medway, of which it may be considered one of the minor sources, rising at Ewel, adjoining Bigon-heath, in the western part of the parish of Lenham, and in its course gliding by Leeds castle. The Medway, on quitting the bridge, is for a time shaded by a range of trees; and at the distance of about two miles the stream flows by the venerable ruins of Allington castle, situated on the southern banks, which is partly concealed from the water by the surrounding shrubs and trees. The remains, however, are extremely interesting, as dehneated in the annexed illustration. The castle is stated to have been built by the earl of Warrenne after the conquest, on the site of one erected in the Saxon times by the noble family of Columbarij, but which was razed by the Danes.

Text and formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the University of California Library and the Internet Archive and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]


Fearnside, W. G. Eighty Picturesque Views of the Thames and Medway, Engraved on Steel by the First Artists. London: Black and Armstrong, [n.d. after 1837]. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of California at Berkley Library. Web. 30 March 2012.

Last modified 2 May 2012