16 August, 2006

Farningham, Kent, England


A row of cottages in Farningham with one house almost hidden by flowers.

Kent is known as 'The Garden of England' being full of fruit farms, hop fields and garden centres. I came across this row of cottages today and the sight of it is overwhelming with one of the dwellings almost completely hidden by flowers. Farningham is a picturesque village not far from London and it has an interesting history. It's population was 561 in 1821, 1328 in 1901 and remains about the same as that today. It is on the River Darent and was a neolithic and, later, a Roman settlement. (See my post on St Albans.) Several Roman Villas have been excavated nearby and archeologists have identified a neolithic footpath that passes through the Darent Valley. Charles Dickens used to fish for trout in the Darent.

Farningham Parish Church. 13th Century

Farningham is mentioned in the Domesday Book which was compiled by William the Conqueror and completed in 1086. The church pictured above was started in 1240 with the tower being added in the 15th century. By the 19th century there were six stage-coaches per day stopping in Farningham which had become a thriving community. Many of it's present day structures date from the 18th and 19th centuries.

93 Comments:

Blogger Rob said...

I don't know that part of the UK. I have been reading about the Normans today in the historian Michael Wood's book "In search of England". Do you have a keen interest in history?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Hello Rob: I'm a failed polymath! I have an interest in lots of things. My work takes me all over the south-east (sometimes as far as Oxford)and I have to use a digital camera (business valuations) so if I spot anything interesting I take the picture. Then, later, I do a little research and if I find something worthwhile I post it up. I think the Norman period is one of the most interesting in English history.
I like Michael Woods' style of history presentation and writing: his enthusiasm really shows through.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006  
Blogger Rob said...

A failed polymath? Sounds like me!

There is a fabulous Norman Church in Iffley Village, Oxford. It is reckoned to be one of the very best in the country.

There is quite a debate over the Normans as you know. On the one hand they modernised, on the other they have been likened to a Nazi occupation. What do you think?

Thursday, August 17, 2006  
Blogger Andrew said...

Hi Bazza,
My wife is crazy about British history and is trying to talk me into moving there for a year or so. I must admit I'm tempted.

Thank you so much for visiting "To Love, Honor and Dismay" and for leaving such a supportive comment. (...maybe you would even consider adding me to your list of links so your readers can find their way as well? I promise I'll leave the porch light on for them :o)

All the best!
Andrew

Thursday, August 17, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Hello Andrew.
Thanks for visiting.I may be adding some links soon and I would certainly include your site. Ill let you know when I've done it.
I think most Americans have a bit of a culture shock when they come to live in England (or anywhere in Britain). It's a very different experience from visiting as a tourist! I have spent quite a lot of time travelling in the US and Canada. I liked lots of places such as New Orleans (pre-Katrina), Phiadelphia, New York, Boston, Vancouver, Santa Barbara and so on.
As for British history; there is a lot of it!

Thursday, August 17, 2006  
Blogger Butchieboy said...

When are you guys gonna tear down those old buildings and built a nice new shopping center?

Friday, August 18, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Butchieboy: We did have a new building once. 1852 I think it was, and very nice too!

Friday, August 18, 2006  
Blogger serenity said...

Bazza;
Thank you for your visit and your very thoughtful comment. Sharing your insight was such a gift and a blessing, and has given me more to contemplate.

And I am so glad I clicked through your link to find these beautiful photographs and fascinating history.

Thank you for sharing your photographs and for putting the time and effort into providing the research. Fascinating reading!

Saturday, August 19, 2006  
Blogger Vive42 said...

hello bazz

my hometown is bedford. it was named after someplace in england. i went to a university in worcester, which was also named after someplace in england.

your blog seems quite appropriately named. i mainly do numbered poetry and self important political rantings, and have yet to mention what i like to call the "doomsday book" (which includes those places which, if you are originally from there, you are sure to be saved after the second coming).

i appreciate your visit, although i assume it was a random one?

Saturday, August 19, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Serenity: Thanks for visiting!

vive42: Thanks to you too. Did you mean that my blog is appropiately named because it's boring!
I found your blog by following the link to a response you made to a comment I made on Parlencheq's blog.
Numbered poetry seems like a constructed sculpture; various parts welded together and able to be viewed from a variety of angles.
I used to write poems culled from sentences (or strange words)on the back of breakfast cereal packets.
It was part of an Arts Degree.
Bedford in England is a dump but Worcester is very nice.

Sunday, August 20, 2006  
Blogger Vive42 said...

eeek. i was in a crap mood yesterday, apologies. i was reacting more to the american fascination with england in my comment- the way we yanks think england is somehow more romantic and classier than the states. two of my favorite people (and my favorite rapper) are brits- but for their down-to-earth-ness, not their snobbery.

thank you for the sculpture analogy, it's quite kind especially since i was being a bit rude in my comment.

in massachusetts bedford is quite a nice suburb, but worcester is a complete dump of a city.

Sunday, August 20, 2006  
Blogger PARLANCHEQ said...

I love the pic of the cottage covered with flowers. Definitely more romantic than the cottages in the states (wink, wink).

And even before I read vive42's comment, I was thinking the same thing she said...Worcester MA is a dump. (Sorry Worcester folks, but that's the sad truth.)

Monday, August 21, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Vive42 & Palancheq: Thank you both for your visits and comments. They made me smile. (Vive: apologies definetly not neccessary!)

Monday, August 21, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Rob: The Normans; Good Thing or Bad Thing? At the time it would have depended upon who you were. By the time of the Domesday Book, 20 years after the invasion there were hardly any English landowners left. They had all been replaced by Normans or their allies who had been promised land as a reward for helping William to secure his claim to the English crown. From today's point of view we would have to say that the England/Great Britain that exists now is, in a large part, the direct result of the last successful invasion of Britain in 1066. Our language changed from being Anglo-Saxon to Anglo-Norman, we gained a stable system of government and the most secure monarchy in Europe.
In as much as any conquering nation can be said to have benefitted a subjugated country we did well from it in the long term. I wonder how modern day Indians view the Raj? Was it the most benign colonial reign in history or simply economic exploitation? Or, did the British leave enough of their way of life so that the indigenous people felt that they had, overall, benefitted?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006  
Blogger Rob said...

Thanks. Interesting stuff.

Regarding India I guess the British handled giving up their colonies less badly than other European nations did.
Despite some resentment we seem to have a strong bond with India.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006  
Blogger Raj said...

Hello Mr. Bazza, thx for your comment on my Blog and referring this post to me. The cottage covered with those beautiful flowers is the most beautiful cottage I've ever seen. Your posts always provide knowledge about new things and we are really benefitting from your research work. Thanks a lott for that.

I can not say, we overall benefitted from the British rule, coz that would be gross injustice to all the people who fought for the freedom and who lost their lives. But being somebody born in independent India I would say we dont have any ill feelings for the British and Mr Rob is correct that may be British handled giving up their colonies in India much better way.

Thursday, August 24, 2006  
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