- Maidstone is the county town of Kent, 32 miles south-east of London. The River Medway rund through the centre of the town. 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.
In 2001 the town had a population of 138,959.
Neolithic finds have revealed the earliest occupation of the area, and the Romand have left their mark also. Maidstone’s charter as a town was first confirmed in 1549. The town’s charter was ratified in 1619.
During World War II Maidstone was randomly bombed by the Germans. Throughout the course of the war 70 people were killed from the effects of air raids, flying bombs and crashed aircraft. The wordt day for casualties was 27 september 1940, subsequently named ‘Black Friday’, in which German aircraft bombed right across the town. It is thought the 22 or 23 people killed may have died within the two minutes it took for the bombing run to pass over. According to RAF information some 180 German aircraft (100 fighters and 80 bombers) crossed the Coast between Folkestone and Dover in six formations. No 11 Group sent up 13 squadrons to meet this attack and 11 of these squadrons intercepted. The attack was halted in the Maidstone – Tonbridge area but some German aircraft penetrated to Central and West London.
In another incident a single bomber appeared from the clouds over Mill Street on 31 October 1940. Its bombs killed six in the immediate area.