A History of YALDING, Kent, England



From  the junction of Town Bridge Benover Road leads through Congelow towards Collier Street. The photo’s below show views looking away from that junction, and facing back towards the post office corner.

What I have referred to as the garage shop in the Village index can be seen in left distance down the road, complete with its petrol pumps outside, in the left photo, and in the right foreground in the other view. On the village side of this shop is the George Hotel, and opposite that is a residence called Freeman House, next to Gabriels, named after Gabriel Hards the Baker, and had been called Hards Cottages.

Freeman House had been a butcher’s shop, operated in 1900 by Luke Freeman, then George Freeman, and by 1915 was in the name of Freeman Brothers. Lodging with them in the 1901 census were brothers Thomas and Edward Randall of the high street butchers who were both registered as assistants.  Subsequent butchers have been named as Neate, followed by Masters.

Both these buildings are quite low frontage at or near street level, whereas most others have stepped entrances to allow for the fact that Benover and Lees roads turned into rivers at flood time, which was as recent as 2000.

All these cottages including the next pair, Woolletts, and then Killicks, a block of fourteen, are timber framed with brick infill.

They are basically eighteenth century, except for Woolletts which has a heavier timber frame and is much earlier in date.


In number 5 Killicks Cottages of 1900, lived Edith Mitchener a school mistress, whilst in No 7 lived blind widow, Matilda Mercer aged 66 looked after by her son Sidney aged 30.

Sidney was to marry Eliza Brooker in 1907, and they continued to live there until Eliza died in 1962. Sidney was the local bread roundsman, and they became great friends of Edmund Blunden, who even wrote to them whilst he was at Tokyo university.

It was in number one that Jean Cheesman spent her last years, after living with husband Tom and bringing up their three girls on Congelow farm.