A History of YALDING, Kent, England



On the Tithe map these are a row of five cottages between the lower end of Town Bridge and the George Inn. The landlord of the George Inn from at least 1832 until the 1850’s, had been George Meers, and the name of this row for most of the nineteenth century had been Meers Cottages.

It was about 1880 when Daniel Kingsland arrived with his wife Jane and three daughters, the youngest of whom was Edith Ellen aged two who had been born at Marden. Daniel was aged 27, but Jane was very soon to die in child-birth and was buried here on 12th March 1882 aged 33. The 1891 census listed Daniel aged 37, with new wife Elizabeth 47, and Edith, plus son William aged 9.


On this 1891 list the name was still Meers Cottages, but Daniel was soon to change that to his own name. Edith Ellen was also to die at a young age and was buried here on 4th March 1899 aged 20. Daniel was a boot-maker by trade, employing at least one other pair of hands, and presumably had the shed built at the end of the bridge. He was still in business to at least 1911, but by 1915 had moved on. After this it appears that William Killick, who owned the store across the road, bought the property as his name was above the window on photographs.

From the late 1920’s until the 1960’s this end cottage, went under the name of Sunshine Lodge, and housed the village Salvation Army unit. Initially it served as a home for boys, but later became a fellowship meeting house for all ages. During hop-picking they wheeled out a shinning urn to serve tea and cake in the hop-fields. Over the Christmas period they had a speaker system sounding out carols from the top window. The last person in charge was a brigadier Davidson.


In this bottom half of the village, most houses were built up from ground level, indicated by the steps up to the doorways, because of local flooding.


Of these timber framed cottages, brick-faced lower, tile faced upper, Nos 1 and 2, are older than the others evidenced by a mortar joint where the others were added, and a blocked window in Nos 2 facing the George Inn, but built to act as a terraced row and were pre-nineteenth century.