A History of YALDING, Kent, England


From the surgery car-park, looking through the gap in the line of poplar trees, which is where the Tatt Stream leaves the River Beult, can be seen a front view of this house in question, that of The Elms.

This residence became quite instrumental in forming the roots of some groups of our Edwardian village.

It was probably built in the 1860’s by Ambrose John Warde, who had previously lived at Down House at the top of the hill. Ambrose was 16 years older than his wife Anna Maria, and they were to bring up nine children of six boys and three girls. Anna moved away after Ambrose was buried here on 26th Feb 1894 aged 73.

The “Freehold Estate” of 15 acres was sold by auction at The Royal Star Hotel Maidstone, on Thurs 20th of June, 1895.  

This photo shows the house as it is today.

The house was bought by retired army captain of the Royal Engineers, Philip Saville Reid (1845 – 1915), and his wife Amy Eleanor.

With them were three sons, Charles Saville (1879 – 1954), Arthur William (1881 – 1937), and Hugh Stanier (1883 – 1959).

The house of 1895 consisted of a Basement with Dairy, Coal, Wine, Beer and Apple Cellarage.

Ground floor of Entrance hall, Dining room, Drawing room, and Library, plus Pantry, Kitchen, Scullery with spring water pump, and Wash-room with rain water pump, large copper and furnace.

On first floor were five Bedrooms, Nursery, and Dressing room.

On second floor were four Bedrooms, and Dressing room.

One group that started in 1907 and is still flourishing is that of the village Rifle Club, established in grounds of The Elms, with access from the Kintons footpath. Captain Reid gave permission, and following meeting at the Village Club on 11th of May that year, Mrs Reid fired the opening shot on the 27th of July. Since then many competitions have been won, with women also in the membership.

The Reid family also played a part in helping to establish the Boy Scout movement in the village, by allowing them to use grounds for meetings and initial space for camping.

This photo shows a scout activity on the lawns of The Elms, at an unknown date, and with no names of those partaking.

The house and grounds.

This description is from about 100 years ago. Capt Reid established a small farm and orchards on the 15 acres or so surrounding The Elms.  There was a small herd of Channel Island cattle, which kept the village supplied, and children brought up tin milk cans, which were filled with milk at the Dairy within a short time of it coming up from the cowshed. There were large flower and kitchen gardens, which benefited from manure from the cowshed. In the front gardens was a tennis court, which is now at the side next to the churchyard.

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