Welcome to our Parish
Teston (“vulgarly called Teeson” as Edward Hasted wrote in “History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent 1782”) lies at the western fringe of the borough of Maidstone in Kent and is set on a southerly slope overlooking a beautiful part of the Medway valley.
Village Sign photograph – above right
Provided courtesy of Mr L Broad of Teston History Society
The River Medway forms the southern boundary, and is spanned by Teston Bridge which is a scheduled ancient monument. Alongside the Medway is the Kent County Council’s Teston Country Park, which forms the rural anchor of the Maidstone Millennium Walk. There are marvellous walks to be had both here and to the north of the village in the woods off the ancient highway at Livesey Street.
The village contains a good number of listed buildings, including Barham Court, which became a focus in the late 1700’s for abolitionists fighting against the slave trade (you can read more about Teston’s connection with the slave trade by clicking here). A large part of the village has Conservation Area status, in recognition of its special architectural and historic interest, helping to preserve and enhance its character.
The Parish Council has worked hard to protect and preserve the rural nature of the village and valley, and in 2001 the Teston Land Conservation Trust, of which Parish Councillors are Trustees, was formed with the object of conserving, protecting and maintaining the unspoilt rural and agricultural nature of land within and abutting the Parish of Teston for the benefit of its inhabitants. In furtherance of this object the Trust has, so far, purchased two parcels of land.
The centre of the village lies north of the A26 Tonbridge Road, at the junction where Church Street crosses The Street and Malling Road. Around the village centre you will find the Village Hall, which is well used by the Teston and Wateringbury Nursery Group, the Testonites dramatic group which gives an annual show, the Teston History Society, the Pioneers who are a lively youth group, the Church for Saturday morning coffee, and the Parish Council which holds its regular meetings in the hall every two months. There are also tap dancing groups, judo classes, and a group that meets for band practice. Lying at the other corners of the village centre are the Teston Club, the Post Office stores, and the War Memorial, where a Remembrance Service is held each November. Further information regarding the names of the fallen inscribed on the War Memorial click here to visit the Kent Fallen website.
In Church Street, to the rear of the village hall is the village green with its play facilities for younger members of the community and further on is the Church of St Peter and St Paul which has a very active congregation that organises art shows, jumble sales, a Flower Festival, a gift day and Harvest Supper, and at Christmas they hold a Fayre, a Christmas Tree week, candle lit carols, village carol singing and a Nativity Play.
To the north of the village crossroads stands the former Alfred Reader Cricket and Hockey Ball Factory, now sympathetically converted to private housing. Cricket balls were first manufactured in Teston by Thomas Martin, who had a workshop above the village store. When he retired the business was taken over by Alfred Reader, who expanded the business. Alfred’s sons opened the new factory in the 1920’s.
The population of Teston has remained fairly constant for the last 30-40 years. It remains a small, friendly community of around 250 houses. Residents are able to keep in touch with local news through “Tapestry”, the popular village magazine, which has been delivered to all homes free of charge ever since it was first published in 1974. The Church and Parish Council also post items on the notice board located outside the village hall.