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Maidstone

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Kent  /  Maidstone
(3.7/5 based on 5,500+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, parks, nightlife
Maidstone is the county town of Kent, England, 32mi south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the centre of the town, linking it with Rochester and the Thames Estuary. Historically, the river was a source and route for much of the town's trade as the centre of the agricultural county of Kent, known as the Garden of England. There is evidence of a settlement in the area dating back to beyond the Stone Age.The town is in the borough of Maidstone. In 2011, the town had a population of 113,137, about 73 per cent of the population of the borough.Maidstone's economy has changed over the years from being involved in heavy industry, to more light industry and service industries.ToponymySaxon charters (c975) show the first recorded instances of the town's name, de maeides stana and maegdan stane, possibly meaning stone of the maidens or stone of the people. The latter meaning may refer to the nearby megalith around which gatherings took place. The name evolved through medestan/meddestane in the Domesday Book with possible variation Mayndenstan, in 1396. The modern name appeared by 1610. It has been suggested that the name derives from stones set into the river to allow clothes to be rinsed in the cleaner water away from the banks.
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