"TENTERDEN, a parish, market town, and municipal borough, locally in the hundred of Tenterden, lathe of Scray, county Kent, but enjoying separate jurisdiction as part of the Cinque Port liberty of Hastings, 18 miles S.E. of Maidstone, and 12 from the Staplehurst station of the South-Eastern railway. The borough comprises, besides the town of Tenterden, Bird's Isle, Lye, Hithe, Small, and part of Ebony. It was anciently called Thein-warden, and was first chartered by Henry VI. Under the new Municipal Act it is governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors, with the style of "Mayor, jurats, and commons of the town and hundred of Tenterden." The municipal revenue is about £550. The population in 1851 was 3,901, and in 1861, 3,762, having decreased; while the houses had increased in the decennial period from 708 to 711. The town stands on elevated ground, and consists chiefly of one long street forming part of the West Kent road. It is lighted with gas. The principal public buildings are, the townhall, rebuilt in 1792, assembly rooms, subscription library, union workhouse, and two commercial branch banks. It is a polling place for West Kent, and the head of a Poor-law Union comprising 11 parishes. A court of quarter sessions is held before the Recorder, and petty sessions fortnightly, also a county court monthly. An agricultural society has been established, and an extramural cemetery formed outside the town. The manor anciently formed part of the possession of St. Augustine's monastery, but now belongs to the corporation. Tenterden gives title of baron to the Abbotts of Hendon, in Middlesex. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury, value £450, in the patronage of the dean and chapter. The church, dedicated to St. Mildred, is of the 13th century, with a tower containing a peal of eight bells. On the N. side of the church is an exclusorium or penitentiary used by the monks, and in which five Protestant martyrs were confined in the reign of Queen Mary. There is also the district church of Smallhythe, the living of which is a donative curacy, value £107. The Wesleyans, Baptists, Calvinists, and Unitarians have chapels. The town charities produce about £300 per annum, of which £80 is Lady Maynard's bequest for apprenticing poor children. Market day is on Friday, chiefly for corn. There is an annual fair on the first Monday in May for cattle, wool, and merchandise."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]