Aldington is a village and civil parish in the Ashford District of Kent, England. The village centre is eight miles (12 km) south-east of the town of Ashford. Set on a hill top above Romney Marsh, the village offers breathtaking views over the marsh out towards Lympne and Dungeness.
The parish is bounded to the north by the M20 motorway and the rail links that include High Speed 1. To the south it drops to the Romney Marsh (about 10% of the parish lies there) to the north bank of the Royal Military Canal. It covers 3,400 acres (1376ha) and has a population of 981. The parish, part of the North Downs), is considered an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and a large area is also part of the Old Romney Shoreline Special Landscape Area. The main road across the parish follows the path of a Roman road
St Martin's church
The village of Aldington is steeped in history and there are more than 50 buildings of historical or architectural interest in the wider parish. Here was one of the Archbishop of Canterbury's palaces, of which only ruins remain.
After the Napoleonic Wars, Aldington was the stronghold of The Aldington Gang, an infamous band of smugglers who roamed the marshes and shores of Kent plying their trade. The gang's leaders, Cephas Quested and George Ransley, natives of Aldington, made the Walnut Tree inn (see below) their headquarters and drop for their contraband. High up on the southern side of the inn is a small window through which the gang would shine a signal light to their confederates on Aldington Knoll.
Aldington Knoll itself is the subject of local and wider legend. Traditionally, it is said to be the burial site of a giant and his sword and is protected by murderous ghouls who will kill anyone attempting to flatten the area. Ford Maddox Hueffer's poem "Aldington Knoll" is inspired by this legend. Others, including HG Wells, have suggested that it is the entrance to fairyland! 
In 1511 Erasmus of Rotterdam, the theologian and scholar, was appointed rector of Aldington by Archbishop Warham. He lived at the rectory next to the church in what is now called Parsonmage Farm. Erasmus spoke Latin and Dutch but no English. He could therefore not preach to the English congregation and resigned one year later after a kidney complaint, which he blamed on the local beer.
Elizabeth Barton born in the village in 1506, became a maid to one of the local families, but claimed she had visions. She was provided a place in the convent at Canterbury, and through some manipulation by Bishop John Fisher and Sir Thomas More she prophesied that King Henry VIII would die a villain's death if he divorced Catherine of Aragon.
Many famous literary figures have made their home here, including
- Joseph Conrad (December 3, 1857 – August 3, 1924), the Polish-born novelist.
- Ford Madox Ford (December 17, 1873 – June 26, 1939) the novelist and publisher.
- Sir Noël Coward (December 16, 1899 – March 26, 1973) the actor, playwright, and composer of popular music.
In Aldington and its near neighbour, Aldington Frith, the amenities include a primary school; two pubs, The Walnut Tree and The Good Intent, (both with restaurants); a post office/village store, bakery and Coopers' abattoir & butcher's shop. There is a village hall and a recreation ground including a tennis court and children's play area. 2010 saw the addition of an "adult gym" area on the Reynold's Playing Field and an expansion of facilities for children.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aldington, Kent.|
- KentGuide's comprehensive page about Aldington
- Notes on the parish
- Aldington in the Domesday Book