I invite you today to an unusual place which is the Museum of Kent Life, an attraction that offers good fun for the whole family. Here children are never bored.
Kids can play both inside and outside, they can try their strength and talents on the potter’s wheel, they can get on the tractor, watch and even touch the animals living there, and in the spring admire the newborn lambs and other small creatures
They can also go for a delicious chuff, fun is guaranteed.
Kent Life is an open-air museum, farm, park, garden, playground, museum; all in one, situated on an area of 28 acres. Kent Life explores the history of Kent by talking about agricultural production in older days, about old farms and their heritage, especially about growing hops. This typical beer ingredient that gives it a bitter taste was brought to England from France in the sixteenth century. Southern Kent had perfect soil and climate for growing this plant. Since then, the Kent farmers have not complained about the lack of prosperity. In Kent Life we can learn a lot about hops, but also how those who cultivated it lived.
You can visit old houses moved here from nearby villages, a post office, chapel, stables, barns, chicken coops, as well as typical for Kent Oast houses with a special, conical chimney, in which harvested hops were drying.
Each season brings something new to do and see in the Museum.
In the spring I watched newborn sheep and tried fresh strawberries; of course, the in the summer was harvest time and I took part with the children in the teddy bear picnic; in autumn I came to the apple festival and had the opportunity to try a fresh cider, and in winter I visited Kent Life with kids to see Santa Claus and together we watched a modern, very funny version of the nativity play. I regret that my children no longer believe in Santa. They are so grown up.
Instead I can take them to a Halloween party, looking for ghosts, because they say about Kent Life that it is the most haunted museum in England. Apparently, Kent Life was once part of the estate belonging to Sir Thomas Wyatt, lover of Anna Bolyn, the unfortunate wife of Henry VIII, who lost her head for infidelity. And apparently she has been visiting the home of her beloved since then, and every time he rushes to meet her.
Later other ghosts come to this farm in Kent: a would-be bride who died in an accident on Bluebell Hill, a German pilot whose plane was shot down in this area during the war, a woman whose child died shortly after birth, sometimes sits on the porch of one of the houses with a bundle in her hand, and another young girl circling around drying hops in the oast house. Although I do not believe in such stories, still just thinking about it I got shivers down my spine. If you want to see for yourself how it is with these ghosts, I suggest you sign up for a night tour of the museum.
Museum of Kent Life: Lock Lane, Sandling, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 3AU
Tel: 01622 763936
Their website: http://www.kentlife.org.uk/