The Francis Frith Collection.
You are here:


Cowden photos

Displaying the first of 23 old photos of Cowden.   View all Cowden photos

View all 23 photos of Cowden

Cowden maps

Historic maps of Cowden and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis.   View all Cowden maps

Cowden area books

Displaying 1 of 26 books about Cowden and the local area.   View all books for this area

Memories of Cowden

Cowden memories
Read and share Cowden memories

Displaying a selection of personal memories of Cowden.
Add your memory of Cowden or of a photo of Cowden.


Church Street

The Old Smithy 1961, Cowden
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Generations of my family lived in Cowden, going right back to 1700s. My parents were married in the church, which lies behind the wall you can just see at the front of this photo. I was also baptised here in 1958. The main significance of this photo for me, are the two houses connected to the Old Smithy (facing left towards the church). My grandmother, Winnie Card, and her three little sisters were born in Church Cottages, and this is where their mother tragically died at a young age in 1919. Their next door neighbours were Richard & Emily Pannell; and somewhere I have a photo taken from the same angle, of Emily standing at her front door. Their older son, Charles Frederick married "the little girl next door," Winnie, in 1930.

Scarlett Cottage, Cowden

My grandparents lived in Scarlett Cottages in Cowden. He was killed in the lst world war after which my grandmother moved away. My mum, aunt and uncle were 5 & 7 at the time. I know they were frienly with a lad whose parents ran a garege at that time and the children all attended the local school. My grandfathers name (John Smith) died in 1917 and his name is on the local war memorial there. Has anyone got any memories or anything (a photo of the house would be lovely) of that era. Help would be appreciated. Thank you/ Myra Holliday

Cowden Stores

My grandparents lived and worked in Cowden. I spent all of my holidays with them from an early age from about 1965 to the late 1970s. My granddad worked on the railways and then with Leighs builders (Edenbridge) and after he retired he was the gardener at Chantrills. My grandmother (Mrs Pocock) worked at the Cowden stores and I spent my days with her there - helping to make up the orders that were delivered by Mr Weightman in his van to customers for quite a few miles around. I used to cut the leaves off the cauliflowers in the vegetable store at the back of the shop and weigh out the potatoes. Right at the back of the shop in the stores, there used to hang sides of bacon, ready to be sliced to order in the shop. I loved the smell of the coffee beans being ground and put into blue paper bags. I can honestly say that these were the happiest days of my childhood, I loved... Read more

Kent memories

The Bower

The Bower 1906, Hever
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I moved to the Bower in 1945 with my parents and two brothers. We lived there until 1952 when we imigrated to Canada. The road takes a fairly sharp turn to the right just in front of the house and on Guy Fox night we used to turn off all the lights and open the gate to the field. I remember watching the cars miss the turn and landing up in the field. We also had a pond directly across the road from the house and quiet regularly the traffic would have to stop to let the ducks cross the road. I really miss Hever, someday I would like to return.

The Boy on The Saw

The Bower 1906, Hever
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Well it should be between 1945 to 1954, that is when we were at the Bower, I see my brother has been here before me. If any of you have seen the Saturday book, I'm the boy doing the sawing behind the barn. I would love to come back sometime and see how things are the same or not.

Mill Cottage, Hever

I lived at 1 Mill Cottage with my parents and 2 sisters from 1947, my father took over from his father Frederick Sims at the power station which was at the bottom of our garden. My grandfather was in at the building of "The Village" part of the Hever Castle and our house was built on the residue from the making of the Castle Lake thus we found flints and artifacts, all of which we played with and lost. We had an idyllic life there, I married and my children were brought up there, it is a place that I wish I had never left.

Memories of The Forgotten School

Around 1950 there was a boarding school established in the castle. A great feature for me were the routine supervised strolls around the local countryside including trips to the sugar white sandstone quarry,  the subterranean hideaway of Dick Turpin and his horse, hidden in a copse located in a nearby meadow, the chiddingstone itself with metal handcuffs where wayward wives would be left outside for several days to suffer indignities, some apparently even left to die. Also the pheasants and other wildlife and the frequent plainclothed, horseback hunting parties from a nearby US base that charged through the grounds blowing their hunting horns. These are just memories now, except for this they are gone.

© Copyright 1998-2014 Frith Content Inc. All rights reserved.