Maidstone (mādˈstən) [key], city (1991 pop. 86,067), Kent, SE England, on the Medway River. It is a market city with agricultural, paper, printing, quarrying, brewing, and engineering industries. There is evidence of a Roman station. Chillington Manor (Elizabethan) contains the Maidstone Museum, the public library, and the headquarters of the Kent Archaeological Society. The grammar school dates from 1549. Noteworthy are the Church of All Saints, founded in the 14th cent.; the palace of the archbishops; and Penenden Heath, a recreation ground. Maidstone has technical, art, and adult-education schools. William Hazlitt was born in the city. Nearby Cobtree Manor is the "Dingley Dell" of Dickens's Pickwick Papers.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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