The Kent and East Sussex Railway refers to both a historical private railway company in Kent and East Sussex in England, as well as a heritage railway currently running on part of the route of the historical company.
The earliest plans for a railway for Tenterden were made in the 1850s. The South Eastern Railway proposed that their Ashford to Hastings line should pass through Tenterden but a more southerly route through Appledore and Rye was chosen in 1851, largely through military influence. In 1855, 1864, 1872, 1876, 1882 and 1895 plans to build a line to Tenterden from either Headcorn or Paddock Wood were proposed but all failed to materialise.
In 1896, new proposals were put forward to construct a railway from Robertsbridge on the Tonbridge-Hastings line to Tenterden. These were authorised and Holman Fred Stephens was appointed to engineer the line as a light railway. The Rother Valley Railway, as it was initially known, was the first line to be built under new legislation that encouraged the building of such cheaply constructed lines in remote rural areas. The constructional standards adopted were those recommended by theorists of the construction of light railways. Such cheap construction was known to have a limited life but reconstruction from profits was thought possible. The first section of the Rother Valley was opened on 2 April 1900 to a station at Tenterden, in fact that station now known as Rolvenden. Initial success caused the directors to obtain powers for, and plan extensions to, Cranbrook, Appledore, Pevensey and Rye. None of these was built but an extension up the hill to the present Tenterden Town Station was opened in 1903 and an extension to Headcorn was opened in 1905. A further extension to Maidstone was authorised but funds were not forthcoming to complete this.
Chapel Down Vineyard
They are an official supplier to No 10 Downing Street, are the official sparkling wine of the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Races, the first English wine to be served at Ascot racecourse and are the first English wine producer to feature in the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ and the directory of ‘Cool Brands™ 2016/17’. All of which is rather humbling.
Chapel Down produces a world-class range of sparkling and still wines, together with the award-winning range of Curious beers & cider. Our sparkling wines are created using the Traditional Method, the same as Champagne, from fruit sourced from the South-East of England.