"West Malling has just won the prestigious Kent Rural Community of the Year 2012."
West Malling has the almost perfect layout of a Mediaeval Town, with a restored 12th century Merchant’s House.
Its prosperity was based around St Mary’s Abbey, still occupied by Benedictine Nuns after more than 900 years, together with a Norman Tower and Church (containing a rare coat of arms), fine Tithe Barn and Monastery.
Wealthy owners adapted the fashions and there is a range of beautiful houses – Elizabethan, Jacobean, Queen Anne, Georgian and Victorian.
Set in lovely Kent countryside, with Manor Park and Lake, its thriving community is full of old pubs, good eating houses and unique shops.
One of the most popular places to visit is the 20-acre site of former orchard near the old County (Cricket) Ground. This formerly derelict site became known as Macey’s Meadow after Percy Macey, a much-loved member of the community; it was purchased by the Parish Council to protect it against development and is now lovingly maintained by volunteers as a wildlife haven open to everybody – there are even sheep grazing there now !
The Old County (Cricket) Ground is also owned by the Parish Council; in 2005 the 300th anniversary of Cricket in Kent was celebrated by the Town Malling Cricket Club, in conjunction with the Borough Council.
Kent Rural Community of the Year
West Malling has just won the prestigious Kent Rural Community of the Year 2012. The competition run by the Action with Communities in Rural Kent organisation, is open to any community in Kent with population of less than 5000.
To win the competition West Malling had to submit reports on 4 aspects of village life encompassing:- a better place to live and work, maintaining community contact and a better environmental future. This was followed up, by the Judges visiting the village to talk with community representatives, and to see activities at first hand.
West Malling won by scoring the overall highest mark for the 4 sections. The judges awarded the village “Highly Commended” for its Sustainability and Social & Community submissions; whilst its Business & Communications entries won their sections outright.
Many thanks to Parish Councillor Keith Bullard and all members of the community who worked so hard to achieve this success.