Smarden lies in east Kent c. 18km west of Ashford and c. 21km south-east of Maidstone. Smarden village is today a predominantly linear settlement centred along the High Street which kinks around either side the churchyard at its western end. The western limit of the village is defined by the River Beult, a tributary of the River Medway, which runs immediately west of the churchyard. Examination of the plan suggests that the High Street was formerly a wide triangular market place laid out east of a square enclosure around the present church. The alignment of this enclosure does not reflect the east-west alignment of the church and might thus be inferred to pre-date it. A block of regularly-shaped rectilinear properties on the south-east side of the churchyard/market place block appears to represent a planned block of settlement laid out fronting on the market place. If this interpretation is correct, the properties which now lie on the south side of the High Street must represent infilling of the original market place. Modern development has expanded the village out along the three main roads from the church, with additional further expansions set back from the main road, outside of the original historic core.
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