As you would expect from a medieval town, Maidstone has a long and varied history. Some is well documented, but other long forgotten stories and landmarks lay buried under the layers of modern life, leaving historical treasures uncelebrated.
Author Dean Hollands, originally from Maidstone, has peeled away these layers in his new book ‘Secret Maidstone’. He writes about Maidstone and the borough through the eyes of a researcher engaging the reader about physical, historical and spiritual Maidstone.
The book left me feeling more connected to the town I live in. It gets to the point quickly covering a lot of ground and although I felt at times the stories jumped around, there is a thread of fact and interest running through the book.
I found the most interesting chapter ‘Sons, Daughters and Colourful Characters’ because this concentrated on truly amazing people – skilled celebrities, of their time – many of which I had not heard of.
‘Secret Maidstone’ has done Maidstone a great service in documenting some of the more ‘off the beaten track’ historical gems – many of which time will erode and funding may prove hard to secure for their future preservation.
I feel it is sometimes hard for people to connect with the past when it differs so greatly from the present but in ‘Secret Maidstone’ Dean Hollands clearly points out that the past is a part of our present – whether it is through the statue artwork locals walk past everyday or through the people who created the green spaces that benefit us all today.