When on a trail to discover the historical delights of a county what better place is there to start than the new flagship centre for local history? Situated in Maidstone, the Kent History and Library Centre provides a focal point for anyone interested in local, national or family history and will be shortly be showcasing the new ‘Magnificent Manuscript’ exhibition.
Running from Saturday 8 December 2012 until Saturday 2 March 2013, visitors will be able to view a unique collection of remarkable objects, such as Kent’s oldest historical document and Sir Thomas Beckett’s Charter, but do not be misled into thinking this is a collection of dry and sombre tomes for there are numerous delights on show.
In a letter from Nelson to Emma Hamilton, he grumbles over the fact he has been passed over for promotion whilst Jane Austen ‘gossips’ with her niece Fanny Knight. Byron writes a letter of complaint to his publisher and a house book kept by the ‘Witch Queen’s’ Treasurer depicts her life as a prisoner at Leeds Castle.
Politics, pirates, battles and bridegrooms are all covered but I have to leave you with a mention of cheese. For in 1559, following an inspection of a Dover port storehouse, the inspectors found the cheese to be ‘olde, rotten & nawghty’. Now that’s not something you want to find on your table.
Entrance to the exhibition is free of charge and wheelchair friendly and you can find out more information by calling 0845 8247200 or visiting http://www.kent.gov.uk/kenthistorycentre
Kent History and Library Centre, James Whatman Way, Maidstone, ME14 1LQ