Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House


The Vengeful Dragon of Angley Wood                       Dragon

Just be careful when you walk from Cranbrook to Goudhurst, you just never know.

‘The magnificently wooded park of a hundred and fifty acres is richly watered by a huge lake made in 1812 and a smaller one within the grounds, while further west is an old mill pond that rejoices in a curious legend. It is an old one and the subject of it is very ancient indeed and as rare as it is horrible.

Nothing less than a flying dragon is said to haunt the pond but on certain – or uncertain – nights of the year it wings its flight over the park and pays a visit to the big lake yonder. But he always returns to the Mill Pond and it is said to pay special attention of a vicious kind to young men and women who have jilted their lovers.

A legend with a moral is this.

But a winged dragon! A dragon of the ordinary kind is bad enough. But a flying dragon! Augh!

It is Mr Tomlin’s opinion that there is stronger evidence of the existence of this dragon than of most of his kind and of his fires gone out in the closing years of the last century. Nothing short of this monster’s malign influence could account for the curious fact that, till the coming of Mr Tomlin’s eldest daughter, no child had been born at Angley Park for upwards of a hundred years’

Taken from ‘A saunter through Kent with Pen and Pencil’(1906) by Sir Charles Igglesden

Mr Sackett Tomlin, was a tobacco importer who bought Angley Park in 1869. He demolished the mansion and built a new one ‘of no special architectural merit’ (Igglesden). On his death in 1876, the property passed to his son, Edward Locke Tomlin, who lived there until 1929 when the estate was broken up.

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House will be published in 2015.

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