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Kent County Council

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The Museum occupies a tract of fertile farmland, Sandling Farm, which was once part of the Cobtree Estate and dates back to the early 18th Century.This estate was the property of the Tyrwhitt-Drake family, under whose patronage it peaked in the late 19th century. Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake, a well-travelled and colourful character who was 12 times Mayor of Maidstone, even established a small zoo in the grounds. Older locals can still remember this from the 1940s and 50s, and some of its buildings can still be found in Cobtree Manor Park, on the far side of the motorway. Sandling Farm once boasted a sand pit, a riverside wharf and a loam pit, which was let to the nearby Aylesford Pottery.

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