January 12th, 2019

Trottiscliffe And Thereabouts

We had lunch (treated by my sister and bro-in-law)-in Luddesdown- pronounced Ludsdon- which is near Trottiscliffe- pronounced Trosley. As we drove through Trottiscliffe on our way home the sun dipped below the overcast- and in the five minutes before it sank behind the cloudbank on the horizon I took some photographs.

This is the tower of Ss Peter and Paul, Trottiscliffe. Peter and Paul is a very common dedication in Kent. I don't know why. Perhaps (and this is just a guess) the prominence of these two very Roman saints has something to do with St Augustine- who evangelised Kent in the 6th century- wanting to impress his converts with the primacy of the Roman See- which was sponsoring him.

Macey who lives in the area says Trottiscliffe is properly pronounced the way it's spelled and it's only the locals who call it Trosley, but I reckon authority rests with the people who live in a place- and if they decide its official name has a syllable too many we should defer to them. Trottiscliffe also seems to be known as Coldrum (with the names being more or less interchangeable). This is a historied place, lying in the foothills of the North Downs- with the Pilgrim's Way running along the ridge above the village. Greater London is only a hop, skip and jump away but you'd never guess. The whole area feels shut away, secret- with megaliths and abandoned medieval villages- and roads designed to take nothing wider or faster than a hay cart.