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Kentish Mayde biscuit

17th February 2021

Kent Pie makers purchase a slice of local history

The biscuit, baked in honour of the famous 'Biddenden Maids' was purchased at auction by the owners of Kentish Mayde, a local pie company from Biddenden, who named the business after the twins.

According to tradition Mary and Eliza Chulkhurst were conjoined twins born in Biddenden in 1100. After their death, aged 34, the local church was bequeathed around 20 acres of land and the rental income was used to provide an annual dole of bread, cheese and beer to the poor every Easter.

At some point the biscuits began to be baked, bearing the likeness of the twins as part of the annual tradition. The biscuit, thought to be at least 200 years old, was discovered in a book shop in Bristol among a collection of 18th century books and was put up for auction.

Eagle eyed, Matthew Botley, owner of Kentish Mayde, spotted a news item on the biscuit and decided it should be returned to the village where it was made. “Its such a rare item, only 3 are known to have survived and it just seemed right that it came back to the village, where the twins are celebrated and the tradition of dole still happens”

Having secured the biscuit at auction, it has now been framed to preserve it and will form part of a display including local photographs, like this one from 1902 depicting the annual dole being handed out.

1902 Dole Queue in Biddenden

“We are a family business and this photo was passed to a family member by another village resident. to keep the memories of the local tradition alive so we feel it’s something we want to help preserve” said Matthew

Kentish Mayde , may not make biscuits but their award winning pies can be bought all over Kent - what better way to celebrate British Pie Week (1-7 March)

Image: Dominic Winter Auctioneers

Kentish Mayde Pie pie1

Kentish Mayde

We have been awarded over 45 British Pie Awards for our products, the finest being our recent 2019 Class Winner - Chicken, Brie & Cranberry and our multi award winning Steak & Ale pie.