Betteshanger shown within Kent
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Before the coal mine
Betteshanger parish has existed at least since Domesday times and remained a small scattered parish until the advent of the Kent Coalfield. St Mary's church sits almost alone in woodland in the centre of the parish. At 'Little Betteshanger' a cluster of houses surround Betteshanger Farm and are very close to Northbourne Primary School.
Mining in Betteshanger
Betteshanger colliery opened in the late 1920s and was the largest of the Kent collieries. It had two shafts of almost 2000 feet, plaques can still be seen where the shafts were once sunk. Betteshanger had a tradition of union militancy; it was the first pit to come out on strike during the second World War and took active part in the miners' strikes of 1972, 1974 and 1984/5. It was the last Kent colliery to close, closing for good in 1989. The colliery was served by a railway branch which left the main line between Deal & Sandwich.
The miners' houses were laid out in three streets: Circular Road, Northway, and Broad Lane. Circular Road, often known simply as 'the circle' is in fact oval in shape and is a one-way street. Houses have even numbers on inside of the circle, and odd on the outside. Northway connects the circle with the rest of the world and is a short two-way street. As a road Broad Lane predates the coal mine and has miners houses on just one side. Additionally, the former village shop is now a domestic dwelling and although numbered as part of Circular Road, sits on an unnamed stub-road which used to serve as the entrance to the colliery itself.
Betteshanger Park Development
With support from South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), as part of the National Coalfields Programme (NCP) a children's play area, including play equipment and a skateboard ramp, and more recently an industrial park, have opened on the site of the former colliery. Also Fowlmead Country Park has been developed on a former spoil tip (on the north of the site). Current plans for Betteshanger Industrial Park is the proposal from Hadlow College to set up the agricultural centre, creating more than 1,000 jobs. But this is still yet to be confirmed. Local opposition to this proposal, wants to turn the site into a chairtable trust with the development of free enterprise formulas and continued growth of the site. 
Betteshanger Summer School
Betteshanger occupies an important place in the history and development of organic and biodynamic farming. It was the bridge between these two forms of agriculture. The 'Betteshanger Summer School and Conference on Biodynamic Farming' was held in July 1939. It was the first biodynamic agriculture conference to be held in Britain. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer travelled from Switzerland to be the lead presenter at the summer school which was held at the farm of Lord Northbourne. The following year Northbourne presented and expanded on these ideas for a British audience in his book 'Look to the Land' in which he introduced the term 'organic farming'.
- Betteshanger Colliery, Coalfields Heritage Initiative Kent
- Paull, John (2011) "The Betteshanger Summer School: Missing link between biodynamic agriculture and organic farming", Journal of Organic Systems, 6(2):13-26.
Media related to Betteshanger at Wikimedia Commons