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About Aylesford-East Malling
East Malling and Larkfield is a civil parish in the district of Tonbridge and Malling, Kent, England. It is about 2.4 miles (3.9 km) southeast of West Malling, 5.5 miles (8.9 km) northwest of Maidstone, and 11.4 miles (18.3 km) SSW of Rochester. In 1962, the parish was formed from two smaller ancient ecclesiastical parishes, East Malling and Larkfield. Covering 4.16 square miles (10.77 km2), the parish is in the heart of the hop fields and fruit-growing region, and has an expanding residential area. The distinct hamlet of East Malling Heath is in the parish. There are two parish churches in the parish. The church at East Malling is dedicated to St James the Great; that at Larkfield to Holy Trinity. There is also a Methodist church in Larkfield.
Of the two parts of the parish, Larkfield is much more built-up, lying on the main A20 road, and is part of greater Maidstone. The M20 motorway also passes through, with junction 4 residing at the centre of Leybourne on the A228. East Malling has a much more village feel about it. As well as the roads East Malling railway station, serves the village.
There is a railway station at East Malling (services to Maidstone, Ashford & London) and another nearby at New Hythe (Larkfield) (with services to Maidstone, Paddock Wood and the Medway towns). The estimated population of the registration district of Malling in 2001 was 12,700.
The name of Larkfield is literal and descriptive – it refers to the large numbers of skylarks found in the fields; its first recorded instance is in Domesday Book as Lavrochesfel.
The village has expanded rapidly since the M20 motorway was constructed in the 1970s and it continues to grow, with new housing developments being built. These are The Lakes in Leybourne, on disused gravel pits that were turned into man-made lakes. The decision to build on this area was unpopular with some residents, but the remaining lakes were turned into a country park and nature reserve to offset the impact of the new housing.