Paintings by M Harden - but who was he or she?

Photo:Pathway near High Road, Hothfield, May 1917?

Pathway near High Road, Hothfield, May 1917?

M Harden's view of Hothfield Common

Photo:Inscription on reverse of Hothfield Common painting

Inscription on reverse of Hothfield Common painting

M Harden's own hand, but is that 1914 or 1917

Photo:Watercolour of the Walled Garden at Hothfield Place

Watercolour of the Walled Garden at Hothfield Place

by M Harden (no inscription on reverse)

Photo:Mr Benton's Farm, July 21st 1916 - the duck pond

Mr Benton's Farm, July 21st 1916 - the duck pond

"The first sketch I did alone" M Harden

Photo:Inscription on reverse of the duck pond painting by M Harden

Inscription on reverse of the duck pond painting by M Harden

The farm is known as Ripple Court, at Westwell

Photo:Cinder Lane, Hothfield, by M Harden June 1917

Cinder Lane, Hothfield, by M Harden June 1917

but where was Cinder Lane?

and where is Cinder Lane?

By Chris Rogers

Paintings by M Harden

Five watercolour scenes of Hothfield and Westwell were purchased by the History Society in 2011.  These are signed by ‘M Harden’ but that’s not a name that we know from the village.

These were spotted in an antique shop in Rye by keen-eyed Committee member Sheila Flynn.  After some negotiation these were acquired for Hothfield’s archive and we’re grateful to the dealer for lowering her price.  The dealer had bought them from another antique dealer and so we don’t know where they have been during the last 100 years, nor the connection between the artist and Hothfield.

They were all painted between 1914 (or possibly 1916) to 1917.  One of them is a mystery as it is entitled ‘Cinder Lane’ but we don’t know where this is.

Can you help us?

  • Who was M Harden?
  • Was he/she a child or an adult?
  • Did he/she live in Hothfield or did he/she visit somebody in Hothfield?  Or perhaps posted here during the First World War?  Or recovering from the war in the hospital?
  • Where is Cinder Lane ?

If you think you can help us, please get in touch by emailing  


This page was added by Chris Rogers on 23/10/2013.
Comments about this page


I was born in Hut 315.  

I find it very agreeable to "reconnect with my roots", especially as I am so far away from England of which I have so many special memories and warm feelings.

Unfortunately, I cannot add much to your recopilation of Hothfield's history.  My father, Harold Harden, was allocated one of the huts after being demobbed but as soon as I was born we were provided with a council house in Ashford.  We did not talk much about his time in Hothfield and I have found no photos so far.

However, it is interesting to see the paintings of M. Harden.  Again, I cannot say much about her, but my grandmother lived with her other son in Kennington. 

My grandfather, obviously a Harden, worked in the "Big House" as a groom.  I think this meant The Leas.  I will dig out some of the family history that my uncle left me to see if I can find a reference to the artist.  Interestingly, the village of Warehorne was made up of various Harden families, some of whom were related to us, albeit distantly.

As to my own situation, I left Ashford and moved to Maidstone when I was 7.  My father was again promoted so we moved to Leighton Buzzard, Beds.  From there to Coventry College of Education / Warwick University.  On graduating I worked for 2 years in Jamaica, then a stint in Canada before returning to work in Corby while I picked up my Master's from London University.  Then to Mexico, married a beautiful Mexican, back to England, then again in Mexico where I have been living very happily with my wife and three children for 37 years.  I established my own small university here and, at the same time, I have spent a lot of time as an author, international speaker and teacher trainer, travelling to different countries in Asia, North Africa and the Americas.  I am still working but not at the pace I once did, having a team of collaborators that are helping the business grow every year.

I will try to find out more about M.Harden but please add me to the list of people interested in your site.

By Tony Harden
On 21/06/2019

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