Inside remote UK village home to just 200 people with huge castle owned by celeb

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Cooling in Kent is located on the Hoo Pensisula (Image: Alamy Stock Photo)
Cooling in Kent is located on the Hoo Pensisula (Image: Alamy Stock Photo)

One corner of England is home to a secluded village of around 200 people, a celebrity and a 14th-century castle.

New Year Hootenanny master and musician Jools Holland is reportedly the part owner of the castle in the village of Cooling in Kent, not far from Rochester.

A church in the village is also believed to have inspired beloved writer Charles Dickens.

The flamboyant jazz talent is said to own the manor partof the property located on the Hoo Peninsula. The castle itself was built to protect the area from French raids launched from the Thames Estuary area.

With bags of history, the castle was even attacked by Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger during the reign of Queen Mary I.

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Inside remote UK village home to just 200 people with huge castle owned by celebThe castle was attacked in a rebellion against Queen Mary (Alamy Stock Photo)

The castle was badly damaged as 'Wyatt's Rebellion' took shape in January 1554. The rebellion eventually failed and Wyatt was executed on Tower Hill in April the same year.

His father of the same name was the once trusted adviser to Henry VII and Henry VIII. He eventually became known for an alleged adulterous affair with Henry VIII's fated second wife Anne Boleyn.

Inside remote UK village home to just 200 people with huge castle owned by celebThe area is also a popular wedding venue (Alamy Stock Photo)

He is known to have a strong love of his local area and was even approached to become a deputy lieutenant for Medway in 2006.

To Great British Life, he said: "Kent is unique, almost like an island because it is surrounded by water on three sides. It boasts such diversity in the sense that Rochester is completely different to Tunbridge Wells and Romney Marsh is different to the Kent Downs; there are so many contrasts in one county."

He added: "When the Lieutenancy first approached me, I was unsure I had the ‘right profile’ compared to the type of person they normally have as a Lieutenant, but they wanted someone from the arts performing the role."

Inside remote UK village home to just 200 people with huge castle owned by celebHolland is known for his affiliation with Kent (Getty Images)
Inside remote UK village home to just 200 people with huge castle owned by celebHolland was married in Cooling in 2005 (Getty Images)

The property also boasts Cooling Castle barn, a popular wedding venue, and the 13th-century St James’ Church. The co-founder of the band Squeeze married his wife Christabel McEwen there in 2005.

St James is said to be the inspiration behind a key part of one of Dickens' most famous books, the opening chapter in Great Expectations.

According to the visitchurches website: "Charles Dickens used the churchyard of St James as his inspiration in the opening chapter of Great Expectation, where the hero Pip meets Magwitch the convict."

Hedi Mehrez

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