It is the centre of the hop-growing and fruit-growing district, and has been a town of some importance since the Anglo-Saxon period.
The impressive All Saints Church dates back to 1395. It is said to have the widest nave in England. There is a memorial to Laurence Washington, great uncle of George Washington, the first United States President.
The little St. Peter`s Chapel was founded in the 13th century.
The Archbishop`s Palace beside the river is 14th century. The Archbishops of Canterbury would rest here on journeys between Canterbury and London.
The old Palace Stables contain the Tyrwhitt - Drake Carriage Museum.
The Market Place, dating from 1261, has considerable market infill and there are now two parallel streets, High Street and Bank Street.
The Town Hall was built in 1763, and there are a number of handsome houses in the centre.
Chillington Manor House is a 16th century mansion, which now houses a museum.
The river is used as an attractive leisure resource, with pleasure boats.
The large Mote Park contains a lake, and also sports pitches, including the county cricket ground.
The Civil War Battle of Maidstone took place in 1648, when General Fairfax defeated the Royalist army.
Among those born at Maidstone are Dr Richard Beeching (employed by Minister of Transport Ernie Marples to dismantle the railway system, and vilified for it instead of Marples for forty years); William Hazlitt, the essayist; and Wat Tyler, leader of the Peasants` Revolt.
Benjamin Disraeli first entered Parliament as M. P. for Maidstone.
The artist Tracey Emin studied fine art at Maidstone College of Art.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Maidstone for groups.