Maidstone is the county town of Kent, situated in the south east of England. A settlement since ancient times, the town sits on the River Medway. It was an important trade centre and stopping point for travellers on their way to the coast and further afield. It was a stopping off point for Henry VIII on his way from Hampton Court Palace in London to one his precious Cinque Ports, Dover. He would usually stay at the Archbishops Palace, which is still standing today and operating as a private function and wedding venue.
Though not the biggest town in Kent, Maidstone is undoubtedly, the most prominent and significant geographically, sitting as it does in the middle of the county. One could argue that Canterbury is more significant, especially being a City with a Cathedral. But while it is definitely the religious centre of Kent (and England for that matter) it is positioned a little out of the way near the north coast so Maidstone is a more appropriate administrative centre given its central location and its history as a busy market town.