Hawkhurst

Hawkhurst in Kent Village Guide

About Hawkhurst in Kent

Hawkhurst is a village and civil parish in the borough of Tunbridge Wells, and is home to some 4,500 people. Hawkhurst itself is virtually two villages—one, the older of the two, consisting mainly of cottages clustered around a large triangular green known as the Moor, and the other, farther north on the main road, called Highgate. Each part has a different character. Highgate stands on a crossroads and is where the shops and hotels lie.

The village was involved in the Wealden iron industry until the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th Century. William Penn, founder of the state of Pennsylvania, owned ironworks at Hawkhurst in the 17th century.

The history of Hawkhurst goes back over 1,000 years. The oldest known settlement was the Saxon manor of Congehurst, which was burnt by the Danes in 893 AD. There is still a lane of this name to the east of the village.

The name Hawkhurst is derived from Old English heafoc hyrst, meaning a wooded hill frequented by hawks – ‘Hawk Wood’. Hurst (Hyrst) in a place name refers to a wood or wooded area – there are several in West Kent and East Sussex. The 11th Century Domesday Monacorum refers to it as Hawkashyrst, belonging to Battle Abbey. In 1254, the name was recorded as Hauekehurst; in 1278, it is often shown as Haukhurst; by 1610, it had changed to Hawkherst, which then evolved into the current spelling.

Further information about the history of the village, its changing industries over the years and its famous inhabitants can be found here.

You may also want to explore the surrounding villages that form our hinterland.

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History of Hawkhurst Old Sewage Works

Hello. We are after some information on our land which used to be Hawkhurst’s sewage treatment site. I would like … more

The Homestead, Hawkhurst 1960s

I am trying to establish where a big house called the Homestead was located exactly. It had a huge garden … more

Attractions and Activities

Merriments Gardens

A stunning four acre show garden complete with ponds, wild area, bird hide and bog garden. Imaginative use of colour and texture make these gardens a firm favourite both locally and further afield.A great day out for garden lovers, Merriments … more

Hemsted Park

Hemsted Park is a leading performing arts venue in the heart of Kent, based on the stunning 250-acre site of the world-renowned Benenden School. Hemsted Park’s performance spaces principally comprise the stunning new Centenary Hall, which has established one of … more

Hole Park

15 acres of private gardens. Formal garden open spaces are enclosed by yew hedges; offset by specimen trees, topiary, statuary and stunning wisteria. Spectacular bluebell wood. In the extensive woodland valley, bulbs and ornamental trees lead through magnificent azaleas and … more

Accommodation

The Royal Oak

Set in Hawkhurst, 29 km from Leeds Castle, The Royal Oak offers accommodation with a garden, free private parking, a restaurant and a bar.

Poppinghole Farm Cottages

Poppinghole Farm Cottages are situated on a farm in rural Robertsbridge, in an area of outstanding natural beauty at the heart of Sussex countryside. It is close to many places of interest including glorious gardens, ancient castles and historic towns; … more

Oasthouse Loft

A wonderfully warm and cosy, romantic hideaway in an exquisite country location with 360-degree panoramic views. Tastefully furnished in a comfortable, subtle yet contemporary style the Oasthouse Loft offers spacious, quality rural accommodation. Enjoy nestling on ancient farmland pastures, in … more

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