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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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

Taxis over Christmas Period

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Attractions and Activities

Bewl Water

800 acres country park with the largest stretch of open water in the South East. Bewl Water is the perfect place for family days out on and around the water. With cycling, boat trips, adventure playgrounds, laser challenge and great … more

Darwell Reservoir

Carp, Perch, Pike, Eels, Roach, Dace, Bream. Private Land – Members only access.

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.

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

Battenhurst Meadow B&B

Set in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Battenhurst Meadow Bed and Breakfast is a contemporary house with far reaching views across the High Weald of Sussex, with grounds of just under an acre and ample parking available for guests. … more

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