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The Crossroads of the Weald

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.

Other Towns and Villages Near Hawkhurst


What's On in Hawkhurst?

  • Meet the Candidate

    Tuesday 31st March @ 7:00pm
    Location: Northiam

    For all constituents of whatever polticial persuasion or none to meet Huw Merriman (the new Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for the ... more

  • Between Land and Sea

    Wednesday 1st April @ 9:30am
    Location: Ticehurst

    Featuring five prestigious jewellers from the Scottish Highlands together with paintings and ceramics inspired by the Southern Coast and the ... more

  • Antarctic Explorer: Sir Ernest Shackleton

    Thursday 2nd April @ 10:00am
    Location: Hawkhurst

    At the April monthly meeting of the Hawkhurst U3A we welcome Michael Smith, to tell us about the life and ... more

  • Easter Steam Up and Bodiam in Steam

    Friday 3rd April for 4 days @ 11:25am
    Location: Bodiam

    Good Friday sees a celebration to mark the 75th anniversary of locomotive number 32678 on the line. This locomotive was ... more

  • Food Glorious Food

    Friday 17th April for 2 days @ 7:00pm
    Location: Northiam

    Northiam Showtimers present Food Glorious Food, a musical comedy variety show themed around food and drink plus Ploughman's supper and ... more

  • Heath Quartet and Michael Collins (Clarinet)

    Saturday 9th May @ 7:30pm
    Location: Robertsbridge

    The Heath Quartet is the leading young quartet of its generation and is joined by the internationally renowned clarinettist Michael ... more

  • Yalding Beekeepers Honey Bee Fayre & Auction

    Sunday 10th May @ 10:30am
    Location: Hawkhurst

    At Riverdale Field, Benover Road, Yalding, ME18 6ES. A fun and educational event for all the family. Wide variety of ... more

  • Art of Audio-visual Creation Revealed

    Thursday 14th May @ 10:00am
    Location: Hawkhurst

    At our May Hawkhurst U3A monthly meeting Brian Woods will reveal the secrets of producing entertaining AV material,showing a number ... more

  • A Garden for All Seasons

    Thursday 4th June @ 10:00am
    Location: Hawkhurst

    At our June Hawkhurst U3A monthly meeting David Fitton, a Wisley trained professional gardiner, leads us through the garden year. ... more

  • Louis Lortie (Piano)

    Saturday 6th June @ 7:30pm
    Location: Robertsbridge

    Louis Lortie is a world-renowned Canadian pianist whose recordings and concert appearances also receive critical acclaim. He will be performing ... more


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