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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?

  • Quiz Night

    Saturday 29th April
    Location: Northiam

    Quiz Night - Tickets £7.50 to include food. Tables of 8 - to book contact 01797 252114 or - ... more

  • Lazy Sunday Jazz Afternoon at The Great House

    Sunday 30th April
    Location: Hawkhurst

    From 2pm at the bar at The Great House, Gills Green, Hawkhurst, Cranbrook TN18 5EJ Phone: 01580 753119 ... more

  • Christine Adams, Accordionist at The Great House

    Friday 5th May
    Location: Hawkhurst

    An evening to the sound of European tunes with Christine Adams, accordionist in the bar at The Great House, Gills ... more

  • The Housekeeper's Tale

    Thursday 11th May @ 10:00am
    Location: Hawkhurst

    Do come to our May monthly meeting to hear a fascinating talk by social historian Tessa Boase. What was it ... more

  • The Gardens Open Day alongside Yalding Beekeepers

    Sunday 14th May @ 10:30am
    Location: Hawkhurst

    The Gardens Open Day alongside Yalding Beekeepers. A fantastic opportunity to enjoy these much loved private gardens in spring. Throughout ... more

  • Clothes Sale - Nearly New

    Wednesday 17th May @ 11:00am
    Location: Northiam

    A local charity group, Frolic, is holding a Clothes Sale of nearly new ladies & children’s clothes. All money raised ... more

  • Flix and Pix

    Saturday 20th May for 2 days @ 10:00am
    Location: Hawkhurst

    Hawkhurst's annual Film and Photographic Festival, with special film screenings taking place at Kino Hawkhurst between Friday, 19th May and ... more

  • Lazy Sunday Jazz Afternoon at The Great House

    Sunday 28th May
    Location: Hawkhurst

    At the bar The Great House, Gills Green, Hawkhurst, Cranbrook TN18 5EJ. Phone: 01580 753119 Reservations: Hours: Open today ... more


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