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Hawkhurst

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

Event

What's On in Hawkhurst?

  • Alan Rankle Exhibition

    Wednesday 1st June for 39 days
    Location: Robertsbridge

    Alan Rankle at blackShed Gallery.His ongoing collabroration with fellow blackShed artist Kirsten Reynolds as Rankle & Reynolds has generated a ... more

  • Northiam Midsdummer Festival

    Saturday 18th June @ 11:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Midsummer Festival and Family Fun Day on Northiam Playing Fields (TN33 6LS) from 11am . Something for everyone, with a ... more

  • Flower Festival

    Friday 29th July for 3 days
    Location: Ewhurst Green

    Flower Festival to celebrate the patron Saint, James the Great. He is the patron saint of Spain and one of ... more

  • Exhibition

    Sunday 4th September for 27 days
    Location: Robertsbridge

    Chris Levine at the blackShed Gallery, Robertsbridge. ... more

  • Weald Beekeepers' Honey Show

    Saturday 10th September @ 10:30am
    Location: Cranbrook

    Weald Beekeeper's Annual Honey Show. Honey exhibits, local honey for sale, along with variety of local honey products, candle rolling, ... more

  • Game and Wine Evening

    Tuesday 8th November
    Location: Hawkhurst

    £55 per person including 4 course meal & wine with each course. Hosted by Mike Card, from Ellis of Richmond ... more

  • Robertsbridge Bonfire

    Saturday 19th November
    Location: Robertsbridge

    Robertsbridge Bonfire ad Torchlight procession. The Sussex bonfire season goes out with a bang with the Robertsbridge Bonfire and Torchlight ... more

  • Exhibition

    Wednesday 21st December for 18 days
    Location: Robertsbridge

    Jennifer Binnie & Jennifer Corker at the blackShed Gallery. ... more

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