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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?

  • Banish The January Blues

    Monday 27th February
    Location: Newenden

    Dinner in the White Hart. The buffet will include the choice of a European, Malaysian, Indian or Chinese main course ... more

  • Powers behind the Thrones

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

    Do join us for a fascinating talk by Imogen Corrigan, on "women of the first millennium". Imogen will tell us ... more

  • Kino Night

    Thursday 2nd March
    Location: Hawkhurst

    Cranbrook and Hawkhurst Rotary Club Kino Night. Private showing of Mamma Mia.. Entry £15 includes drink and canapes. Raffle tickets ... more

  • The Choristers of Canterbury Cathedral

    Saturday 11th March @ 7:00pm
    Location: Newenden

    The boy Choristers of Canterbury Cathedral, and their organist and Director of Music, Dr David Flood, perform for the Friends ... more

  • A Wealden Woman S War

    Tuesday 14th March @ 7:30pm
    Location: Northiam

    A talk by Penny Harris. Part of the Northiam and District Historical and Literary Society winter series ... more

  • Craft Fayre

    Saturday 18th March @ 10:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Northiam Bonfire Society’s next Craft Fayre will be held in Northiam Village Hall. There will be over 30 varied, quality ... more

  • Quiz Night

    Saturday 29th April
    Location: Northiam

    Quiz Night - Tickets £7.50 to include food. Tables of 8 - to book contact 01797 252114 or contactus@northiambonfiresociety.co.uk - ... more

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