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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?

  • Craft Fayre

    Saturday 30th March @ 10:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Northiam Bonfire Society's next CRAFT FAYRE will be held in Northiam Village Hall on Saturday 30th March 10am to 2pm. ... more

  • Coming Up Roses

    Saturday 6th April for 78 days @ 9:30am
    Location: Ticehurst

    An exuberant, uplifting collection of paintings, sculpture, ceramics and jewellery in the garden and across the fields. Join us for ... more

  • Great Dixter Spring Plant Fair

    Saturday 6th April for 2 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Northiam

    At half-hourly intervals throughout the day, Nurserymen will give talks at their stalls on plants of particular interest. N.B. Times ... more

  • Open Garden and Plant Fair

    Wednesday 24th April @ 10:00am
    Location: Hawkhurst

    Open Garden and Specialist Plant Fair being held on a beautiful estate at Hush Heath Winery, Five Oak Lane, Staplehurst, ... more

  • Biddenden Flower Festival 2019

    Saturday 25th May for 3 days @ 10:00am
    Location: Hawkhurst

    This year "Memories are made of this" is the theme for the flower festival, held in All Saints Church High ... more

  • Great Dixter Autumn Plant Fair

    Saturday 5th October for 2 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Specialist nurseries from across Europe Entrance: included within a garden entry ticket (£9.50). Free for Friends, Annual Ticket holders and ... more

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