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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?

  • 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

  • Sussex Brass in Northiam

    Sunday 19th May
    Location: Northiam

    The South Coast's Premier Brass Band will be playing in Northiam Village Hall on Sunday 19th May 3pm. Tickets are ... 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

  • Northiam Garden Safari

    Sunday 26th May @ 11:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Northiam Allotments and 8 small to medium domestic gardens will be open. Parking and tickets in the Village Hall (Main ... more

  • Music for a Summer Evening

    Saturday 8th June
    Location: Northiam

    From Glyndbourne and The Royal Opera House, Thomasin Trezise returns to Northiam with an evening of music from Opera, Choral ... 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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