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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?

  • Dressage Competition

    Friday 22nd February
    Location: Staplecross

    Dressage at Ellenwhorne Equestrian Centre TN32 5RT walk/trot-intro a prelim. 18 novice 28 rosettes to 6th place medal to winners ... more

  • Jumble Sale

    Saturday 23rd February @ 2:30am
    Location: Northiam

    Northiam Village Hall Trust will be holding a JUMBLE SALE on Saturday 23rd February. A great change to clear out ... more

  • Great Dixter Winter Opening Weekend

    Saturday 23rd February for 2 days @ 10:00am
    Location: Northiam

    The garden will be open across two weekends to give visitors the chance to see its more structural side, along ... more

  • Quiz Night

    Saturday 23rd February
    Location: Northiam

    We are pleased to invite you to join in our Quiz Night on Saturday 23rd February at 7.30pm in Northiam ... more

  • Race Night

    Saturday 2nd March
    Location: Northiam

    Northiam Bonfire Society's next RACE NIGHT will be held on Saturday 2nd March in the Rose & Crown, Beckley, TN31 ... more

  • Great Dixter Winter Opening Weekend

    Sunday 3rd March for 2 days @ 10:00am
    Location: Northiam

    The garden will be open across two weekends to give visitors the chance to see its more structural side, along ... more

  • Subterranean Sussex – the story continues..

    Tuesday 12th March
    Location: Northiam

    Stewart Angell proved to be not only a talented author but also a skilled raconteur at a previous Northiam Hist ... more

  • Wild Kent & East Sussex

    Wednesday 13th March @ 7:00pm
    Location: Goudhurst

    Simon Ginnaw Ornithologist, Woodland Officer, Tour Director and International Wildlife Guide An illustrated talk on wildlife at Goudhurst Parish Hall, ... more

  • 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

  • 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

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