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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?

  • South East Open Studios

    Friday 7th June @ 10:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Terence Ayling will be opening The White House Studio in Dixter Road Northiam as part of this year's South East ... 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

  • Northiam Midsummer Festival

    Saturday 22nd June @ 11:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Northiam Midsummer Festival & Family Fun Day Northiam Playing Fields Saturday 22nd June, 11am-5pm Free admission (donations always welcome!) Craft ... more

  • Northiam Midsummer Festival

    Saturday 22nd June @ 11:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Northiam Midsummer Festival & Family Fun Day Northiam Playing Fields Saturday 22nd June, 11am-5pm Free admission (donations always welcome!) Craft ... more

  • Ikarus Inc

    Wednesday 17th July @ 7:30am
    Location: Sandhurst

    Open air theatre coming to Sandhurst Playing Fields on Wednesday 17 July with a play set in the 1950s in ... 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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