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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?

  • Weight Loss Surgery - Free Open Event

    Saturday 26th January @ 10:30am
    Location: Benenden

    Our Free Weight Loss Surgery Open Event gives visitors the chance to find out about the range of weight loss ... 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

  • 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

  • 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

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