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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?

  • Kids Summer Tennis Camps

    Monday 2nd August for 4 days @ 9:00am
    Location: Hawkhurst

    Hawkhurst Tennis Camps are always very popular and are a great opportunity for young players to improve their game, or ... more

  • Northiam Summer Festival

    Saturday 7th August @ 11:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Northiam Bonfire Spociety's somewhat delayed Summer Festival will be held on Northiam Playing Fields on Saturday 7th August. We will ... more

  • Northiam Summer Festival

    Saturday 7th August @ 11:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Northiam Bonfire Society's Summer Festival is a chance to relax, listen to live music with local beers, ciders and food ... more

  • Giant Boot Fair

    Sunday 8th August @ 10:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Time to have a clear out! Stallholders from 9am - please bring cash to pay on the gate: £10 for ... more

  • Giant Boot Fair

    Sunday 8th August @ 10:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Time to have a clear-out! Northiam Village Hall's annual Boot Sale is on Sunday 8th August. Stallholders from 9am, Open ... more

  • Great Northiam Run

    Sunday 19th September
    Location: Northiam

    Formerly Rother Valley 10k, The Great Northiam Run starts at Northiam Playing Fields and follows a 10km measured route out ... more

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