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The History of Kent

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Hawkhurst comes from the Northumbrian word ‘hafoc’ meaning a ‘hawk’ with the Old English ‘hyrst’ as a ‘wooded hill’; therefore, a ‘wooded-hill frequented by hawks’. The Domesday Book records Hawkhurst as Hauochesten..

Hawkhurst parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to Saint Lawrence, and dates to the latter part of the 12th century, with the addition of windows to the north and south chapels between 1350 and 1360, and major rebuilding in the 1450’s, involving the construction of the tower, nave, aisles and porches. By 1734, Joseph Hatch, John Wilnar and Richard Phelps had cast and hung a total of six bells, together with a Sanctus from an unknown founder. In 1798, Edward Hasted described St Lawrence’s church as consisting of ‘three isles and three chancels, having a tower steeple, with a beacon turret, in which are six bells’. In 1847, Charles and George Mears cast two trebles to complete a ring of eight bells. The architect Richard Cromwell Carpenter carried out a major restoration in 1849, with further repairs by William slater ten years later. The church received bomb damage in WWII to the roof, south arcade and wall, together with many windows…. more

In 1861, Rev. Henry Jeffreys and his sister Charlotte built a church dedicated to All saints as a Chapel-of-Ease to St Lawrence’s. Although very popular, in time, the village could not sustain two churches and it closed in 2004.

Hawkhurst railway station opened on the South Eastern Railway’s Medway Valley Line, in 1893. Unfortunately, the line did not live up to expectations, and the station closed in June 1961…. more

History of Hawkhurst