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The Heath, Horsmonden

The Heath, Horsmonden

by David Hodgkinson

Horsmonden

What does Horsmonden have in common with the White Tower? Read on to find out.

For such a tiny village in the middle of one of the most rural parts of the Weald of Kent, Horsmonden has a huge history.

Only 8 miles east of Royal Tunbridge Wells and 8 miles west of Cranbrook, it is within easy reach for a visit as part of your Kentish holiday.

The name of this pretty agricultural village means 'horsemen's woodland pasture'.

Britain’s most important gun founder!

Like other Wealden settlements Horsmonden grew from the increasing prosperity brought by the cloth, hopmaking and iron industries.

Surrounded by hop gardens, orchards, farmland, ponds and woodland, Horsmonden is a tranquil haven for most of the year.

The Summer Fair, Gypsy Horse Fair and Cricket and Beer Festival will delight the visitor in their vibrancy and local traditions in celebration of  the local heritage.

Keep an eye on What’s On for the next exciting event.

Hard to believe

Amazingly this village was the most important gun founding centre in Britian in the mid-1500s!

Horsmonden’s mass artillery industry and furnace were central to the village’s livelihood once placed at Furnace Lane making use of Furnace Pond.

Today the pond is a haven for anglers and wildfowl.

Day fishing is offered nearby at fisheries all around Horsmonden.

One of the village pubs dates from the late 1500s and used to be a stage coach stop!

The Gun & Spitroast Inn has an integral part to play in the story of Horsmonden and you can actually feel the history in the olde worlde public house.

A log burner provides cosy comfort whilst supping ale or eating a spit-roast meal.

Spot the model of a cannon made in the village; the original of which is now in the Tower of London!

Winning stories of a tiny village

The neat village green known as The Heath is in the centre of the village surrounded by the shops and pubs.

The Heath Stores village shop is the Winner of the UK Community Rural Retailer of the Year 2015 and won in 2016 The Daily Telegraph ‘s ‘British Village Shop of the Year’.

It supplies ethical Traidcraft products and their own home cooked ham famous for miles around! All this also means they won the 2016 Ethical Business of the Year in the Tunbridge Wells  Love Where You Live Awards.

The presence of striking architecture in the hamlet is a legacy of the Austens and Huguenots who lived here when Horsmonden was a thriving cloth-making centre.

The church of St Margaret was the family church of Jane Austen's ancestors. The churchyard contains many of their tombstones.

The church stands in a lovely setting overlooking the River Teise a good mile and half outside of the village.

Hop pickers from the east end of London used to make the journey to this area to take their hop-picking holiday.

The most famous of hop varieties, Fuggles, is claimed to be have been found here first.

Come and see what attracted these great families of the past.

Experience the hospitality and soothing beauty of this little village, with so much on offer,  it’s hard not to be tempted to stay!

Check the accommodation options to make the most of your visit. 

 

External links

With thanks to the parish website www.horsmonden.co.uk/

Tags: Horsmonden, Horsmonden Village, Horsonden Village Kent

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