View of the Weald from Brenchley

View of the Weald from Brenchley

David Hodgkinson

Brenchley

A popular village for commuters even almost 200 years ago!

The Flower of Kent was the name of the London-bound stagecoach that galloped back and forth from Brenchley, three times a week in 1823.

The village of Brenchley is a mere 6 miles east of Royal Tunbridge Wells, not too far from the A21 and adjoins Matfield to make up one parish.

However, Brenchley is the elder of the two!

Today Brenchley, being in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is encircled by gorgeous Kent orchards, farmlands and lovely walks with views and woodlands to soak up at your leisure.

Royal Connections in Brenchley

The village centre is a conservation area; not only is there a magnificent Tudor building called the Old Palace (begun in 1415 at the time of Agincourt) but the Countess of Wessex was born in Brenchley too.

Now the Old Palace is partially home to the village Post Office from where the Royal Mail can be despatched.

The majority of the buildings lining the high street of Brenchley are in fact half-timbered, tile-hung and/or white wooden weather-boarded houses of assorted ages dating from the 1200s. Most are from the 1600s – 1800s, some may be early 1900s during the Arts and Crafts era.

Even the local butcher’s shop is housed in a Tudor beam-striped building and for reasons unknown called the Queen Anne’s Hunting Lodge!

There is another epic Tudor building dating from the late 16th century, ‘The Old Workhouse’, opposite the war memorial.

These stunning examples of architecture were funded by the wealth of bygone industries such as iron-founding, hat-making, herring smoking, brick-making and of course fruit growing.

The latter, in Brenchley, is still an important contributor to the national consumption of apples. The Brenchley Pippin Apple is dated from 1884 originating from these parts.

Get away from it all in the Garden of England

Windy lanes overhung by the ancient Tudor houses are a quaint sight to behold.

Due to the age of these unique buildings, the walls are awry and the roofs are crooked, not dissimilar to a nursery rhyme fantasy!

1848 is the date that a new Gladiolus species was produced in Brenchley by a Mr Hooker. 

He created a scarlet gladiolus and it was named Gladiolus x Brenchleyensis in honour of Mr Hooker’s home.  He was well known long before for his country roses. This area is not called the Garden of England for nothing!

All Saints' Church was built in approximately 1233 hence its squat features. It is Grade 1 listed and surveys the main route through the village – the High Street.

An avenue of 400 year old yew trees guards the entrance to the church porch.

The beautiful stained glass windows are designed by one of the foremost Arts & Crafts artists, Robert Anning Bell.

Gray’s Tearooms won the 2014 Love Where We Live Ethical Business Award and is an unpretentious local favourite.

Other local shops, pubs and restaurants in Brenchley may be small but they all offer a sincere welcome to visitors.

The Halfway House is a traditional real ale pub with nooks, crannies and country garden on the way to Horsmonden and scores highly on Trip Advisor and with the Campaign for Real Ale.

There’s more to Brenchley than meets the eye...

The pretty gardens at Marle Place Gardens & Gallery are nearby and open to the public by appointment.

Cinderhill Woodland comprises 12 hectares of heathland, grassland, woodland and streams for rambling.

Brenchley Woods is an important local recreational area for horse riding, families, cyclists and walkers alike.

Scotney Castle, an idyllic moated castle, is only four miles away in Lamberhurst.

There are numerous walks in the local area, one whimsically known as the Iron Men of Brenchley on the AA website!

The nearest London-bound station is now at Paddock Wood, only 3 miles away and there are regular local buses from Paddock Wood and Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Put Brenchley on your itinerary along with nearby Matfield and Horsmonden and you’ll experience the epitome of the English Wealden villages.

You must check out our scenic driving tour too! 

Tags: Brenchley, Brenchley Village, Brenchley Village in Tunbridge Wells

With thanks also to the parish website www.brenchleyandmatfield.co.uk

External links

Bus and train links

Cinderhill Woods

With thanks also to the parish website www.brenchleyandmatfield.co.uk

Number of items:

Number of items: 167

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  1. Add The Great House to your Itinerary

    The Great House

    Hawkhurst

    Pub / Bar

    Type

    Restaurant

  2. Add Pashley Manor Gardens to your Itinerary

    Pashley Manor Gardens

    Type

    Garden

    Ticehurst, Wadhurst

    At Pashley you will discover 11 acres of beautiful borders and vistas - the culmination of a lifetime of passion for gardening and an admiration of the tradition of the English country garden.

  3. Add The Vineyard to your Itinerary

    The Vineyard

    Lamberhurst

    English pub / bar serving locally sourced food

    Type

    British

  4. Add St. Mary's Church Lamberhurst to your Itinerary

    St. Mary's Church Lamberhurst

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

  5. Add Cranbrook Museum to your Itinerary

    Cranbrook Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Cranbrook

    A 'must' for every visitor to the Weald.

  6. Add St. Dunstan's Church Cranbrook to your Itinerary

    St. Dunstan's Church Cranbrook

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Cranbrook

    Cathedral of the Weald.

  7. Add Biddenden Vineyards to your Itinerary

    Biddenden Vineyards

    Type

    Vineyard

    Biddenden

    Biddenden Vineyards is the oldest commercial vineyard in Kent, established in 1969. It has grown to 23 acres, producing White, Red, Rosé and Sparkling English Wines. The vinyard is also known for producing cider and pressed juices. <br /><br />The vinyard and shop are open to visitors all year…

  8. Add Weald Sports Centre to your Itinerary

    Weald Sports Centre

    Type

    Leisure / Swimming Pool

    Cranbrook

    High quality sporting facilities to include swimming pool, sports hall, fitness studio, exercise studio and creche.

  9. Add Cranbrook Union Windmill to your Itinerary

    Cranbrook Union Windmill

    Type

    Windmill

    Cranbrook

    The tallest surviving smock mill in the British Isles, measuring 72 feet to the top of the cap.

  10. Add St. Mary's Church Goudhurst to your Itinerary

    St. Mary's Church Goudhurst

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Cranbrook

    The church on the hill above the village.

  11. Add The Poet at Matfield to your Itinerary

    The Poet at Matfield

    Matfield

    Offering great British classics with a modern twist, and a comfortable pub with cask ales and a global wine cellar - our emphasis in on quality, taste and a fair price.

    Type

    Restaurant

  12. Add Scotney Castle to your Itinerary

    Scotney Castle

    Type

    Garden

    Lamberhurst

    Not one but two houses! Victorian country house and ruined 14th century moated castle set in one of England's most romantic 'picturesque' style gardens.

  13. Add Kino Cinema Hawkhurst to your Itinerary

    Kino Cinema Hawkhurst

    Type

    Cinema

    Hawkhurst

    Kino is the UK's first purely digital cinema with the full HD experience.

  14. Add The Queen's Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    The Queen's Hall Theatre

    Type

    Theatre

    Cranbrook

    Providing entertainment in the heart of the Kent Weald.

  15. Add Hush Heath Winery to your Itinerary

    Hush Heath Winery

    Type

    Vineyard

    Staplehurst

    Hush Heath Estate has been producing England's most exclusive pink fizz, Balfour Brut Rosé, since it's award winning 2004 vintage

  16. Add Hole Park Gardens to your Itinerary

    Hole Park Gardens

    Type

    Garden

    Rolvenden

    15 acres of spectacular gardens and woodlands. Spectacular bluebell wood.

  17. Add Sissinghurst Castle Garden to your Itinerary

    Sissinghurst Castle Garden

    Type

    Garden

    Cranbrook

    Famous, stunning gardens set in the remains of a large Elizabethan house amidst the unspoilt Weald countryside.

  18. Add Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest to your Itinerary

    Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest

    Type

    Forest

    Goudhurst

    Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest is a magnificent place for healthy outdoor activities.

  19. Add Bewl Water to your Itinerary

    Bewl Water

    Type

    Lake / Reservoir

    Lamberhurst

    Set in the heart of the High Weald and surrounded by 800 acres of outstanding natural beauty, Bewl Water is the perfect place to watch the seasons change and to enjoy some healthy family fun for all ages.

  20. Hawkhurst Fish Farm

    Add Hawkhurst Fish Farm to your Itinerary

    Hawkhurst Fish Farm

    Type

    Fish Farm

    Hawkhurst

    Carp fishing for the family with a choice of 7 lakes, cafe and pottery.

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