Brenchley in Kent

Google map showing area surrounding Brenchley
(A beautiful Kent village)
Location: 51.148442,0.396615
General Details
Brenchley Kent - Main roadBrenchley in Kent is located off the main A21 on the B2162 between Horsmonden and Matfield .

After the Norman Conquest in 1066 , the land was given to Richard FitzGilbert, the cousin of William the Conqueror .

The current All Saints church was built around 1233, probably standing on the site of an old wooden structure. The church stands behind an ornate lychgate erected in memory of Queen Victoria 60 year reign, and then behind an avenue of 400 year old yew trees. The Old Vicarage dates from the 14th century and is a picturesque building.

Between 1367 and 1370 Edward III cut down 105 large oak trees from the area to help restore the castle at Rochester .

Wat Tyler is reputed to have lived in a cottage near Brenchley when he led the Peasants Revolt with the men of Kent. They marched on London to voice their grievances to Richard the second in 1381.

In 1555 during the reign of Queen Mary Tudor a local farmer James Tutty was arrested for his religious beliefs and taken to Tonbridge where he was condemned and burnt at the stake on the 6th September. Nell Gwynn's son by King Charles II (1660-1685), George Beauclerk the Duke of St Albans, lived at 'The Old Palace'. This is now a row of half timbered cottages.

Brattles Grange , a 16th century house can be found just outside the village. It was once the home of Kent historian William Lambarde .

During the 17th century the area boasted one of the largest Wealden Iron Works , located between Brenchley and Horsmonden .

It was owned by John Browne, and employed about 200 men.

When the iron industry declined in this area it was superceeded by agriculture in the form of hop gardens and orchards.

Brenchley was the first place that the famous hop variety 'Fuggles' was commercially developed in 1875. The original strain was found in the garden of one George Stace, in 1861 in nearby Horsmonden .

In recent times Sophie Rhys-Jones the wife of Prince Edward originated from Brenchley .
Brenchley Kent - Butcher ShopThe village has many very attractive old timbered and shuttered buildings with a beautiful high street and village centre by the church.

If you take the Paddock Wood road, and turn right towards Horsmonden then imagine the view across the Medway valley earlier this century when there were hop gardens running as far as the eye can see. The view is still spectacular on a clear day when the North Downs are visible.
Brenchley Kent - All Saints churchBrenchley in Kent has a few village shops and public houses.

The main shopping centre is Royal Tunbridge Wells about 9 miles to the West.

The nearest station is Paddock Wood where the trains from Ashford to London run very frequently.
Brenchley is shown as the red symbol on the map.

Nearby Villages

(click on symbol to see the village page)
Village= Town= Recorded in Domesday=
Bells Yew Green (The ruins of Bayham Abbey)5.39 miles
Cranbrook (Christmas Cards and Union Mill)7.16 miles
Frant (King Johns hunting lodge)6.59 miles
Goudhurst (Smugglers, Iron and Forests)3.63 miles
Horsmonden (The largest Wealden Iron Works)1.60 miles
Kilndown (Charcoal for the Furnace)4.16 miles
Lamberhurst (Scotney Castle and Gardens)3.36 miles
Marden (Broadcloth and Agriculture)
4.46 miles
Matfield (Largest Village Green in Kent)1.30 miles
Paddock Wood (Railway brings prosperity)2.34 miles
Pembury (The ghost of Hawkwell)2.96 miles
Tudeley and Capel (Iron Industry and Hop Pickers)3.37 miles
Copyright Villagenet 1998-2024
Local Interest
Just click an image
Roman, Saxon and Norman History of the South East
Battle Museum of Local History
(Hard to find but worth the Visit)
Wealden Iron Research Group
The Rudes as lots of people call us, are an outdoor touring theatre company specialising in taking new & original theatre to mainly small rural communities and a few towns across the South of England. We were founded in 1998 & first toured in the Summer of 1999. Currently we tour only in the summer performing 50+ times nightly during June, July & August.
Talk in Code fabulous new Album
Hastings Rock the place to listen to
Battle and District Historical Society
Wadhurst History Society
World War 2 Vehicle database
Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group
The Bald Explorer for local documentaries
Ninfield History Group