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(A beautiful Kent village)
Brenchley 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
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 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.