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Brenchley

(A beautiful Kent village)


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General Details topsmall

Brenchley Kent - Main road
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 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 .

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Services TopSmall

Brenchley Kent - Butcher Shop
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.

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Views TopSmall

Brenchley Kent - All Saints church
The 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.
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Name Derivation TopSmall
The name derives from the Anglo-Saxons who had a settlement in the area. The leader was named Braenca, and his people who were pig hearders lived in a clearing or 'leagh' in the forest of Anderida hence Braenca's Leagh. This has varied through the centuries to Braencsle, Brencheslega, Branchelegh, Brenchesle and finally to Brenchley.


Nearby Villages (within 6 miles)
 
Matfield (Largest Village Green in Kent) 1.3 miles
Horsmonden (The largest Wealden Iron Works) 1.5 miles
Paddock Wood (Railway brings prosperity) 2.2 miles
Lamberhurst (Scotney Castle and Gardens) 3.5 miles
Pembury (The ghost of Hawkwell) 3.5 miles
Goudhurst (Smugglers) 3.8 miles
Tudeley & Capel (UK) 4.0 miles
Marden (Broadcloth and Agriculture) 4.1 miles
East Peckham (Centre of the Hop Industry) 4.2 miles
Kilndown (Charcoal for the Furnace) 4.3 miles
Yalding (Longest medieval bridge in Kent) 5.0 miles
Bells Yew Green (The ruins of Bayham Abbey) 5.5 miles
Hadlow (Mays Folly - 150ft tower) 5.5 miles

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