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(Paper Mill and the Field Marshal)

Name Derivation

General Details

Early references mention the Chafford Paper Mill being in existance in 1786 which was run by the Turner family who donated the land for the Church. The mill was closed in 1913 but prior to the closure they produced of paper for Bank of England notes and also postage stamps for the Post Office.

Fordcombe was part of the estate at Penshurst and only became a parish in its own right in the 1870's.

Fordcombe church was built in 1848 by Field Marshal Henry Hardinge the first Viscount Hardinge who was a British field marshal and became Governor-general of India. Sir Henry lived at the South Park estate at Penshurst .

He was at the Battle of Quatre Bras near Ligny on June 16, 1815, where he lost his left hand while sketching the enemy positions , this was caused by a shot that caused a rock to fly up and hit him and the damaged hand was amputated, he was therefore not present at Waterloo two days later.

He became the Govenor-General of India and started the railway service there, in 1852 he succeeded the Duke of Wellington as commander-in-chief of the British army and in this position he had responsibility for the direction of the Crimean War

He died at South Park in 1856 and was interred at St Peters church Fordcombe.


The village has a few local services including a pub and the church.

The nearest major shopping town is Royal Tunbridge Wells a few miles to the east, and this is where the main line train service to London runs from.


In the church can be found two hatchments hanging on the west wall, the left one is Henry the first Viscount Hardinge (1785-1856) and on the right Lavinia the 2nd Viscountess (1835-1864) Hardinge.

The views across the valley towards Penshurst are very pretty.

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