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(The ghost of Hawkwell)

Name Derivation

General Details

Pembury is a split village about 2 miles to the north of Royal Tunbridge Wells . The old village by the church is found towards Tonbridge and the new part of the village the Upper Green about 2 miles away towards Matfield .

The name of Pembury is most likely derived from the Saxon Pepingbeorg the hill of the Pepings , or perhaps Pepingeberia meaning the Pippin Apple Tree(Bush).

It is believed that the old church was started in the late 11th century but the majority of the structure was built by John Colepeper in the 1330's.

Pembury is linked to 2 manors Hawkwell(Pepenbury Magna) to the north of the village on the Paddock Wood road. The building was destroyed by fire, and a ghost story has come from this disaster.

'Many years ago the owner of Hawkwell died, and left two daughters and a widow. The family was considered rich, and one of the daughters married an adventurer who took her to London . The daughter was very badly treated, and decided to escape back to Hawkwell with her 3 month old child. It was a very cold day, and she had no transport, so she walked. It was dark before she got back to the Manor, only to find it had been destroyed by the fire.

She was exhausted and collapsed nearby. At the same time her now old and infirm mother and daughter had moved to a nearby house, and were about to celebrate the mothers birthday. The old lady would not allow the celebrations to take place, as she said she was waiting for her younger daughter to arrive.

The guests at the party thought she was mad as her daughter was miles away in London. The olds lady collapsed, and her last words were that 'She has come, she has come'. Later that evening some labourers foud the younger daughter frozen to death by the ruins of the manor. Since then it is said that the young daughters ghost is still searching for her family.
The other manor Bayhall(Pepenbury Parva) lay south of the current A21 and was built before 1337 by the Colepeper family.

During the 1820's with the coming of the stagecoach, the Upper Green came to prominance as a staging post for travellers from London to Hastings. The Upper Green is about 2 miles from the old village, and has its own church built in 1847. The lower end of the Upper Green was well known for its smuggling links with the Hawkhurst Gang .

Also during the early 1800's at the Lower Green near to Hawkwell was found a seam of brickmaking clay, and a brickworks was built which continued manufacturing until the Second World War .

Some years after the seam of clay was discovered, a pottery was started, which used left over twigs from hop poles to fire the pots. Once the farmers started to train the hops up poles, then the source of the twigs ceased, and the pottery closed.

In 1830 a workhouse and Infirmary was built on the Tonbridge road which is now the Pembury Hospital.

During the latter part of the 20th century many housing estates have been built in the area, and the two older settlements of the Upper and Lower Green's have merged.


Pembury is just off the main A21, giving access to London and Hastings. There are a number of shops within Pembury , most items can be got in the village.

The main shopping centre is at Royal Tunbridge Wells with supermarkets and a large shopping mall.

The nearest trains are at Royal Tunbridge Wells , however the best parking for the trains is at Tonbridge a few miles to the north west.


The area around the old church is quiet peaceful and very pretty.

The Paddock Wood road has a number of very pretty spots within the village.

The Upper Green is open and surrounded by attractive buildings.

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