Goudhurst, Kent, England Pictures

Goudhurst is a village in Kent on the Weald, about 12 miles south of Maidstone. It stands on a crossroads, where there is a large village pond.

The church in Goudhurst probably existed long before 1119, its earliest recorded date. The church has been altered and restored many times over the centuries. Until 1637 it had a tall spire which was eventually destroyed by lightning. During the Victorian era the church was restored by the architect Richard Carpenter The village was one of those involved in the Wealden iron industry; it was a centre for the growing of hops; and also of weaving. A group of weavers’ cottages stands opposite the church.

The Battle of Goudhurst in 1747 led to the end of the Hawkhurst Gang of smugglers.

The village’s recent history is extremely well documented. The Goudhurst Jubilee Book (1935), Goudhurst Coronation Book (1937) & Goudhurst and Kilndown Millenium Book (2001, ISBN 0952782219) contain detailed reminiscences, directories, historical notes, matters of local intelligence & records of celebrations starting from the 1800s & before up to the current time. These books were printed as limited editions and are much sought after as the authors painstakingly recorded not only the written, but also the oral, history of the village.

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