Next Meeting: Friday 19th January 2024 at 7.30pm
Visitors & members welcome. Village Hall, Riding Lane, Hildenborough
Bomber Harris will be the subject of a talk to be given by Eddie Prescott at our next General Meeting on Friday 19 January. Local resident Eddie has entertained us at past meetings with his wide knowledge of the Second World War and we are keenly anticipating his return.
Members Free, visitors £2.
Tea and coffee available, £1 per cup, and time to mingle.
- New members may join the Society at any time, annual membership just £5.
What would a traveller have seen in Hildenborough in the days of King William IV? Coming from Tonbridge near the "Flying Dutchman" a toll gate across the main road. In front of this inn, fresh horses being harnessed to the cart which brought fish from Hastings to London. The old house next to the "Flying Dutchman" and the two old cottages on the left at the top of Oakhill; then on the left a brickyard nearly opposite where the Church now stands. On the right a stretch of fields and forest trees ending with a Forge at Watts Cross. Near here on the left was the Pound where straying animals were secured. A little further on were a few houses, including "The Poplars", and then, on either side of the main road, stretches of hop gardens. The traveller might also have seen a stage-coach going up or down the road or stopping outside the "Old Cock Inn." Turning to the left when a little further up the main road, he would come to Nizels Cottages and Nizels Hoath. Here would be an encampment of gypsies and a travelling fair. Continuing the windings of Nizels Lane the traveller would come to where it joined the Penshurst road opposite ancient Mardens Farm. Looking to the right to where Philpots Railway Bridge now is, he would see another brickyard; but turning left at Mardens Farm he would soon reach Noble Tree Cross so called because a man named Noble was hanged there for sheep stealing. From here on the right down Rings Hill is the ancient village of Leigh. If the traveller continued over the cross-roads, he would soon see Mountains (another farmhouse) on the right, and on the left a house covered with ivy, virginia creeper and wisteria and having a large bush in the garden. The bush and the ivy, creeper and wisteria have disappeared, but in its name "Little Foxbush" is a memory of a man named Fox who lived there and was murdered and buried in the garden and a bush planted over his grave.
(an excerpt from The History of Hildenborough by A.M.Chaplin)
This village is truly Hil-den-borough, a place of hill and dip and flat ground, a parish long and wide. Its base is Hilden Hi11, where its roots are in Tonbridge; from which town it grew as a separate parish when Hildenborough Church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, was built in the year 1844.
Northwards, the main road, with some bends and twists extends near Morleys Farm Hut. Thereafter is the parish of Sevenoaks Weald. On this main road are Oakhill, a little hill near Watts Cross, and the beginning of Riverhill.