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Hadlow

The Saxon name for Hadlow was Haeselholte, while the Domesday Book recordshadlow estate agents letting agency image. it as Haslow. In the Middle Ages it became Hadloe before the pronunciation led the spelling change to Hadlow.

There is evidence that there was a Stone Age settlement in the Hadlow as various implements have been found near the village along with later Roman coins and pottery.

The first written reference to Hadlow is in the Rochester Register Textus Roffensis which shows that by 975 AD, the population had increased and a parish had been formed.

In 1018 the village was given to Queen Eddeva, the wife of Edward the Confessor. After the Norman Conquest, parts of the lands of Hadlow were granted to Richard Fitzgilbert, who also owned Tonbridge Castle.

The oldest building in Hadlow is the parish church, St Mary’s. Rebuilt several times over the centuries, evidence of its original Saxon architecture can be seen in the stonework of the base of the tower.

Hadlow has a rich history of hop growing and brewing. In the mid 19th century nearly 15% of the area was covered by hop gardens. A tragic reminder of these times is the memorial in the churchyard of St. Mary’s to 36 hop-pickers who, in 1858 drowned when their horse-drawn cart plunged into the swollen waters of the Medway from the old wooden Hartlake Bridge.

Today there are just a few hop gardens left locally, and the brewery and maltings buildings have been converted into homes along with most of the oast houses.

The centre of the village is known locally as the Square and is surrounded by shops, restaurant and houses. Many of these were built in the 16th and 17th centuries. Leading off the Square is Church Street with houses dating back to the mid 15th century. The most imposing is Church Place; originally it was called Lord’s Place but from 1795-1965 became the King’s Head pub before reverting to a private house.

Hadlow is famous for its magnificent 18th century May's Folly, the l70ft tower built by the eccentric Walter Barton May and attached to Hadlow Castle which was built by his father from about 1786.

Hadlow College of Agriculture and Horticulture, to the west of Hadlow, was opened in 1968 and specialises in a wide range of land-based training including medicinal horticulture, landscape management, garden design, equine management, animal management and sciences, sports fisheries and countryside management. It is a major local employer.

Hadlow is three miles north-east of Tonbridge from which there are regular trains to London, while Sevenoaks is about nine miles north-west. Journey times to Charing Cross from Tonbridge are about 50-minutes, and about 35-minutes from Sevenoaks to Tonbridge.

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