The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
High Street, Cranbrook
High Street, Cranbrook
St Dunstans c1905
St Dunstan c1905
Friends of St Dunstan's Website
Friends of St Dunstan's Website
The town of Cranbrook is situated on the western side of the parish, on the road leading from Maidstone by Stylebridge towards Hawkhurst and Sussex, at the 52d mile-stone, and consists of one large wide street, of about a mile in length, having the church nearly in the centre of it. There is but a very small part of it paved, from the market-place eastward, which was begun in 1654, being done through mere necessity; the deepness and mire of the soil before, being not only a great hindrance to the standing of the market people, but to the passing of all travellers in general. The market is still held on a Saturday, for corn and hops, and is a very plentiful one for meat and other provisions. It was obtained by Archbishop Peckham, anno 18 Edward I. And there are two fairs held yearly, on May 30, and Sept. 29, for horned cattle, horses, linen drapery, toys, &c. but the latter is the largest, at which there is a great deal of business done in the hop trade.
Here was the centre of the cloathing trade, one of the pillars of the kingdom, which formerly flourished in these parts, and greatly enriched not only this county, but the nation in general. The occupation of it was formerly of considerables consequences and estimation, and was exercised by persons who possessed most of the landed property in the Weald, insomuch that almost all the antient families of these parts, now of large estates, and genteel rank in life, and some of them ennobled by titles, are sprung from, and owe their fortunes to ancestors who have used this great staple manufacture, now almost unknown here. Among others, the Bathursts, Ongleys, Courthopes. Maplesdens, Gibbons's, Westons, Plumers, Austens, Dunkes, and Stringers. They were usually called, from their dress, the grey coats of Kent, and were a body so numerous and united, that at county elections, whoever had their votes and interest was almost certain of being elected. It was first introduced here by king Edward III who, in his 10th year, invited some of the Flemings into England, by promises of large rewards, and grants of several immunities, to teach the English the cloth manufacture; but this trade, after flourishing here for so many centuries, is now almost disused in these parts, there being only two houses of it remaining in this parish; but there is yet some little of the woolstapling business carried on. The inhabitants throughout the parish, who are in general wealthy and substantial, are computed to be about 3000, of which a great part are dissenters from the Church of England, for whose use there are four meeting-houses in the town, one for Presbyterians, the second for Methodistical Baptists, the third for Cavinistical Baptists, and the fourth for Independants. The Presbyterians formerly were the most numerous sect throughout this county; but they are greatly diminished of late years, and the Methodistical Baptists are the prevailing sect, and greatly increasing every year, through every part of it. Besides these there is a meeting-house for the Quakers, with a burying ground, but I beleive there is not one of this sect in the parish, though they yet hold an annual meeting here.
extract from Hasted's History of Kent published in 1798

Parish & other records Before

Books and other documents
Published Title, author and references
1797The Tunbridge Wells Guide by J. Sprange ⇒ p. 263
1798The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent - Volume VII by Edward Hastedp. 90
1814An Historical, Topographical and Descriptive Account of the Weald of Kent by T. D. W. Dearnp. 73
1839Directory of Kent, Surrey & Sussex ⇒ entry
1840New Guide for Tunbridge Wells by John Colbran and edited by James Phippen ⇒ p. 223
1860The Great Rebellion in Kent of 1381 Illustrated from the Public Records by W. E. Flaherty ⇒ p. 80
1866An Historical Account of Dence's School & Schoolmasters from 1568 to 1865 by William Tarbuttp. 1
1868School Inquiry Commision Vol XI South-East Division by C. I. Elton and H. A. Giffard ⇒ p. 41
1871A History of The Weald of Kent with an outline of the Early History of the County, Volume I. by Robert Furley, F.S.A.Cranbrook Hundred p. 315; Cranbrook Hundred p. 318; origin of the name p. 385
1874A History of The Weald of Kent with an outline of the History of the County to the present time, Volume II by Robert Furley, F.S.A.p. 10; p. 13; p. 124; p. 124; p. 164; p. 230; p. 255; Settlement of foreign cloth-workers p. 325; p. 335; p. 369; p. 482; Queen Elizabeth's visit p. 495; p. 556; p. 664; p. 668; p. 707; p. 707; Cranbrook colony p. 747; p. 838
1882Kelly's Directory of Kent by E. R. Kelly, M.A., F.S.S. ⇒ entry
1896A Glimpse at Cranbrook - The Town of the Weald by W. Stanley Martin ⇒ p. 2
1912Boyd Alexander's Last Journey with a Memoir by Herbert Alexander by Boyd Alexanderp. 5
1914Highways and Byways in Kent by Walter Jerrold with Illustrations by Hugh Thomson ⇒ p. 245
1923Medieval & Tudor Kent P.C.C. Wills Books 49 & 50 Cranbrook by Leland L. Duncan ⇒ Kent Archaeological Society
1923Early History of Cranbrook School by Leland L. Duncan ⇒ p. 127
1926Notes on the life of Sir John Baker of Sissinghurst by Rev. F.V. Baker ⇒ p. 5
1995How the 19th c. Cranbrook Colony were influenced in style and subject matter
by the 17th c. Dutch Genre Masters by Hamish J. Lemmens ⇒ Book p. i
2008A History of Cranbrook from the earliest times to 1914 by Peter AllenBook

People of note
Alexander, Boyd
(1873 - 1910)
Explorer and ornithologist
Baker, Sir John
(c1488 - 1558)
Bloody Baker
Dearn, Thomas Downes Wilmot
(1777 - 1853)
Author, Artist and Architect
Dence, Alexander
(c1520 - 1574)
Dence's Free School
Hardy, Frederick Daniel
(1827 - 1911)
Cranbrook Colony Painter
Hardy, George
(1822 - 1909)
Cranbrook Colony Painter
Horsley, John Callcott
(1817 - 1903)
Cranbrook Colony Painter
Lynche, Simon
(c1495 - 1573/4)
Cranbrook Grammar School
Mulready, Augustus Edwin
(1844 - 1904)
Cranbrook Colony Painter
O'Neill, George Bernard
(1828 - 1917)
Cranbrook Colony Painter
Tarbutt, William
(1810 - 1893)
Basket maker and Historian
Webster, Thomas
(1800 - 1886)
Cranbrook Colony Painter

Picturesmore pictures 

Letters Patent, Free and Perpetual Grammar School - 1574

Cranbrook Church - 14th June 1760

Milkhouse Chapel - 1798

Cranbrook - 1813

Angley House - 1814

Market Cross - c 1850

White Lion Inn - c 1850

Thomas Webster - c 1865

The Old White Lion - c 1880

Thomas Webster at Webster House - 1884

George Inn - c 1890

Grammar School Lodge - 1896

J. Wilmshurst, Family Butcher, Stone Street - 1896

T.S. Stokes & Sons, Outfitters - 1896

Places and properties in Cranbrook - a directory of homes, farms, churches, schools, inns, and other places of interest that existed prior to 1900 has been compiled from Post Office directories, Kelly's directories, Trade directories, Census data, Ordnance survey maps and books of the period
Churches, Inns,
Schools, Shops
and other places of interest
Benenden Road, Baker's Cross
Bird in Hand, Stone Street
Bull Hotel, Stone Street
Bull Inn, Sissinghurst
Camden Arms, Wilsley Pound
Chapel on the Hill
Claremont [a.k.a. Clermont] House School, High Street
Cranbrook Union House, Cranbrook Town
Crane Lane, High Street
Cricketer's Arms, Cranbrook Common
Dence Free School, Waterloo Road
Free Grammar School, Waterloo Road
George Hotel, Stone Street
Glassenbury House, Glassenbury
Hen & Pheasant, Biddenden Road
Hockridge Mill, Friesley Road
King's Head Inn, Sissinghurst
Milkhouse Chapel, Milkhouse Street
National School, Waterloo Road
Prince Albert, Stone Street
Prince of Wales, High Street
Sissinghurst Castle, Sissinghurst
St Dunstan's Church, Carriers Road
St. David's Bridge, The Hill
The Bowling Green, Waterloo Road
The Crown Inn, High Street
The Old Studio, High Street
The Papermakers Arms, High Street
The Vicarage, Waterloo Road
Trinity Church, Sissinghurst
Turk's Head, Golford
Union Mills, The Hill
Waterloo Place, Waterloo Road
Webster House, High Street
White Horse Inn, High Street
White Lion Inn [a.k.a. The Post Office] Inn, High Street
Wilsley House [a.k.a. Old Wilsley] House, Wilsley Green
Windmill Inn, Waterloo Road
Roads and Streets
Baker's Cross
Biddenden Road
Brewhouse Lane
Camden Hill
Carriers Road
Colliers Green
Cranbrook Common
Cranbrook Town
Freight Lane
Friesley Road
Goldford Road
High Street
Milkhouse Street
Mill Lane
Round Green
Satan's Hill
Sissinghurst Road, Sissinghurst Street
Sissinghurst Street
Stone Street
Swattenden Lane
The Hill
Three Chimneys
Tilsden Lane
Turnden Road
Waterloo Road
Whitewell Road
Wilsley Green
Wilsley Pound
Homes and Farms
Angley Farm, Glassenbury
Angley House, Wilsley Green
Badger's Oak, Tubslake
Barracks House
Beaumont House, High Street
Bedlam Stile, High Street
Bettenham [a.k.a. Betenham], Sissinghurst
Bishop's Farm, Hartley
Bounds End House
Branden, Sissinghurst
Breach House, Whitewell Road
Brewers Wood
Brick Kiln, Freight Lane
Bridge House, The Hill
Brooksden, High Street
Buckhurst Farm, Sissinghurst
Camden Cottages, Camden Hill
Camden Lodge, Camden Hill
Camden Villa, Camden Hill
Carpenter's Corner, Cranbrook Common
Chequer Tree Farm, Swattenden Lane
Chittenden Farm
Church Gate House, Carriers Road
Clay Hill
Collin's Farm, Sissinghurst
Cooks Island, Sissinghurst
Cottages, Sissinghurst
Coursehorn Cottages, Goldford Road
Coursehorn Farm, Goldford Road
Court Style, Wilsley Green
Cranbrook Lodge, High Street
Crane House, The Hill
Crown Court, High Street
Crusoe Cottage, The Hill
Dearn Villa, High Street
Dog Kennels, Flishinghurst
Dove Farm, Swattenden Lane
Duke William, Hartley
Eggshell, Tubslake
Farmingham, Golford
Fernside, Baker's Cross
Firtree Cottage, Goldford Road
Folly Farm, Goldford Road
Folly Hill, Round Green
Folly Road Cottages, Goldford Road
Four Wents, Flishinghurst
Freight Cottages, Freight Lane
Furnace Farm
Goddards Green, Cranbrook Town
Goldsmiths Cottage, Cranbrook Common
Gurr's Cottages, High Street
Hancock's Farm, Tilsden Lane
Hartley Farm, Hartley
Hartridge Farm
Havenden Farm
Hazelden, Colliers Green
Hazleden, Cranbrook Common
Heath Wood
High Tilt, Golford
Horse Entry, High Street
Huggin's Hall, Turnden Road
Jersey Villas, High Street
Kent Cottage, High Street
Little Shepherds, High Street
London & County Bank, High Street
Homes and Farms
Magnolia Villa, High Street
Manor House, Cranbrook Common
Middleton Farm, Golford
Mill House, Mill Lane
Mount Ephraim, Freight Lane
Mount Pleasant, Cranbrook Common
My Lady's Cottage, Cranbrook Common
Old House at Home, The Hill
Pailey Farm and Mill, Cranbrook Common
Pest House, The Hill
Police Station, Waterloo Road
Prices Bottoms, Sissinghurst
Pricklegate, Swattenden Lane
Rangers Row, High Street
Rectory Cottages, Carriers Road
Rectory House, Carriers Road
Relf's Corner, Sissinghurst
Rose Cottage, Cranbrook Common
Rose Cottages, Waterloo Road
Rose Villa, Waterloo Road
Satan's Island, Satan's Hill
Sawlodge Park House, Sissinghurst
School Sanatorium, The Hill
Shear Nore, Cranbrook Common
Shepherd Villa, High Street
Shepherds Court, High Street
Shepherds House, High Street
Sinkert Weazle, Tilsden Lane
Spong's Cottages, Cranbrook Common
Spring Cottages, The Hill
Stream Farm, Goldford Road
Sussex Cottage, High Street
Swattenden House, Swattenden Lane
Swattenden Lane Farm, Swattenden Lane
Swift's House [a.k.a. Great Swifts], Waterloo Road
Tan Yard, The Hill
Tey House, High Street
The Wents, Goldford Road
Tilsden Farm, Tilsden Lane
Tippins, The Hill
Town Field House, The Hill
Trenley Farm, Tubslake
Turk's Place, Hartley
Turnden Cottages, Turnden Road
Vestry Hall Cottage, Carriers Road
Vine Cottage, High Street
Waterloo House, Waterloo Road
Waters Yard, Stone Street
Welurside House, Glassenbury
Wenmans Cottage, Glassenbury
West End Row, High Street
White Well
Wilsley Farm, Wilsley Pound
Windmill Cottages, Waterloo Road
Woodshall, Hartley
Yorkshire Green, Carriers Road

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