This cache marks one of 3 village signs in Hawkhurst. The original village sign can be found on the road to Flimwell to the North West. The design depicts a hawk flying over a wood on a painted wooden board surroned by an iron frame. Two more modern signs, of an identical in design have also be erected. One can be found on the road towards Sandhurst to the North East and the other on the village green in the Southern part of the village. These two again depict a hawk flying over a wood in an updated version to the original and are made enirely from wrought iron.
The name Hawkhurst is derived from Old English heafoc hyrst, meaning a wooded hill frequented by hawks - 'Hawk Wood'. Hurst (Hyrst) in a place name refers to a wood or wooded area. The oldest known settlement within Hawkhurst was the Saxon manor of Congehurst, which was burnt by the Danes in 893 AD. The 11th Century Domesday Monachorum refers to the village as Hawkashyrst, belonging to Battle Abbey.
Just on the Kent side of the county boarder with Sussex, Hawkhurst is a village of two halves. The older half is based around a large village green known as The Moor. This area mostly consists of cottages as well as the parish church of St Laurence. To the north of that on the crossroads of the A229 and the A268 lies the more modern area of Highgate that includes the High Street, where the majority of the shops can be found along with the now disused Roman Chatholic Church dedicated to St Barnabas.
The village lies on the route of a Roman road which crossed the Weald here. During Roman times the area had a strong Iron industry in which Hawkhurst was heavily involved. More recently and along with much of the Weald of Kent Hawkhurst had a strong Hops growning industry. Although now somewhat deminished the evidence is still very apparent with the many Oast Houses around. The village once had a railway station, built in 1892 and during Hop Picking season up to 10,000 Londoners a day would arrive via train to assist in the harvest. However outside of those times the train station was rarely busy and eventually became one of the victims of Dr Beachings cuts in 1961.
During the 18th century smuggling was rife within Kent and Sussex, with gangs importing contraband from the continent. One of the most notorious gangs were the Hawkhurst Gang who were based in the village. A number of local inns and pubs in Hawkhurst claim associations with the gang.
In 1886, the largest Barnardo's home for orphans under six years old was built in Hawkhurst, caring for hundreds of babies. It was known as Babies' Castle. Unfortunately the building stood neglected for many years and was finally demolished in early 2015.
Since 2010 Hawkurst has been included as part of the Borough of Tunbridge Wells, before that date it was within the boundaries of the Maidstone and The Weald constituancy.
TO LOCATE THE CACHE:
Not far from the sign you will find a bright red post box. Answer the following questions to determine the location of the cache:
What time is last collection on Weekdays? A.BCpm
What time is last collection on Saturdays? D.EFam
The cache can be found at the following location:
N 51 (E-F-C)(A+C-2).(F+D)(D-A)(C+E)
E 000 (F+B-1)(F+C+D).(A+B)(E+F)(F-E)