East Sussex

Type:Towns & Villages

Best Beech Hill, Wadhurst, East Sussex, TN5 6JH


Wadhurst lies 6 miles south east of Tunbridge Wells, at the crossroads of the B2100 and the B2099. It has a long High Street of tile-hung cottages. At one time it was of great importance as a hub of the Wealden Iron Industry .

The name Wadhurst means "Wada's settlement in the clearing in a wood, and dates the parish to Anglo Saxon times. Until the 19th century, the parish was divided into six regions - Town, Bivelham, Faircrouch, Riseden, Weeke and Cousley Wood.

Many churches in this area have one or two iron slab memorials, however Wadhurst's church of St Peter and St Paul has thirty! Thus demonstrating the scale of the local iron industry . The iron slabs date from between 1617 and 1790, and are the most famous and interesting monuments in the church. Many of them commemorate the local Iron Master family of the Barhams. The oldest slabs have simple repetitive designs of shields, however, as the founder's expertise developed so did the complexity of their designs, such as the ornate slab dedicated to William Barham located in the chancel, dated 1701.


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