Spotlight on: Edenbridge

PUBLISHED: 19:50 25 October 2013 | UPDATED: 19:50 25 October 2013



Manu Palomeque

Famous for its Guy Fawkes nights when, in past years, they’ve ‘burnt’ Wayne Rooney, Katie Price and Jonathan Ross, who will sit atop the kindling in Edenbridge this year?

1 Flaming celebrities

The 2013 Edenbridge bonfire festivities kick off at 6.30pm on 2 November, when the streets are closed and a 2,000-strong torch-lit procession takes over the town. There are floats, tableaux and marching bands, with huge effigies of Guy Fawkes accompanied by Ann Boleyn (with her head under her arm). The grand finale is 
a firework display when the effigy of Guy Fawkes dramatically self destructs, as does the ‘Celebrity Guy,’ whose identity is kept secret until the last few hours. Who will get to sit atop the kindling this year?

2 Beautiful buildings 
Ye Old Crown Inn and the White Horse Inn are noted historic buildings, 
and in an attractive area called The Square you’ll find a 1400s Wealden Hall House, divided into shop premises. Numbers 
94 and 96 High Street are both 1400s houses, one of them a Wealden Hall House, and these were joined together to form 
one large dwelling in 1550. Look out for Antiques Roadshow expert Lennox Cato’s eponymous antiques gallery (01732 865988), also on The Square. The 
grand Ebenezer Chapel (1808) is now rechristened the Bridges Centre and 
offers refreshments and hosts varied workshops and exhibitions.

3 Ann Boleyn’s home
Magnificent Hever Castle (01732 865224, TN8 7NG), a Tudor manor built within a much older gatehouse and walled bailey, is most famous as the seat of the Boleyns. The house has 16th-century portraits, paintings, furniture and tapestries, and outside there are Rose, Tudor and Italian gardens, the latter featuring Italian stone sculptures. In addition there’s a lake, new Japanese Tea House folly, a ‘Tudor village’, water maze, playground and the Moat Restaurant.

4 Just a minute
The parish church of St Peter and 
St Paul dates from Norman times and 
its fine features include a clock with 
no minute hand, a late Norman font and
a window in the East Wall by Sir Edward Burne-Jones; the stained glass in the large West Window was installed in 2001 to commemorate the millennium. The Arts and Crafts architect, Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott, is buried in the cemetery.

5 Keeping active
Edenbridge Leisure Centre (01732 865665, TN8 5LU) has an exercise studio, swimming pool, teaching/toddler pool, multi-purpose sports hall, Wellness Gym, an all-weather pitch, squash courts, 
cafe and crèche. There are facilities for badminton, table tennis, short-mat bowls, swimming classes catering for people of 
all ages, aqua-fit classes, an exercise dance studio, IT suite, play facilities, lifeguard course and group fitness cardio workouts.

6 Punishing stone
Nearby Chiddingstone village 
(TN8 7AH) is owned by the National Trust, who describe it as “one of the most beautiful and oldest in Kent.” It is named after the ‘Chiding Stone,’ a large sandstone outcrop which may have been used for public chastisements, and is a perfect example of a Tudor one-street village. 
The houses are half timbered, there’s a 
fine church, the highly recommended Castle Inn (01892 870247) and beautiful Chiddingstone Castle (closed in winter).

7 Wine and dine

Excellent restaurants include: The Haxted Mill Riverside Brasserie and 
Bar (01732 862914, TN8 6PU) (French), 
La Botte (01732 863873, TN8 5AB) (Italian), Castle Inn (01892 870247, TN8 7AH), The White Horse Inn (01342 850640, TN8 7ED), Tom Bells fish and ships (01732 867878, TN8 5AR), The Royal Oak (01732 866335, TN8 6RD), and for splendid beer try: The King Henry V111 (01732 862457, TN8 7NH), Queen’s Arms (01732 862862, TN8 5NP), The Wheatsheaf (01732 864091, TN8 5QL), The Old Eden (01732 862398, TN8 5AX), and the Star Inn (01732 864766, TN8 5AY).

8 View from the bridge

The Great Stone Bridge gave the town its name, because a Saxon abbot called Eadhelm built the first wooden bridge over the river; the river later took the name ‘Eden.’ The current bridge was built in 1834 and and a stone plaque commemorates two early bridge wardens. Beside the bridge is a paved seating area, and from here you can take a short riverside walk.

9 Ancient relics

The Eden Valley Museum (01732 868102, TN8 5AR) is housed in Church House, originally Doggetts Farmhouse, one of the oldest buildings in the town.Built around 1380; it is timber framed, 
but had a brick frontage added in the 
18th century. There are archives with huge photo collections, a shop with guidebooks and items of local interest, plusdisplays 
of various artefacts, some interactive.

10 Twitchers’ paradise

Bough Beech Reservoir (01622 662012, ME19 5EG) (only open on Sundays in November) is next to a nature reserve, and well known for its bird-watching facilities, migrating ospreys in particular. You can see nesting coots, summer swallows, ducks, great crested newts, glow worms, bats, nightingales and more. There are ancient trees, butterflies and wild flowers, a circular nature trail walk. There’s also a 19th-century oast house that hosts a Visitors’ Centre and shop. n

More from Out & About

As the world slows down, we turn our eyes to the skies in search of the best places to watch some celestial wonders this summer

Read more

Here are 12 places that may have flown under your radar before but are well worth seeking out

Read more

Kent is blessed with fine and indeed famous country houses, but over the decades has lost as many of its grander houses as it retains. A new book by Martin Easdown reveals 120 examples that have simply disappeared

Read more
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Take our quiz to see if you can decipher the town or place in Kent from the emojis

Read more
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Enjoy three of Kent’s best and most loved cycle rides which take in lots of the county’s beautiful coastlines

Read more

We look ahead to the end of lockdown and to a quiet seaside resort we can’t wait to visit again – Herne Bay

Read more

Hythe and New Romney, with their peaceful marshes, abundant wildlife and beautiful coastline, are the perfect places to explore when we’re allowed to travel again

Read more
Friday, June 12, 2020

We’ve gathered six of the best dog-friendly pubs in Kent to enjoy a bite to eat after a scenic stroll

Read more

Try these Kent-themed ideas for the ultimate ‘stay-cation’ – without having to move further away from home than the garden gate

Read more
Monday, June 8, 2020

Picnic baskets at the ready because we have gathered 10 of the best places to enjoy a picnic in stunning rural Kent

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Latest Competitions & Offers

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life