Horsmonden (pronounced i//, horzmen-DEN) is a village in Kent, on the Weald. It is situated on a road leading from Maidstone to Lamberhurst, three miles north of the latter place. The nearest railway station is Paddock Wood.
The village was an important centre of the medieval iron industry and the nearby Furnace Pond is one of the largest and finest of the artificial lakes made to provide water power for the works. King Charles I visited the foundry in 1638 to watch a canon being cast - a bronze four-pounder, forty-two inches long, now preserved in London's White Tower.
The village was home to Jane Austen's grandfather and several other of her relatives, many of whom lived at Capel Manor House. Many of the family's graves can be seen in the churchyard of St. Margaret's Church.
There is a gypsy horse fair held on the village green each year. In 2000, the local parish council with assistance of the then-Home Secretary Jack Straw, ruled that due to ongoing safety concerns, the fair would not go ahead and a 5 mile exclusion zone was put in place. However due to protests and legal action from the wider gypsy community, this decision was overturned and the fairs resumed following a compromise between the travellers and the local authorities in 2001.
The village church, St Margaret's, is located some distance away from the centre of the village towards the neighbouring village of Goudhurst.
When the branch railway line to Hawkhurst was operating, there was a railway station for the village. However Horsmonden railway station closed in 1961. The station site is now used as a garage called "Old Station Garage" and the stationmaster's house is now a private residence.
Today the only public transport for Horsmonden is the 297 bus route which was until recently operated by Arriva Southern Counties, but is now run in conjunction with a number of separate bus companies and Kent County Council.
Horsmonden cricket club dates back to 1743. It is home to 8 cricket teams, 4 men's sides and 5 youth sides.
- John Browne (d 1651), gunfounder, leased Brenchley Furnace, the site of which is now in Horsmonden.
- Simon Willard, (d 1676), founded the town of Concord in Massachusetts Bay, was born in Horsmonden
- William Moon (1818–94), teacher and philanthropist, was born in Horsmonden
- Ruth Thomas (b 1967), novelist, was born in Horsmonden
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Horsmonden.|
||Paddock Wood||Collier Street||Marden Thorn|