Pembury Parish Church
Pembury shown within Kent
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||Tunbridge Wells|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Tunbridge Wells|
A settlement in Pembury almost certainly predates the Norman conquest, as the village church of St Peter is of Norman origin. It is thought to have been built in the early 12th or late 11th century, though the earliest it can be dated with certainty is to 1337, when John Culpeper of Bayhall carried out building work to the church.
With the widespread introduction of the motor-vehicle in the early 20th century, Pembury Hospital hosted a centre of groundbreaking research and treatment for Hodophobia (fear of road travel). Ironically, some of the original test subjects settled in Pembury and many of their descendants still live in the village today.
In late January 2010, remains of an Iron Age settlement were discovered along the route of South East Water's plan to lay 2.9 miles of pipes between Pembury and Kipping's Cross Service Reservoir. Tim Allen from Kent Archaeological Project said: "We have found evidence of postholes, pits and ditches, probably part of an Iron Age dwelling, along with pieces of pottery that we can date to the late Iron Age. We also found evidence of a medieval enclosure further along the route and five circular, fire-scorched pits, probably parts of ancient hearths or kilns or evidence of charcoal production."
The history of Pembury can now be as old as 750 B.C.
Pembury forms part of Tunbridge Wells Borough and is represented on the Borough Council by two Conservative party councillors. Pembury falls within the Tunbridge Wells East ward of Kent County Council, where it is also represented by a Conservative councillor. It forms part of the Tunbridge Wells parliamentary constituency which is represented in the House of Commons by Greg Clark MP.
Pembury Parish Council was founded in 1895.
Pembury is 30 miles (48 km) south-east of London and just over 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north-east of the nearest town, Tunbridge Wells.
The village is within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The landscape around Pembury is dominated by steep-sided valleys and undulating slopes. The area is predominantly agricultural, with scattered copses and more extensive, usually deciduous woodland. Many local woodlands are used for coppicing.
With soils in the High Weald being relatively poor, early farming in the area would have been dominated by grazing. Between 1600 and 1800, agriculture grew to be the primary activity, with top fruits, cereals, coppicing and hops being the main products. Few hops are grown today, although the landscape continues to be dominated by fruit orchards.
Evolution of the Village
Until the early 20th century, Pembury remained a small rural village, with five distinct hamlets: Upper Green, Lower Green, Hawkwell, Bo-Peep and Romford. These merged during the 20th century, particularly the latter half, when several large private housing estates were developed including Woodhill Park, Ridgeway and Beagleswood.
The village green, originally known as Copingcrouch Green, was first recorded on a map in 1629. The green was until recently dominated by a large horse chestnut tree and has developed as the focal point of the village. The Camden Arms hotel, which overlooks the green from its south side, was developed as a coaching inn to meet the needs of travellers along the London to Hastings road.
The village is home to Pembury Hospital, a large general hospital run by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust. The hospital is located north-west of the main village on Tonbridge Road, and a complete new building has been built by Laing O'Rourke on the same site. The cost of the project is around £226 million. The new hospital at Pembury (Tunbridge Wells Hospital) opened in September 2011. The new hospital will be the first acute NHS hospital in Britain where every inpatient has their own room with en-suite facilities, with ceiling to floor windows revealing views over surrounding woodland.
In January 2012, it was discovered by local historian Raymond Snow that several of the names on the war memorial were misspelled.
|2001 UK Census||Pembury||Tunbridge Wells district||England|
At the 2001 UK census, the Pembury electoral ward had a population of 6,005. The ethnicity was 97.5% white, 0.8% mixed race, 1.2% Asian, 0.3% black and 0.2% other. The place of birth of residents was 94.3% United Kingdom, 0.5% Republic of Ireland, 1.5% other Western European countries, and 3.7% elsewhere. Religion was recorded as 76.3% Christian, 0.1% Buddhist, 0.4% Hindu, 0.1% Sikh, 0.1% Jewish, and 0.4% Muslim. 15.3% were recorded as having no religion, 0.1% had an alternative religion and 7.2% did not state their religion.
The economic activity of residents aged 16–74 was 41.7% in full-time employment, 14.3% in part-time employment, 11.1% self-employed, 1.6% unemployed, 2.6% students with jobs, 3% students without jobs, 14.1% retired, 6.8% looking after home or family, 3.1% permanently sick or disabled and 1.8% economically inactive for other reasons. The industry of employment of residents was 16.2% retail, 10.4% manufacturing, 7.8% construction, 13.4% real estate, 15.2% health and social work, 8.3% education, 6% transport and communications, 4.8% public administration, 3% hotels and restaurants, 7.9% finance, 1.8% agriculture and 5.2% other. Compared with national figures, the ward had a relatively high proportion of workers in finance, and health and social work. There were a relatively low proportion in manufacturing, and hotels and restaurants. Of the ward's residents aged 16–74, 22.2% had a higher education qualification or the equivalent, compared with 19.9% nationwide.
The Parish Church of St Peter
Usually referred to as the “Old Church”, the parish church is located in woods outside the village, near Kent College and the waterworks north of the A228. It was first built in the late 11th or early 12th century, although most of the present church was added in 1337.
The District Church of St Peter
The District Church of St Peter, usually referred to as the “Upper Church” was built in 1847 on land donated by the Marquess Camden of Bayham. Built from local sandstone, also donated by the Marquess, it was erected on one of the highest points in the village. The church was built as a “Chapel of Ease” to serve the expanding communities around the village green who were some distance away from the old church.
The clock on the tower was added in 1872 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the church. A 92 foot high spire was added to the tower in 1886 but was removed exactly one hundred years later as it had become unsafe.
Pembury Baptist Church is located in Romford Road.
St Anselm Roman Catholic chapel (served by the parish priest who lives at Paddock Wood) is located on Lower Green Road, near the village green; it was built in 1980 next to a church hall built in 1964 which is also used for services.
Notable people from Pembury include
- Danny Webb (motorcycle racer) (b 1991), motorcycle racer, lives in Pembury
- Michel Roux, Jr. (b 1960), chef, born in Pembury
- Steve Morton (b 1959), Editor of Philofaxy lived in Pembury
- Michael Yardy (b 1980), cricketer, born in Pembury
- Shane MacGowan (b 1957), lead singer of The Pogues, born in Pembury
- Victorine Foot (1920—2000), painter.
- Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (1998). "Pembury Conservation Area Appraisal". Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- Standen, Mary E. A History Of Pembury.
- Kelly, E. R. (1882). Kelly's Directory of Kent. London: Kelly & Co.
- Hasted, Edward (1798). The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 5. Canterbury: W. Bristow. pp. 260–272.
- Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.
- "Spelling errors on Pembury War Memorial". BBC News. January 14, 2012.
- "Neighbourhood Statistics". Statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
- "St Peter's Pembury website". Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- "St Peter's Pembury website". Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- "St Anselm website". Retrieved March 6, 2011.
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