Pluckley shown within Kent
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Pluckley is a village and civil parish in the Ashford district of Kent, England. It is close to the North Downs, and is approximately 5 miles (8 km) west of Ashford. One part of the village is called Pluckley Thorne.
References to Pluckley can be found in the Domesday Book, at which time it was a more significant settlement than the now considerably larger town of Ashford. Sir Edward Dering, 1st Baronet is buried here. The Dering Manuscript, the earliest extant manuscript text of any Shakespearean play, was discovered at Surrenden Manor in Pluckley. The manuscript provides a single-play version of both Part 1 and Part 2 of Henry IV. The consensus of Shakespeare scholars is that the Dering MS represents a redaction prepared around 1613, perhaps for family or amateur theatrics, by Edward Dering (1598–1644) of Surrenden Manor.
The village, approximately 5 miles (8 km) from the nearest junction of the M20 motorway, is served by Pluckley railway station, about 1.25 miles (2 km) to the south. It lies on the Greensand Way long-distance walking route and is close to the Stour Valley Walk.
Appearances in the media
The ITV drama series, The Darling Buds of May, was filmed in the village (doubling for Sidcup). Pluckley had an entry in the 1989 Guinness Book of Records for being the "most haunted village in Britain", with 12 different ghosts reported. There are some old stories to be heard about "the highwayman". A Strange But True? episode covered the village in 1995 and Ghost Hunters International recently did three investigations in Pluckley. Most Haunted: Midsummer Murders conducted an investigation of the murdered highwayman Robert Du Bois in the Screaming Woods. Pluckley was also featured on an episode of BBC's Top Gear. Two of the presenters, James May and Richard Hammond, were filming a review of the Smart Forfour. The presenters spent 24 consecutive hours in the car, spending the night in the Screaming Woods. Local radio network KMFM broadcast their Hallowe'en special – "Frightday Night" – in 2009 from the Black Horse Inn, and also explored the Screaming Woods. Pluckley was also featured on an episode of Sunday Night Project where Justin Lee Collins and Alan Carr with their guest host Will Young investigated a mill in Pluckley, and stayed in a tent overnight in the Screaming Woods. The village featured on the BBC Radio 4 show Open County in which Helen Mark investigated the hauntings of the village and their effects of village life. On 20 October 1997 blues guitarist Eric Clapton played a benefit concert in Saint Peter's Hall to raise awareness and funds for the Crossroads Centre.
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