Staplehurst

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Coordinates: 51°09′50″N 0°33′11″E / 51.164°N 0.553°E / 51.164; 0.553

Staplehurst
All Saints' church, Staplehurst - geograph.org.uk - 188892.jpg
All Saints' Church
Staplehurst is located in Kent
Staplehurst
Staplehurst
 Staplehurst shown within Kent
Population 6,003 (2001)[1]
District Maidstone
Shire county Kent
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town TONBRIDGE
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Maidstone and The Weald
List of places
UK
England
Kent

Staplehurst /ˈstpəlhɜrst/ is a large village and civil parish, situated south of Maidstone in Kent, England. The name Staplehurst comes from the Saxon words staple (meaning post) and hurst (meaning wood or clearing in a forest). The village lies on the route of a Roman road, which is now incorporated into the course of the A229.

There are approximately 2,600 households and 6,000 residents, a population that brings the village on par with some small towns. However, Staplehurst does not have the large facilities, like a supermarket although planning permission has been granted to build one,and leisure centre or the feel of a town. There are a number of local shops at the Parade, which lies roughly at the centre of the village, and two public houses, the Railway Tavern, and the King's Head. It also has a small library and a newly built two-million-pound medical centre which contains numerous doctors and dentists. The building of the medical centre on the school field enabled the school to have a large sports hall built. During the last few years Hush Heath Estate has become renowned for its pink sparkling wine which has won awards.

History[edit]

In the early 19th century, Staplehurst was often visited by invalids seeking recuperation, especially those from Romney Marsh and East Kent, apparently attracted by the purity of the air.[2]

The Staplehurst rail crash, in 1865,[3] is a significant event in the history of the village. Charles Dickens, who was on board, was affected by the incident for the rest of his life.[4][5]

In 2003, Staplehurst won the Kent Village of the Year Competition.[6]

Staplehurst was also the centre of police investigations following the Securitas depot robbery in 2006.[7][8]

Governance[edit]

Staplehurst is governed by Staplehurst Parish Council, Maidstone Borough Council, and Kent County Council, the Chairman of which is Cllr John Perry.

Culture and community[edit]

Religion[edit]

The 12th century parish church, All Saints', is located at the highest point in the village. It is a Grade I listed building. The parish church is a Church of England church in the diocese of Canterbury. The village also has a United Reformed Church, a Free church and a Strict Baptist chapel.

The United Reformed Church was formerly a Congregational Church prior to joining the United Reformed Church in 1972.[9] The first pastor was Daniel Poyntell who had been the Rector of Staplehurst Parish Church until he was ejected from the Church of England in 1662 for non-conformity. During his pastorship, and for many years afterwards, it was a presbyterian church. The foundation of the present building was laid in 1825.[10]

The Strict Baptist chapel has been used a place of worship for Baptists since 1751, apparently having previously been used as a barn. The original congregation were General Baptists and were a continuation of the old Spilshill church that was formed around 1640. In 1838 the building was sold to the Particular Baptists.

The Free Church began in 1969 when a group began meeting for worship in homes throughout the village. The first church building was purchased in 1975 and the old Village Hall was purchased in 1989. The church was demolished in 2006 to make way for a new building which was completed in December 2012.[11]

Education[edit]

Staplehurst School, the village primary school, is located on Gybbon Rise, near the town centre shops. Around 440 pupils are taught in 18 classrooms.[12] The school was originally housed in the stone buildings off the A229 and moved to the new site when the population of the village grew in the 1980s. The old school then became the village community centre.

Transport[edit]

Staplehurst railway station is a busy station and is well-used by commuters working in London. The station is on the main line from Ashford International railway station to London Charing Cross and London Cannon Street, via Tonbridge. It is also the main station for commuters from Cranbrook, Hawkhurst, Sissinghurst and other nearby villages. Before the completion of High Speed 1, the line was also used by Eurostar trains.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Staplehurst CP". Neighbourhood Statistics. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  2. ^ Dearn, T.D.W. (1814). An Historical, Topographical and Descriptive Account of the Weald of Kent. Cranbrook: S. Reader. p. 225. 
  3. ^ Accident at Staplehurst on 9 June 1865, Railways Archive
  4. ^ PDF, Post Traumatic Culture, Injury and Interpretations in the Nineties, Kirby Farrell, JHU Press, 1998. P.8
  5. ^ Eyewitness: Charles Dickens survives a train crash 1865, My Time Machine
  6. ^ Staplehurst, Information Britain
  7. ^ Police scour Kent farm for clues to £53m robbery as gang's lorry traced, Rosie Cowen, The Guardian, 01-03-06
  8. ^ Securitas robbery: The investigation, BBC Website, 28-01-08
  9. ^ THE STAPLEHURST SOCIETY HISTORY GROUP. "STAPLEHURST IN KENT". THE STAPLEHURST SOCIETY HISTORY GROUP. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Transactions of the Congregational Historical Society Vol. 5.. Congregational Historical Society. 1911. pp. 178–180. 
  11. ^ "History". Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Staplehurst School". Retrieved 2011-02-18. 

External links[edit]