Wye, Kent

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Coordinates: 51°10′53″N 0°56′29″E / 51.1815°N 0.9413°E / 51.1815; 0.9413

Wye parish church
Wye is located in Kent
 Wye shown within Kent
Population 2,282 (Ward)[1]
OS grid reference TR055466
Civil parish Wye with Hinxhill
District Ashford
Shire county Kent
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TN25
Dialling code 01233
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Ashford
List of places
The Great Stour at Wye

Wye is a historic village in Kent, England, located some 12 miles (19 km) from Canterbury, and is also the main village in the civil parish of Wye with Hinxhill.[2] The population of the ward was 2,282 in 2011. In March 2013 the village was voted 3rd best place to live in the UK according to the annual survey taken by The Sunday Times.


Wye became an important ancient communications centre because of the ford across the River Great Stour connecting the parts of the ancient trackway across the North Downs at this point. The Romans constructed their road between Canterbury and Hastings using the gap through the North Downs; remains of a Roman camp and villa have been found. By medieval times the town was a market, but in the later 18th century the new turnpike had bypassed the village on the opposite bank of the river; the main A28 road does the same today. Wye railway station was built when the line from Ashford to Margate was opened on 1 December 1846 by the South Eastern Railway.[3]

During the First World War, an aerodrome was established at Wye by the Royal Flying Corps, the station becoming RAF Wye in 1918 and closing the following year.

Wye Racecourse[edit]

Wye Racecourse was here: the first race was run on 29 May 1849, the last 2 May 1974 and closed permanently in June 1975 after being unable to improve the course which the Jockey Club had insisted upon in August 1974. The Long family who owned the course were unable to raise the funds to change the camber on bottom bend and improve the stands and the Jockey Club would not assist and the National Hunt world lost another course. It is described thus: "Less than one mile (1.6 km) round, and more suited to a greyhound track than a racecourse, Wye could not be entirely classed as the ideal preparation for a tilt at the Champion Hurdle".[4]

Wye College[edit]

The Wye Campus of the Imperial College of London ("Wye College") was founded in 1447 as a Latin school and seminary by John Cardinal Kempe, Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor.[5] It has been part of London University since 1900. Until 2005 it was an agricultural college: events in 2005 changed that, but the somewhat fraught situation that arose in 2005 regarding the possibility of large scale development. This was the subject of a local campaign to oppose development on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty through a local group, Wye Future Group, and an independent web site, save-wye.org.[6] The campaign was also documented by local author David Hewson in his book Saved which is now available for free at Scribd.[7]

The village[edit]

The Anglican church is dedicated to Saints Gregory and Martin, and has been grade I listed by English Heritage.[8]

Wye Crown

On the Downs east of the village is a crown (hill figure) carved in the chalk by students in 1902 to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII.


Wye compared
2001 UK Census Wye Ashford district England
Population 2,405 102,661 49,138,831
Foreign born 14.6% 5.5% 9.2%
White 94.9% 97.6% 90.9%
Asian 1.8% 0.9% 4.6%
Black 1.2% 0.4% 2.3%
Christian 75.2% 76.5% 71.7%
Muslim 1.1% 0.6% 3.1%
Hindu 0.4% 0.3% 1.1%
No religion 15.3% 14.6% 14.6%
Unemployed 1.7% 2.4% 3.3%
Retired 16.8% 13.8% 13.5%

As of the 2001 UK census, the Wye electoral ward had a population of 2,405. The ethnicity was 94.9% white, 1.5% mixed race, 1.8% Asian, 1.2% black and 0.6% other. The place of birth of residents was 85.4% United Kingdom, 1.1% Republic of Ireland, 4.5% other Western European countries, and 9% elsewhere. Religion was recorded as 75.2% Christian, 0.4% Buddhist, 0.4% Hindu, 0% Sikh and 0.2% Jewish, 1.1% Muslim. 15.3% were recorded as having no religion, 0.2% had an alternative religion and 7.2% did not state their religion.[9]

The economic activity of residents aged 16–74 was 28.2% in full-time employment, 9.3% in part-time employment, 9.6% self-employed, 1.7% unemployed, 7.7% students with jobs, 16.6% students without jobs, 16.8% retired, 5.4% looking after home or family, 2.8% permanently sick or disabled and 2% economically inactive for other reasons. The industry of employment of residents was 12.8% retail, 9.3% manufacturing, 5.3% construction, 14.1% real estate, 9.9% health and social work, 17.7% education, 4.8% transport and communications, 5.5% public administration, 6.2% hotels and restaurants, 2.4% finance, 6.2% agriculture and 5.8% other. Compared with national figures, the ward had a relatively high proportion of workers in agriculture, education, hotels and restaurants. There were a relatively low proportion in manufacturing, construction, retail, finance, transport and communications. Of the ward's residents aged 16–74, 33.5% had a higher education qualification or the equivalent, compared with 19.9% nationwide.[9]


A farmers market is held in Wye on the first and third Saturday of every month; and an annual summer festival of blues music and real ale, is held in the grounds of Withersdane, Wye, with profits to charity[10]


Wye is on the Pilgrims' Way and at a junction of the North Downs Way, a long distance walk from Farnham in Surrey east to Dover, and the Stour Valley Walk from Lenham via Ashford and Canterbury to Sandwich and finally the English Channel.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to Wye, Kent at Wikimedia Commons