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All Saints' church, Staplehurst - - 188892.jpg
All Saints' Church
Staplehurst is located in Kent
Location within Kent
Population6,003 (2001)[1]
5,947 (2011 Census)[2]
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townTonbridge
Postcode districtTN12
Dialling code01580
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
51°09′50″N 0°33′11″E / 51.164°N 0.553°E / 51.164; 0.553Coordinates: 51°09′50″N 0°33′11″E / 51.164°N 0.553°E / 51.164; 0.553

Staplehurst /ˈstpəlhɜːrst/ is a large village and civil parish in the borough of Maidstone in Kent, England, 9 miles (14 km) south of the town of Maidstone. The name Staplehurst comes from the Saxon words maple (meaning subway) 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.

Size and situation[edit]

There are approximately 2,600 households and 6,000 residents, a population similar to that of some small towns. The parish includes the village of Hawkenbury. However, Staplehurst lacks the feel of a town and urban facilities such as a leisure centre or a supermarket, although planning permission has been granted for the latter.[citation needed] There are a number of local shops in the Parade, roughly at the centre of the village, and one public house, the King's Head. It also has a small library and a newly built two-million-pound medical centre for doctors and dentists.[citation needed] The building of the medical centre on a school field enabled the school to have a large sports hall built.

In recent years Hush Heath Estate has gained renown for award-winning pink sparkling wine.[3]


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.[4]

The Staplehurst rail crash, in 1865,[5] is a significant event in the history of the village. Charles Dickens, who was on board, was uninjured, but affected by the incident for the rest of his life.[6][7]

In 2003, Staplehurst won the Kent Village of the Year Competition.[8]

Staplehurst was also the centre of police investigations following the Securitas depot robbery in 2006.[9][10]


Staplehurst is governed by Staplehurst Parish Council, Maidstone Borough Council, and Kent County Council, the Chairman of which is Councillor Tom Burnham.

Culture and community[edit]


The 12th-century Anglican parish church, All Saints', is located at the highest point in the village. It belongs to the Diocese of Canterbury. It is a Grade I listed building. 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 before the merger with the Presbyterians in 1972.[11] 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 nonconformity. During his pastorship, and for many years afterwards, it was a Presbyterian church. The foundation of the present building was laid in 1825.[12]

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.[13]


Staplehurst School, the village primary school, is located on Gybbon Rise, near the town centre shops. Around 440 pupils are taught in 18 classrooms.[14] 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.


Staplehurst railway station 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]


  1. ^ "Staplehurst CP". Neighbourhood Statistics. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  3. ^ English Wine Producers. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  4. ^ Dearn, T. D. W. (1814). An Historical, Topographical and Descriptive Account of the Weald of Kent. Cranbrook: S. Reader. p. 225.
  5. ^ Accident at Staplehurst on 9 June 1865, Railways Archive
  6. ^ PDF, Post Traumatic Culture, Injury and Interpretations in the Nineties, Kirby Farrell, JHU Press, 1998. P.8[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Eyewitness: Charles Dickens survives a train crash 1865, My Time Machine Archived 4 September 2012 at
  8. ^ Staplehurst, Information Britain
  9. ^ Police scour Kent farm for clues to £53m robbery as gang's lorry traced, Rosie Cowen, The Guardian, 01-03-06
  10. ^ Securitas robbery: The investigation, BBC Website, 28-01-08
  12. ^ Transactions of the Congregational Historical Society Vol. 5. Congregational Historical Society. 1911. pp. 178–180.
  13. ^ "History". Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  14. ^ "Staplehurst School". Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2011.

External links[edit]