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Willesborough is located in Kent
Location within Kent
Population7,800 (2005)[1]
OS grid referenceTR025417
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townAshford
Postcode districtTN24
Dialling code01233
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
51°08′19″N 0°53′45″E / 51.1386°N 0.8957°E / 51.1386; 0.8957Coordinates: 51°08′19″N 0°53′45″E / 51.1386°N 0.8957°E / 51.1386; 0.8957

Willesborough is a village, now in effect a residential suburb, on the eastern side of Ashford, Kent, England.

The area[edit]

The South Willesborough Dykes area, on the west bank of the River East Stour, is an area of sheep fields drained by dykes. The area is designated as the South Willesborough Dykes Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI). The dykes continue on the east side of the River East Stour and among the residential areas, and a tributary stream (Aylesford Stream) runs between Newtown and South Willesborough and into the East Stour. The smallest ditches dry up completely in summer.[2]

The South Willesborough Dykes are important in terms of the geology of the area, being in the river floodplain and in supporting neutral, wet grassland species, along with Willesborough's Aylesford Green and Boys Hall forming part of the Ashford Green Corridor, although public access is otherwise limited.[3]

Ashford Borough Council has a project to create the Willesborough Dykes Country Park.

There are a number of schools in and around the Willesborough area.

Willesborough is bordered by Ashford to the west and north-west, the M20 to the north, and Sevington and the new village of Finberry to the south-east.


In 1184 Pope Lucius III wrote to the abbot of St. Augustine, Canterbury, suggesting that the parson of Willesborough retired and passed the benefice to his son who could then be free to pursue his studies.[4]

William Harvey (1578 - 1657)

The town is known for its 1869 windmill near Hythe Road, and St Mary's Church on Church Road, which has one of the oldest ringing bells in Kent.

Former English international cricketers Mark Ealham and Richard Ellison were born in Willesborough.


William Harvey Hospital[edit]

The William Harvey Hospital, a major hospital providing services for east Kent, is in Willesborough, and is named after the discoverer of the blood circulatory system. There is a statue of William Harvey at the hospital, and an older, damaged, statue of him, formerly the hospital, in the garden at the William Harvey Public House on Church Road in Willesborough.


Norman Cycles was a bicycle, autocycle, moped and motorbike manufacturer based in Ashford. The Norman Cycles Club is based at Willesborough Windmill and the Norman Museum is located in the windmill's barn, where mopeds and bicycles are on display.

Ashford Steam Centre[edit]

Between 1969 and 1976, Ashford Steam Centre operated at the former engine shed that served Ashford railway station.


  1. ^ "2005 Ward Level Population Estimates" (PDF). Kent County Council. September 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2007.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ SWANEG Archived 2005-05-06 at the Wayback Machine (South Willesborough and Newtown Environmental Group)
  3. ^ "Ashford Green Corridor". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 5 March 2006.
  4. ^ A.L. Poole, Domesday Book to Magna Carta, p 225

External links[edit]

Media related to Willesborough at Wikimedia Commons