Coordinates: 51°18′30″N 0°18′30″E / 51.30825°N 0.30846°E / 51.30825; 0.30846
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

High Street, Wrotham, showing
St George’s Church at right
Wrotham is located in Kent
Location within Kent
Population1,815 (2001)
1,921 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ610591
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtTN15
Dialling code01732
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
51°18′30″N 0°18′30″E / 51.30825°N 0.30846°E / 51.30825; 0.30846

Wrotham (/ˈrtəm/ ROO-təm) is a village on the Pilgrims' Way in Kent, England, at the foot of the North Downs. It is 1 mile (1.6 km) north of Borough Green and approximately 5 miles (8 km) east of Sevenoaks. It is between the M20 and M26 motorways.


The name first occurs as Uurotaham in the year 788, meaning 'homestead of a man called Wrōta'.[2] The offshoot village on Wrotham Heath at the heart of the heath of the same name, once an area of wholly common land, is 1+12 miles (2.4 km) to the south-east.

Wrotham shows extensive signs of occupation by the Romans and it is posited that the Wrotham Pinot, a disease-resistant variety of the Pinot noir grape found in Wrotham churchyard, is descended from vines brought by the Romans.

The church of St George is Early English and later; nearby is the site of a palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury, maintained until the time of Archbishop Simon Islip (c. 1350).[3]

Wrotham Hill to the north was a main measuring point for the 18th-century trigonometric survey linking the Greenwich Royal Observatory with the Paris Observatory. This Anglo-French Survey (1784–1790) was led by General William Roy.

Close by is the Wrotham transmitting station which was the first transmitter in the UK to broadcast on FM in 1955 and now carries the main national FM radio frequencies for most of London.

Hundred of Wrotham[edit]

The parish of Wrotham formed a major part of the Hundred of Wrotham, forming 58% of its area and 61% of its population (1891)[4] The area and population of each parish and the totals for the Hundred were as follows:[4]

Parish Area
Ightham (/ˈtəm/) 2611 1258
Shipbourne 1922 531
Stansted 1974 372
Wrotham 8883 3437
TOTAL 15390 37220

The Hundred of Wrotham was one of the hundreds of the Lathe of Aylesford.


Wrotham is a civil parish[5] within the local government district of Tonbridge and Malling. The parish has 8 councillors elected at-large. Wrotham parish comprises the local government ward of Wrotham.[6] which is one of the 53 seats on the Tonbridge & Malling District Borough Council. The seat is held by the Conservative Martin Coffin, having been re-elected in 2011.[7] Tonbridge & Malling District Borough Council is responsible for running local services, such as recreation, refuse collection and council housing;[8] while Kent County Council is responsible for education, social services and trading standards. Both councils are involved in town planning and road maintenance. Wrotham is part of the Electoral Division of Malling West of Kent County Council[9]

A 2008 report showed that Wrotham has experienced one of the greatest deteriorations of basic services, losing the most amenities in the previous four years.[10]

Wrotham is in the parliamentary constituency of Tonbridge and Malling. Since the constituency's creation in 1974 it has been represented by two Members of Parliament: Sir John Stanley from 1974 to 2015 and Tom Tugendhat from 2015 onwards, both representing the Conservative Party.[11]

Administrative history[edit]

Wrotham was an ancient parish, and was formerly significantly larger than it is today, also including Borough Green, Platt, Plaxtol and Stansted. Stansted became a separate civil parish sometime before the nineteenth century. In 1863 the parish of Wrotham was made a local government district, governed by a local board.[12] Such districts were reconstituted as urban districts in 1894.[13]

Although named after Wrotham, the urban district council was always based in Borough Green, which was growing to become the largest settlement in the parish following the opening of Wrotham railway station there in 1874 (renamed Borough Green and Wrotham in 1962). The council met at the Railway Hotel until 1902, then at a converted house it leased at 2 Sevenoaks Road from 1902 until 1924, before building its own headquarters at 16–18 Maidstone Road in 1924.[14][15] Wrotham Urban District was abolished in 1934, with the area being absorbed into Malling Rural District and divided into the parishes of Borough Green (which also took some territory from Ightham), Platt, Plaxtol and Wrotham.[16][17] Malling Rural District in turn was abolished in 1974 to become part of Tonbridge and Malling.


A substantial village house
Wrotham compared
Wrotham Tonbridge & Malling district England
Population 1,815 107,561 49,138,831
UK born 95.9% 95.4% 91.8%
White 99% 98% 91%
Asian 0.0% 0.5% 4.6%
Black 0.16% 0.14% 2.3%
Christian 75% 76% 72%
Muslim 0.2% 0.3% 3.1%
Hindu 0.0% 0.2% 1.1%
Source: 2001 UK census

At the 2001 UK census, the Wrotham ward had a population of 1,815. The village had 759 households; of which, 42% were married couples, 29% were individuals, 9% were cohabiting couples, and 6% were lone parent families. 20% of households had someone at pensionable age living alone.[18]

The ethnicity of the village was given as 99.2% white, 0.66% mixed race, and 0.16% Black. The place of birth of the town's residents was 95.9% United Kingdom (92.0% England), 0.4% Republic of Ireland, 0.8% other Western Europe, 0.4% Eastern Europe, 1.0% Africa, 0.8% Asia, 0.4% North America and 0.3% elsewhere.[18]

Religion was recorded as 74.81% Christian, 0.44% Jewish, 0.22% Buddhist, 0.17% Muslim and 0.17% Sikh. 15.46% were recorded as having no religion, 0.33% had an alternative religion, and 8.42% did not state their religion.[18]


A converted oast house, showing the transition from agricultural to residential

At the 2001 UK census, 39.5% of the village's residents aged 16–74 were employed full-time, 12.9% employed part-time, 14.1% self-employed and 1.6% unemployed, while 1.9% were students with jobs, 3.4% students without jobs, 14.3% retired, 8.0% looking after home or family, 2.5% permanently sick or disabled and 1.9% economically inactive for other reasons. Compared to national figures, the village had a low rate of unemployment, and a high proportion of self-employed workers.[18]

Employment by industry was 16% retail; 14% real estate; 13% manufacturing; 10% construction; 8% health and social work; 8% education; 7% transport and communications; 5% finance; 5% hotels and restaurants; 3% public administration; 3% agriculture; 1% energy and water supply; and 6% other. Compared to national figures, Wrotham had a high percentage of workers in agriculture; energy and water supply; hotels and restaurants; and construction. It had a low percentage in health and social work; and public administration.[18]

According to Office for National Statistics estimates, the average gross income of households in Wrotham between April 2001 and March 2002 was £770 per week (£40,000 per year).[18]

Local businesses[edit]

The George and Dragon pub, on the High Street

The village has a variety of small businesses serving the needs of the community. It has a central concentration of pubs, three within a hundred yards of each other: the Rose and Crown, the George and Dragon and the Bull Hotel. A fourth, the Three Postboys, ceased trading in 2009.

Notable people[edit]

  • Peaches Geldof, English journalist, television presenter and model, lived in Wrotham. She died at her home in 2014[19]
  • Field Marshal Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge (1785–1856), British Army officer and politician, was born in the village
  • Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Wintle (1897–1966), British Army officer and noted eccentric, died in the village


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  2. ^ A.D. Mills, Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names (Oxford University Press, 1998; ISBN 0192800744), p. 394.
  3. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Wrotham" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 854.
  4. ^ a b Victoria County History of Kent Vol 3, p. 363, publ.1932, ed William Page,ISBN 9780712906081
  5. ^ See parish council web site at http://www.wrothampc.kentparishes.gov.uk/default.cfm?pid=links retrieved Jan 2016
  6. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Archived from the original on 13 November 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2007.
  7. ^ "Member and Committee Information". Tonbridge & Malling District Borough Council. Archived from the original on 13 May 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Council Services". Tonbridge & Malling District Borough Council. Retrieved 25 November 2007.
  9. ^ See Kent County Council web site www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/information-and-data/Facts-and-figures-about-Kent/kent-geography retrieved Jan 2016
  10. ^ "Rural decline: Case study". London: Daily Telegraph. 14 April 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2008.[dead link]
  11. ^ "Rt Hon Sir John Stanley MP". Conservatives.com. Retrieved 23 November 2007.
  12. ^ "No. 22739". The London Gazette. 26 May 1863. p. 2750.
  13. ^ Kelly's Directory of Kent. London. 1913. p. 779. Retrieved 17 December 2023.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  14. ^ "Wrotham's New Council Offices: Public Enquiry". Kent Messenger and Gravesend Telegraph. 13 October 1923. p. 5. Retrieved 18 December 2023.
  15. ^ "First meeting at new offices". Sevenoaks Chronicle. 16 May 1924. p. 8. Retrieved 18 December 2023.
  16. ^ Ministry of Housing Order No. 78186. The Kent Review Order, 1934
  17. ^ Youngs, Frederic (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England: Volume 1. London: Royal Historical Society. p. 295. ISBN 0901050679.
  18. ^ a b c d e f "Wrotham (Ward)". Statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 23 November 2007.
  19. ^ "Peaches Geldof dies aged 25". BBC News. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.

External links[edit]

Media related to Wrotham at Wikimedia Commons