Main Births etc
Coordinates: 51°04′03″N 0°34′42″E / 51.0675, 0.5782

Kent outline map with UK
Red pog.svg

Red pog.svg Benenden shown within Kent
OS grid reference TQ807329
Parish Benenden
District Tunbridge Wells
Shire county Kent
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Cranbrook
Postcode district TN17
Dialling code 01580
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

Benenden is a village and civil parish in the Tunbridge Wells District of Kent, England. The parish is located on the Weald six miles (10 km) to the west of Tenterden. In addition to the main village, Iden Green, East End, Dingleden and Standen Street settlements are included in the parish [1].

The parish church is dedicated to St George, and is a 19th century building on the site of a medieval building destroyed in a fire [2]. Benenden School, a private all girls school is located to the north of the village.

Origin of nameEdit

The place name of Benenden (pronounced Ben-in-dn) derives from Old English meaning Bynna's wooded pasture. Bynning denn became Benindene (1086) Binnigdaenne, Bennedene (c1100) Bynindenne (1253) then the current spelling from 1610.[3][4]


A more detailed history can be found in the pdf file as part of a Conservation Appraisal [5] carried out by Tunbridge Wells District in April 2005

The Wealden iron industry probably existed in the area from before the Roman period, but evidence of two Roman roads built to take the cast iron from the Weald have been discovered, as well as other finds from the period. The evidence of one road, that between Maidstone and Hastings at Iden Green, is in the form of a paved ford. The Domesday Book surveyors remarked that Benindene was one of only four places in the Weald to have a church; although like most of the other such, the buildings of the settlement were scattered[6]. From the 14th century places such as Benenden became of industrial importance. The Wealden ironmasters continued what the Romans had done; and the other major industry, cloth-making, also helped to make the village prosperous. By the late 18th century, however, both industries had moved to the industrial north, and Benenden's prosperity was at an end. Benenden had four mills at various times. Wandle Mill, a watermill on the River Rother; East End Mill, a post mill at the site later occupied by the chest hospital, demolished c.1870; and a pair of mills to the east of the village, one of which, Beacon Mill is still standing.[7]

In 1860 Gathorne Hardy, later to become the 1st Earl of Cranbrook (1814–1906), a prominent politician, rebuilt Hemsted, one of the Tudor buildings; in 1912 Lord Rothermere made further alterations. It now houses Benenden School

In 1907 a consortium of trade unions and friendly societies established a chest hospital in Goddard's Green Road, Benenden[8] for the treatment of tuberculosis. Today the hospital is an independent organisation, for most medical and surgical specialities and mainly treats members of The Benenden Healthcare Society as well as some NHS and private patients.

Collingwood Ingram is buried in the graveyard.


  1. ^ Benenden Parish Council
  2. ^ St George's church
  3. ^ The Place Names of Kent, Judith Glover ISBN 0905270 614
  4. ^ The Origin of English Place Names, P.H.Reaney ISBN 0710020104
  5. ^ Conservation Appraisal on Beneden and Iden Green (PDF)
  6. ^ The Kent Village Book Alan Bignell, 1986, Countryside Books ISBN 1-85306-571-4
  7. ^ Coles Finch, William (1933). Watermills and Windmills. London: C W Daniel Company. p. 160. 
  8. ^ History of Benenden Hospital

External linksEdit

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Benenden. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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