The village has also been inspired by the Kent vernacular, drawing upon the region’s rich history and reflecting the site’s position in an area of transition between the High and Low Weald.
Goudhurst, a hilltop village within the High Weald AONB, is arranged around two small plateaus. The High Street links the village’s two plateaus, acting as Goudhurst’s spine. There is an interesting interface between church and town, as the former market square sits in front of the church, flanked by shops. Goudhurst provides examples of buildings of different scales, materials and styles.
Matfield is located five miles east of Tunbridge Wells. Its prominent village green is said to be the largest in Kent is anchored by mature trees and features an impressive pond, as well being the location of the traditional iron village sign. The buildings fronting it, largely detached dwellings set back from the green, are good examples of the local vernacular.
Eight miles east of Tunbridge Wells, Brenchley boasts a high-quality and characteristic mix of weatherboard and timber-framed buildings which exemplify the High Weald materials palette. As the High Street moves to the north-west, it is lined by timber-framed houses and shops that were restored in the 19th century. The Memorial Garden and private gardens to the north-east are important open green spaces.
Hawkhurst is a truncated settlement, with two centres separated by a steeply rising hill. It is home to around 4,000 people. Hawkhurst has several attractive, idiosyncratic features including a handsome shopping colonnade (white weatherboard, black-painted metal and hanging baskets) and the late-Victorian Hawkhurst Baptist Church.
Cranbrook is a small town, roughly triangular in shape, with a population of about 6,700. It has a long, well-defined high street running much of its southern length and a large area of playing fields and other green space to its north. Most buildings are timber framed, weather-boarded or built from red brick. Lying within the High Weald AONB, Cranbrook nestles harmoniously within the landscape.
Faversham is a medieval market town, boasting over 300 listed buildings. Much of the historic core remains intact, focused around Market Square. The Guildhall has been the centrepiece of this space and a strong part of Faversham’s identity since the sixteenth century. The streetscapes in Faversham are varied – in heights, age and style – showcasing the best of Kent architecture. In particular, the well-preserved shop fronts are worth noting.
West Malling is an historic medieval market town approximately 10 miles to the north-east of Tonbridge, in the Low Weald and outside the High Weald AONB. It boasts several attractive historic sites, including the main High Street, which runs much of the length of the town and provides significant visual interest. The town has a distinctly classical, Georgian character, with several brick-built townhouses acting as strong features.