Pembury History

Localities - Village Green

The Village Green, also known as Pembury Green, Upper Green and Coppingcrouch Green over the years.  It has maintained its current shape and size for many hundreds of years. Today, in the 21 Century, it is mostly grass with a few trees, some benches and various bits of ornamental furniture.  In the past, as indicated on the maps below, it housed various buildings including a blacksmith’s workshop, furnace and a primitive fire station. During the second World War (1939-1945) there was a defensive pillbox and an anti-aircraft gun.  The historic material has disappeared, but this web page hopes to gather together any information that records the history of the village green. All contributions are welcome, and all contributions will be acknowledged here.




Above : Tithe map of 1840 showing the green and neighbouring buildings



Above:  The Green from a Ordnance Survey map c1891



Above:  The 1891 OS map with some clutter removed and colour added to improve clarity
The tiny blob at the very left corner of the green is the smithy’s furnace, often show covered in billboards.


A note on the dating of OS maps: this is a very flexible topic. Maps have 3 key dates to their issuing – the date of the original survey, the date of publication (and first printing) and the dates of subsequent print re-issues (with or without fresh surveys).  There is rarely any clarity as to the accuracy of these dates and the data contained on the map. The point of this rambling is to state that the date given for a map is not an accurate indication of the features on that map.  A building appearing on a map dated 1891 may have been removed or enlarged in 1889 prior to the map’s printing any time between 1891 and 1910.



Many, not all, of the photos and postcards below are from Melvyn Cole’s collection.
Some of these pictures appear on other web pages, but are repeated here for a more complete assessment of the green.

Above: c1910  view of houses on the green.  The shed under the tree maybe the old fire station



Above  c1900   From The Camden



Above:  c1915   view from The Camden
Two of these boys appear to be in the picture below, suggesting the photos were taken on the same day.


Above:  c1915  view from Hastings Road      (Donated by Kathy Wallwork & Kathryn Franklin)
One of the best views of the furnace chimney on the corner of the green, covered in posters and billboards.




Above:   A picture from one of Mary Standen’s books giving another view of the buildings on the green


Above: from an early Postcard.  The white gable ended building (centre of tree) is the back of the wheelwright’s.
In front of that building is a furnace chimney, covered in posters, billboards, notices and advertisements.


Above:   1840 painting showing the wheelwright corner of the green



Above:  c1910    Pembury Fire Brigade in front of what is assumed to be their fire station




The Green  pre-1909  (No drinking trough)



The dating, or order of dating, of some of these pictures is best established by studying the street furniture –
the presence or absence of telephone boxes, telegraph poles, signs  – also the change of design of these features.






Above:  shows a footpath across the green (toward The Lodge), shown on old maps, but lost today.


Above:  c1900   celebrations




Archaeology on the green – October 2017

 Still in progress – more pictures & text to come

The following text, prepared for the Winter 2017 Pembury Village News, acts as an introduction to this project.

Archaeology on the village green – Part 1
A year or so ago a few members of The Pembury Society were discussing the village green and the blacksmith’s workshop that occupied the top part of the green. There are quite a few old maps and pictures that show a variety of buildings on the green during the 1800s and through to the 1920s. Adjacent to the blacksmith’s workshop was his furnace, a row of houses and a primitive fire station. There was also a wheelwright nearby, but we are not quite sure of its location. Some maps show two ‘Smithy’s close to the junction of the High Street and Lower Green Road, and some writings refer to a wheelwright in that area, so the jury is still out on the precise nature and location of these cottage industries.
The discussion eventually led to the possibility of getting some archaeological help to investigate the village green. Pembury Parish Council, the owners of the land, granted permission for a limited examination under the supervision of The Pembury Society. We then invited the Southborough & High Brooms Archaeological Society to come to Pembury to conduct a few surveys. This they did. On the 8th, 22nd and 29th October a team of six spent many hours doing systematic scans of a portion of the green adjacent to the old smithy’s workshop and house, unearthing all sorts of finds. The activity attracted interest from passing residents, some thinking we were hunting for lost treasure or buried bodies. No such luck. There was a lot of modern debris from the picnics, fairs and parties held on the green, but quite a few interesting historical artefacts came to light. These are currently being cleaned, examined and documented.
The next issue of the PVN will carry a more detailed article by Kathryn Franklin on the historical significance of the surveys and finds along with some history of the village green. The Pembury Society hope to be able to promote more of this investigative work, with results, pictures and maps to be displayed at their meetings and on the Pembury History web site.

Tony Nicholls



The Southborough and High Brooms Amateur Archaeology Society visited Pembury Green on 3 occasions in 2017 –

Sunday 8th October
Detectorists : John Turley, Michael Sawyer                    Support group : Tony Palmer, Jenny Kneller, Simon Bamblett

Sunday 22nd October 
Detectorists : John Turley, Michael Sawyer, Rick Stewart, Terry Cheeseman         Support group : Tony Palmer, Di Drummond

Sunday 29th October
Detectorists : John Turley, Michael Sawyer, Rick Stewart, Terry Cheeseman               Support group : Tony Palmer

John Turley : Minelab Advantage with 10” standard coil
Michael Sawyer: Minelab Safari with 11” standard coil
Terry Cheeseman : Garrett Ace 300i with 7”x 10” standard elliptical coil
Rick Stewart:  MD 3010-II with Fuji Processor, and with an 8” standard coil


The survey was established based upon 12m by 1m strips of land perpendicular to the Lower Green Road, with the strips being numbered from 1 to 47, starting in the North by the bench and progressively moving South toward the High Street.  Strips 1 to 43 were complete 12 m strips, but in the South-West Corner of the green near the main road, the layout of the green meant that strips 44 to 47 were shorter than 12m in length. Each strip was divided into 1m by 1m squares for recording purposes, with the first square in a strip starting by the road, and all finds were allocated an X ,Y value based on the strip number and distance from the Lower Green Road.

All detectorists were instructed to search with their detectors in all metal mode or with the discrimination set at minimum as applicable to their machines, so that ferrous and non-ferrous targets would be detected and recovered.












  More to follow when search results become available


 The Pembury Society and the Pembury Parish Council wish to thank all those helping with the project.

    Southborough and High Brooms Amateur Archaeology Society  –


Tony Nicholls     2017


Localities - Village Green

IMPORTANT !!!     This needs your help.  All contributions will be credited.  If you have any further information or corrections please contact me –
Tony Nicholls      email:   or