Pembury History


Welcome to the Pembury History website

The History part of the Pembury web site has grown up, left home, and got a place of its own. This is to enable us to expand the history content without appearing to dominate or swamp the regular web site. Much has been written about Pembury’s history over the years, and this web site is an ideal environment to act as an anchor or focal point for all that information. What you see here is a start. Hopefully much more will follow in years to come. There are menu selections for historic pictures and maps, lists of the old shops and pubs, but nothing as yet about the churches, manors,  farms or housing development.  Volunteers wishing to help in the compilation of these topics would be welcome – click here for more.

We are hoping to populate these pages with dedicated articles, maps and compilations.  The Shops and Retail compilation is typical of the type of project that relies on community contributions.  We have started off with dedicated maps of the village that show the locations of shops past and present. In an associated table we plan to list as many of the old businesses that have occupied a particular shop, along with the shopkeeper’s name and date of occupation.  Please get in contact with any additions and corrections.  All contributions, large or small, are welcome, and all contributors will be acknowledged.  Some pages may contain contributions or published articles that are at odds with one another and may pose contradictions.  This is the result of an open environment for such publications. If there are obvious errors we will try to make note of them without editing a contributor’s work.  If a piece is clearly bonkers and riddled with nonsense it will be withdrawn.

Many of the submitted items, contributed by residents and ex-residents, come from a wide variety of sources and it is not always possible to ascertain their origins.

This is a work in progress and will evolve with time as more data becomes available.  Existing pages will be updated.  When new data comes in, a page may get edited several times over several days – sometimes several times in the same day!  Pages may get moved.  This is not a structured, chronological, sequence of narratives, telling a history story.   It is a container for a collection of fairly unrelated articles, pictures and maps. It may take a bit of time and determination wading through these pages in pursuit of your goal.

When this history project was started back in 2013 it was hoped that locals would pick up on it and add their dollop of data to the overall pot of knowledge – widening the overall historical picture. It was not foreseen that ex-residents from all corners of the planet would see this web site and make valuable contributions. Wherever you are, it would be good to hear from you.

Tony Nicholls



A bit of the past……

The earliest evidence suggests that there was a village of Pepenbury in about the eleventh century, with the earliest settlement in the 12th. century of the Manor House, Hawkwell in Pepenbury Magna, near the old parish church. The first turnpike (toll) road in Kent was the section between Pembury and Sevenoaks and in 1785, the coaching inn was dealing with 14 coaches a day.

In Lower Green, one of the five hamlets making up Pembury, there were cottages dating from Tudor times to the early 19th century. Between 1500 and 1700 the cloth industry flourished in Pembury, including the trades of weaving, fulling and cloth making. Brick and tile making were very important industries in Pembury for over 100 years as witnessed by some of the road names – Red Row, Slate Row. The bricks and tiles produced were used throughout the south-east of England.

In the Upper Green were the newer houses of the gentry, the almshouses, the Camden Arms and many shops including a beer shop, a smithy and a wheelwright’s house on the Green itself. From Lower Green, the road led through hop gardens and fields to the hamlet of Romford, site of several large houses and farms. The premises of Stanton House were said to have been used as a workhouse for aged men between 1822 to 1837.   Keyes Mill near Stone Court Farm was painted several times by the landscape artist  JMW Turner’s around 1795.

In 1895, the year when the Pembury Parish Council was first formed, there were 1,500 parishioners. By 1931, this had risen to 2,631 and by 1971 to 4,795. The population of Pembury is now well over 6,000.


Pembury History from British History Online –  Parishes: Pembury

Pembury History Privacy Policy ……

This history web site does not generate cookies or collect data about you.  You are not logged or recorded in any way. 
There may be links to other web sites that may operate these practices, but these are beyond our control.
For greater detail of privacy issue please see this page - Privacy Policy

Pembury History Piracy

This history web site uses material sourced from residents and contributors, as well as maps and charts generated specifically for this web site.
We have also acquired Mary Standen's archive from Tunbridge Wells Libraries, used for her history books, for re-photographing in better quality.
Most of the photographs and postcards shown here have been digitised specifically for this presentation. Most of the "Donated" pictures have been
displayed as given.   Some images are from common postcards and are widely available. Some are from private collections.
There are numerous copies of images from this web site sprinkled around the internet, and many have been pirated without permission - typically Pinterest.

Bygone Pembury - a new book in 2022

The Pembury Society published 'Bygone Pembury' in August 2022.    Its is A4 in size and comprises 328 pages.
It was conceived, written, financed and published by The Pembury Society as a community enriching project and was sold in the High Street at The Black Horse and Barnes Kingsnorth Estate Agents.
It is not a conventional history book and does not follow a chronological flow of historic events. It is a collection of articles, postcards, pictures, maps, cuttings, newspaper notices and ephemera assembled in a random order similar to that of a magazine. It was thought that this format would be more accessible to a wider variety of the general public. It is not an academic work.   If you like this website then try the book.

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

Pembury History web site started in 2013
Original web site management, creation & design by Steve Morton & Tony Nicholls as a part of        Copyright ©  2020 - 2024
Material from this site may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the copyright owners.