Hawkhurst (St. Lawrence)
HAWKHURST (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union of Cranbrooke, partly in the hundred of Henhurst, rape of Hastings, E. division of Sussex, but chiefly in the hundred of East Barnfield, Lower division of the lathe of Scray, W. division of Kent, 8 miles (S. E.) from Lamberhurst; containing 2656 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the road from London to Rye, and comprises by admeasurement 6490 acres, of which 2200 are arable, 1800 pasture, 366 in hop-grounds, and 2056 wood and rough land. Though deficient in ornamental water, it abounds in interesting and picturesque scenery; the surface is diversified with undulations, and is richly wooded, the prevailing timber being oak: the soil is a transition from the clay of the Weald to Hastings sand, and is well cultivated. A part of the parish, called Highgate, has within the last few years become a considerable village, and several shops have been built, which present a neat appearance. The manufacture of cloth was formerly carried on, and there was a market on Tuesday, which has fallen into disuse. A fair for cattle and pedlery is held on the 10th of August. The living, formerly a vicarage valued in the king's books at £12. 10., is now a perpetual curacy; patrons, the Dean and Canons of Christ-Church, Oxford; net income, £260, with a glebe of six acres, and a house. The tithes have been commuted for £645, exclusive of hops. The church is a spacious and beautiful edifice, founded by an abbot of Battle, in the reign of Edward III.: it is in the decorated style, and has the tower, south porch, and aisles embattled; the east window is a fine specimen of the transition from the decorated to the later English style, the former prevailing. Here is a place of worship for Wesleyans. In 1718, Sir Thomas Dunk, who lived on the estate called Tong'sWood, bequeathed a site and £2000 for the erection and endowment of a school, and almshouses for 3 poor men and 3 women; the net income of the charity is £139 per annum. There are two strong chalybeate springs. An estate named Fowlers was the residence of Richard Kilburne, an eminent lawyer and magistrate, and author of the Survey of Kent in 1659; he was buried under the church vestry-room. Dr. Lardner, author of The Credibility of the Gospel History, was a native and resident of the place, and was buried in the church; and Sir J. F. W. Herschell, Bart., the astronomer, possesses an estate in the parish, upon which he resides.