Speldhurst is a village and civil parish in the borough of Tunbridge Wells in Kent, England. The parish is to the west of Tunbridge Wells: the village is 3 miles (5 km) west of the town.

Speldhurst is located in Kent
Location within Kent
Population4,978 (2011 Census including Ashurst and Langton Green)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ555415
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townTunbridge Wells
Postcode districtTN3
Dialling code01892
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
51°09′06″N 0°13′19″E / 51.1516°N 0.2219°E / 51.1516; 0.2219Coordinates: 51°09′06″N 0°13′19″E / 51.1516°N 0.2219°E / 51.1516; 0.2219

Speldhurst has a primary school, a parish church, a general store with post office, a pub, and a small business park. There is a residential care home for the elderly, Birchwood House, which is a former manor house with a rich history.


The name Speldhurst derives from the Old English for 'wooded hill ('hyrst') where wood-chips ('speld') are found'.[2]

Parish ChurchEdit

St Mary's Church, Speldhurst

St Mary's Church Speldhurst was designed by John Oldrid Scott and built by Hope Constable of Penshurst, being dedicated to St Mary on 6 May 1871. The stained glass windows are by Burne Jones and William Morris. At present the parish of Speldhurst is part of a united parish with Ashurst and Groombridge. A previous incumbent of St Mary's Church Speldhurst was Rev Baden Powell, the father of Lord Baden-Powell who founded the Scout Movement. Rev. Powell married his second wife in the Church, and she is buried in the churchyard.

The hymnwriter Francis Pott resided in the parish until his death in 1909. Pott, who wrote popular hymns such as "Angel voices, ever singing" and "The strife is o'er, the battle done", donated a chalice and paten to the church plate of St Mary's.[3][4]

Local customsEdit

George and Dragon pub

Speldhurst has an annual pram race on the second Sunday in May. There are various race categories of different age groups with the main event being two laps around the village. Contestants have to push a "baby" around the course and all have to down half a pint every time they pass the two drinks stations, one situated by the George and Dragon and the other by the old Northfields pub.[5][6]

Parish villages and hamletsEdit


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Key to English Place Names". University of Nottingham - Institute for Name Studies. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  3. ^ Mackinnon, Rev Donald Dimsdale; Mackinnon, Alan. History of Speldhurst. H.G. Groves, 1902. p. 47. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  4. ^ Telford, John (1934). The Methodist Hymn-Book Illustrated.djvu/372 - Wikisource, the free online library. Epworth. p. 360. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Speldhurst pram race preparations begin". This is Kent. 23 August 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  6. ^ Verdon, Anna. "Hundreds turn out for annual Speldhurst Pram Race". Kent & Sussex Courier. Retrieved 19 May 2014.

External linksEdit