Hamstreet, Kent - An Objective View
stamps and the Saxon Shore
is 'interesting' and retains the characteristics of a traditional
and proud working village, something
that is increasingly rare"
Kent Life Magazine
Local father and son's lighthouse
Lucky Doug - Memoirs of 1937-1946 by Douglas Moreton
Big Keep - Novel by local author Chris Grayling
the latest news on the parish council's official site here
out Hamstreet's original
village site here
folk duo, Adam & Teresa, have been played on BBC Radio Kent
and have a download album to sample on iTunes, Amazon
and other online stores.
& Roll Renegades -
Live at Warehorne music festival
check out For Emotion (local rock/alternative band) and Anderida
(Hamstreet based folk trio)
travel jottings, local sayings and a free surreal short story
NEWS: New floral arrangements outlet at former Chocolate Box -
New 'gateways' installed at three village entrances - New station
master appointed at Hamstreet station
to the Village
Kentish village of Hamstreet is affectionately known as ‘the gateway
to the marsh’, being located six miles south of Ashford where
the ridge of clay hills meets the flat expanses of Romney Marsh,
an area once awash with smuggling. The village was bypassed in
1994, but remains an important junction and is twinned
with the little town of Therouanne (link
in France. Therouanne was once a city with a cathedral which
was sacked by the troops of Henry V. The stone canonball near
the flagpole in Hamstreet was a gift from the mayor of the twin
town, presented with the words 'You can have your cannonball back!'
More local history can be perused on the Forge Gardens noticeboard
and at the station.
weather-board buildings and a generally unspoilt appearance make
the place well worth a
detour from the beaten track. Three long distance footpaths pass
through the village; one follows the
peaceful banks of the Royal Military Canal - the
UK's third longest defensive structure,
pass through the expansive deciduous woodland that is Hamstreet
Woods. A walk incorporating
both the canal and the woods was featured in the 'Top
50 best summer walks in Britain'
in the Independent newspaper. A second area of public woodland
is located northeast of the
village at Orlestone Forest.
get a reasonably accurate population for the village, add together
the populations of Orlestone and Warehorne, for the ancient boundary
runs through Hamstreet itself. This amounts to almost 2,000 people.
Orlestone is the original location of the village - now just a
hamlet, a mile to the north, centred around the eleventh
century parish church of St Mary. The Church
of the Good Shepherd is
a more modern place of worship in the village's High Street and
the ancient church of St Augustine's in Snave also comes under
Hamstreet and holds one service annually at harvest festival.
The church in Warehorne is dedicated to St Matthew.
Claims to Fame
E Bates who wrote the Darling
buds of May
would have known the village well, and both Noel Coward
and the writer Joseph Conrad resided at nearby Aldington. Within
a five mile radius of the village,
we have seen the likes of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, Paul O'Grady,
Julian Clary, the actress
Jan Francis and international golfer, Peter Mitchell. Hamstreet
has also been featured in futuristic
writings by Sir Peter Hall and David
But what of the village itself?
Farm in Hamstreet once featured in Blue
as a base camp for an expedition up the 'Marsh
Mountain’. Romney Marsh is of course completely flat, so this humorous
concept involved presenters
turning a map of the area upside down and crawling along the road!
had its real moment of fame in the early 1990's, with maps of the
village appearing on postage stamps all over the UK. John
did a 'Countryfile' special on the village - video clip here.
to mark 200 years of the Ordnance Survey. Hamstreet was chosen because
the area was the first
to be mapped and the changes to the village over the years showed
up very well on a series of
village is also on the route of the Tour
of Britain cycle
race which passed through in September
2006 and the Olympic
relay passed through the village en route to London for the 2012
Olympic Games - video clip here.
enjoying the huge potential for walking and cycling around Hamstreet
will find that villagers enjoy a good range of amenities:
Office/supermarket - open until 10pm daily - includes fresh butcher's
meat and vegetables in its range (The Street)
Schoolhouse Indian restaurant - also provides a takeaway service
arrangements shop (The Street)
DIY/joinery store (The Street)
therapy centre (The Street)
Garage (Marsh Road)
grooming centre (Marsh Road)
centre - includes cafe (Marsh Road)
shop (Ruckinge Road)
- declared the best
surgery in Britain
for customer care in 2005 (Ruckinge Road)
Meadow View Industrial Estate - contains several businesses -
located half a mile out of the village towards Ruckinge.
are a five pubs within two and a half miles of the village cross
(basic details can be found on the walking page):
Head - serves take-away fish and chips
6pm-8pm Tues-Sat (The Street)
Wonder Restaurant (Warehorne)
Blue Anchor (Ruckinge)
The village also has a tennis courts/games area, a bowling green
and a hot-air-ballooning
company which regularly launches from the football field, as well
a full range of Scout
and Guide associations (shared with
Ruckinge). Other local organisations include the Royal British
Legion, village history society, children's football coaching
(Sats - Pound Leas), bowls club (Fri in summer), short mat bowls
(Tues & Fri - Hall), mother and toddler group (Weds - Hall),
Margaret Morris exercise (Mons - Hall), Zumba fitness (Mons -
School), Jo Jingles children's classes (Mons - Hall), dog training
(Thurs - Hall), coffee mornings (Fri - Church), lunch club (Weds
- Church), line dancing (Weds - Hall), table tennis (winter Fridays
- Hall), over 60s (Fri - Hall), cell groups (Church), coffee mornings
(Fri- church), WI (Mons - Hall), Tai Chi (Thurs - Hall) and much
committee and sports and leisure association
run many local events. A new pavilion augments the flood-lit 'multi-use
games area' and football field as the result of many years of
fundraising. The Festival
takes place every June. This
was featured in a Life
TV (Sky) documentary programme.in
2009. There are also regular 'bikejumble' events on the same field
for petrol heads.
look out for posters for Hamstreet bonfire
and fireworks on
Pound Leas each November and the music
Warehorne village hall every July. For those wishing to stay in
the village, accommodation is available at the Duke's Head (subject
well as daytime bus services to Ashford, New Romney and Lydd
(Mon to Sat), Hamstreet has a railway station on the Ashford
to Hastings line - one
of only two remaining diesel lines in the provincial Southeast.
Trains run direct to Brighton via Hastings and Eastbourne and
are half-hourly to Ashford and Rye at peak times on weekdays.
village is well signed on the A2070 trunk road between Ashford
and Brenzett, and between Aldington and Woodchurch on the
village used to be signed comprehensively in Tenterden and
also from New Romney, Lympne and Appledore Heath. In spite
of the author of this site campaigning for a return to better
signage on grounds of being a junction point on a trunk road
and a hub for local services, the village remains signed at
the most basic level.
of useful cycle routes can be found at the 'cycling guide'
link at the top of the page. To campaign for Sustrans to
link the village to the national cycle network, including
coversion of the canal path into a proper cycle route to
Ruckinge, email: email@example.com
is an opportunity for visitors to see the kind of challenges that
villages face. In 2008 Pumpkin
TV produced a DVD for geography students which
used Hamstreet as a case study. The author of this site has
actively campaigned for many issues, including the following:
request for staffing of Hamstreet railway station after six months
of closure in the late 1990s, suggestions for an annual village
bonfire (made with many other villagers), a request for more trains
to operate from Hamstreet during a review of the line in 2005,
support for the Indian takeaway, support for increased pub licensing
hours (in line with other local rural pubs), the suggestion of
a plaque depicting points of interest on the village sign, support
for Hamstreet Surgery to expand, support for proposed fish and
chip shop to be given planning permission, campaign for a return
to full staffing at Hamstreet railway station in 2012/13 and promotion
of the village locally as a rural tourism destination.
request for the authorities to act to save Hamstreet's final filling
station from closure in 2001, a suggestion for brown 'local services'
signs on the bypass to encourage greater use of amenities, a request
for Hamstreet to be linked to the national cycle network with
an official route to Ashford and along the canal to Ruckinge
(currently in limbo), a request for tax discs to be made available
at the village Post Office, a suggestion of improved road signage
for the village, plus a suggestion of a questionaire seeking the
views of the whole village to reduce opposition to new amenities
There is a tendency in Hamstreet for a minority of individuals
to oppose new and expanded services on grounds such as parking,
noise and litter. In truth, the feared situations rarely materialise
at all. This
site wishes to promote Hamstreet as a living village. Any villager
who want to see more in Hamstreet should pen their supporting
views to Ashford Borough Planning Department, Civic Centre,
Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent or express them by using the
search facility and online comment option here
whenever they read of applications to provide new, increased or
diversified amenities for the village.
Councillors / Authorities:
Because the 'no' voices always speak up, the authorities are being
given an unrepresentative view of what the village wants. We have
the houses; now let's have the services! The village will not
survive if it doesn't embrace change. This site urges those who
represent the village to realise that the objections of a few
should not preside over the wishes of the majority.
Committees / Businesses:
This site also urges amenities to support one another.
There is nothing more alienating to new villagers than local 'politics'.
We want to support all aspects of village life and see less 'us
in all, there is much to be positive about in Hamstreet and it is
clear that campaigning can work if more villagers speak up. So please
BE VOCAL and SHOP LOCAL.
if you don't live here, why not pay us a visit and perhaps try some
of the walks and quiet country cycle rides? To contact this site,
site copyright 2002. Hamco Publishing, Hamstreet, Nr Ashford, Kent.
Last updated June 2013.
more from your village
McColl's aren't stocking
the items you need,
stating the missing product and emphasising that it is the only
general store in the village. Be
to be persistent.
This is a far more
than taking your
custom out of the village.