Cranbrook, Kent – The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same!
Cranbrook Kent, sometimes also referred to as the capital of the Kentish Weald, has the exact same atmosphere as it has for centuries. The peaceful little town has weather boarded white houses with brightly painted front doors, enclosed by fruit orchards and vast farmland.
In early spring the first daffodils bloom in the local churchyard. Shopkeepers open up shop, arranging their goods: fruit and flowers, vegetables, lovely clothes and unusual curios and gifts, books and lovely antiques.
A big old church bell chimes announces the time in the distance. The sails of a windmill gleam bright white in the sun and pretty old homes line the medieval cobbled street, all uniquely different.
Cranbrook is a postcard picture of a day in the life of your typical small English town.
The town offers a good selection of shops. Cranbrook has many churches as well as a number of pubs and restaurants. It has an excellent museum and The Union Mill, which – England’s most majestic currently operating smock mill.
The town Cranbrook also hosts England’s most frequented garden, the Sissinghurst Gardens, which was landscaped by Vita Sackville-West.
Music lovers can enjoy the lovely jazz evenings that take place in Cranbrook. Children also won’t be bored, as the town offers much in entertainment for them as well.
The name Cranbrook has a beautiful natural meaning – ‘brook frequented by cranes and herons’. Cranebroca was the name first recorded in the book “Domesday Monachorum” of 1070, however that was a stream’s name and not a village. Only later the Cran brook that runs via Cranebroca, was named the River Crane.
Cranbrook as it is was not a village until the 11th century. Until then the largest part of the Weald area constituted thick woods, with open areas called ‘dens’ where farmers pastured their pigs. These dens became towns with names ending with ‘den’ such as Rolvenden, Benenden, Tenterden, Smarden, and Biddenden.