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Benenden

Kent

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The parish of Benenden includes Iden Green, East End, Standen Street and Dingleden with around 1900 residents (as well as 550 girls at the independent girls school). There are about 840 homes in the village across the 6,700 acres of rural landscape that comprises of 32 ancient 'dens'.

Despite its beautiful unspoilt setting the village has nearly a hundred businesses that provide employment for many hundreds of residents and those who 'commute' into the village.


Neighbourhood Development Plan

As with many English parishes Benenden has developed a Neighbourhood Development Plan. This is based on a development by a team consulting with the local community and will be voted on by the whole parish in a referendum in February 2022.

After nearly six months considering evidence, and including a full day public hearing, the Independent Examiner has finished his examination of the plan, and issued his Final Report and the finally accepted report will go to a referendum in the village on February 3rd 2022 between 7am and 10pm.

Get ready to vote for Benenden's future

Benenden NDP 2021Tunbridge Wells BC has announced that the date for the referendum on the Neighbourhood Development Plan is Thursday 3 February 2022. This is a great time to read the plan and prepare to vote.

YOUR VOTE REALLY MATTERS

Benenden NDP 2021

For new voters the deadline to register to vote is 18 January 2022 (for new/amended postal voters the registration deadline is 5pm on 19 January). Full details are available on the Notice of the Referendum from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

The vision is "The Parish of Benenden in 2035 will be a thriving, peaceful and rural place to live, work and rest. It’s village feel and historic beauty will have been preserved through sympathetic and managed growth. We will have retained our existing major employers. Farming and other small businesses will be encouraged. We will offer everyone the chance to be part of an inclusive and vibrant community."

Read more about it on the dedicated Benenden Neighbourhood Development Plan web page


New primary school

At the centre of the village is the primary school. However the old school buildings on the village green are now replaced to transform the children's education. The new school is in the field adjacent to the Glebe Field and the Recreation Ground. The planning permission was granted in January 2013 and September 2019 saw the handover to the school and the use by the children of the village.

The children are now enjoying their splendid new school that looks glorious with its revitalised green roof. It is proving a worthy successor to the traditional school building on the village green.


The village year

There is a cycle of events that provide the heart to village life that we all look forward to returning to when the C-19 pandemic has passed...

  • January provides opportunity for Wassailing
  • February (January in 2022) is panto month - Oh yes it is!
  • March is time for the village spring clean
  • April sees the Grange cherry blossom
  • May sees the start of summer and local Morris sides dancing
  • June the traditional village fete takes place on the village green
  • July has the Benenden tennis tournament and the open air Jazz and Blues at Iden Green
  • August and September see the harvests being brought in
  • The autumn spring clean spruces up the village
  • November sees the splendid village fireworks and Remembrance Sunday
  • December is filled with glorious Christmas festivities

Benenden life

Benenden green

There are many opportunities to meet up with fellow villagers (as seen by the list of links on the left hand side of the page) - events for all ages and interests.

Throughout the summer the cricket team plays on the green providing a quintessential Kentish scene - visitors can take in the Bull and have a stroll around the historic village church.

The parish has a splendid war memorial where the loss of the armed forces personnel during the two world wars are remembered (see this page for full details).


Benenden's landscape

Benenden book

Ernest Pollard and Hazel Strouts have written a major piece of work about the village -'Benenden Landscape' - read more about it and get a freecopy from this site by clicking here. You can also find 8 walks around Benenden described on that same page.

As recorded in Michael Davies' splendid and extensive 'Benenden - A Pictorial History' the village was one of the few places in the area known as the Weald (of Kent) that was named in the Domesday book. Benenden has largely escaped the development sprawl that has overtaken many a local village and is fortunate in retaining a some small independent shops and a thriving pub


Some Benenden events from years gone past ......

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee was celebrated with great enthusiasm across the village in June 2012 - you can see a list of what we did here.

The Queen's Golden Jubilee was celebrated over Monday June 3rd and Tuesday June 4th 2002 with the ever popular Iden Green Fayre and the family day on Benenden Green. Click on the picture of the Benenden Primary School maypole dancers for more images of the Golden Jubilee.


As part of the village's millennium celebration the new village sign was unveiled on Saturday 26th August 2000. - Click picture of the sign to see more about the unveiling of the sign.

Over that same weekend there was a wonderful flower festival held in and around St George's Church. Click the picture to see more about the Flower Festival

Events

During Coronavirus period please check with organiser

Darts

Sat 22nd Jan, 8:15pm

Come and try your skill
Click for details

Merry and Bright Club

Tue 25th Jan, 2pm

AGM
Click for details

Benenden Players

Thu 27th Jan to Sun 30th Jan, 7pm

The Comicals of Narna
Click for details

Benenden Players

Sat 29th Jan to Sun 30th Jan, 2pm

The Comicals of Narna
Click for details

Quiz night at St George's Club

Sat 29th Jan, 8:15pm

Come and try your luck
Click for details

Voting day for Benenden Neighbourhood Plan

Thu 3rd Feb, 7am

An important referendum
Click for details

Iden Green and Benenden WI

Tue 15th Feb, 2pm

Anna Astin speaks on women and flying
Click for details

Parish Council Meeting

Mon 21st Feb, 7pm

Come and see what's happening
Click for details

Parish Council Meeting

Mon 21st Mar, 7pm

Come and see what's happening
Click for details

Parish Council Meeting

Mon 25th Apr, 7pm

Come and see what's happening
Click for details

Parish Council Meeting

Mon 16th May, 7pm

Come and see what's happening
Click for details

See full list of events