Paddock Wood

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Paddock Wood
Paddock Wood church.JPG
St Andrew's Church
Grid reference: TQ675445
Location: 51°10’32"N, 0°23’44"E
Population: 8,263  (2001)
Post town: Tonbridge
Postcode: TN12
Dialling code: 01892
Local Government
Council: Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge Wells

Paddock Wood is a small town in Kent about 8 miles southwest of Maidstone. At the time of the 2001 census it had a population of 8,263. It is a centre for hop growing.

There are several theories for the origin of the name "Paddock Wood"; it may have been derived from the nearby Manor of Parrock, or from the nearby woodland and paddocks.[1]


The commercial areas of Paddock Wood are separated by the railway line.

To the south of the railway lies Commercial Road which runs north east to south west through the town, and is the main shopping street. At the north east end of the street is the entrance to the Railway Station. Commercial Road is home to the branches of several banks, a variety of take-aways, a restaurant and a number of small shops including Fishing Emporium. To the east of Commercial Road, runs Maidstone Road. This road runs north to Beltring and East Peckham, and south to Matfield, and is the main route into and out of the town.

To the north of the railway line lie the industrial areas. Eldon Way Industrial Estate can be found to the east and is home to branches of Initial City Link and British Car Auctions, among others. To the west is the larger Transfesa Road and Paddock Wood Distribution Centre. This is the home to a number of companies including Norman Collett, CoolChain, Ketlon, Mack Multiples, Warburtons and a Whirlpool warehouse, which was destroyed in a large fire in early July 2005.[2]


Paddock Wood formed part of the ancient parish of Brenchley. A railway station was opened here on 31 May 1842,[1] on the South Eastern Railway main line from London via Redhill to Dover.

In 1847 cottages had begun to appear, and by 1851 a fairly sizeable community had developed, and an Anglican church, St Andrew's, was built. In 1860 the area was separated ecclesiastically from Brenchley to form a Church of England parish. The area around Paddock Wood has always had a history of hop farming, and in the growth of the town is partly due to the seasonal influx of hop pickers, and at the height of the season up to 8,000 people would arrive to work on the farms.[1]

In August 1896, the first speeding offence in the United Kingdom was committed in Paddock Wood when Walter Arnold of East Peckham was chased by a police constable on a bicycle and apprehended for driving at 8 mph in his Benz motor-car. The speed limit in force at the time was 2 mph. Mr Arnold was fined 1 shilling at Tonbridge Magistrates Court.[3]

On 19 May 1929, Farman F.63bis Goliath F-GEAI of Air Union, whilst on a flight from Croydon to Paris, crashed at Keylands Sidings near Paddock Wood railway station, it stopped yards from the signal box and was destroyed by fire, the pilot and mechanic escaped with minor injuries.>

The John Brunt VC Public House

On 9 December 1944 near Faenza, Italy, a 22-year-old Captain in the British Army, John Brunt, whose parents came from Paddock Wood, held off a German counter-attack and remained behind while giving covering fire that enabled his men to safely withdraw, and was awarded the Victoria Cross. After the war the Kent Arms public house in Paddock Wood was renamed the John Brunt VC in his honour.[1] In 1997 the pub gained new management, and changed its name to the Hooden Horse but was forced to revert the name after local outrage.

The town of Paddockwood in Canada was named by Fred Pitts who emigrated there from Paddock Wood.[1]

Culture and community

Mascalls Gallery, a public art gallery opened in 2006 on the site of Mascalls School. It has a frequently changing programme of exhibition featuring national and international known artists. These have included Henry Moore, LS Lowry, Graham Sutherland and Lee Miller as well as artists from Latin America, Japan and America! In 2010 Mascalls Gallery exhibited for the first time in the UK drawings by Marc Chagall for nearby Tudeley Church.

Outside links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Walker, Jack (1985). Beginnings and Bygones of Old Paddock Wood. Paddock Wood, Kent: J C Walker. 
  2. "BBC News – Warehouse collapsing after fire". 5 July 2005. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  3. Tom Rubashow: Shilling fine for 8 mph dash down high street: Kent and Sussex Courier (Paddock Wood edition), 24 October 2008