Tudeley is the oldest of the two settlements being mentioned in the Domesday Book as
Tivedele, and is most likely to be an Anglo Saxon settlement or possibly Roman as Bloomeries
have been found nearby. Capel is a later settlement and is named after the Chapel that
was built there.
The earliest mention of the iron industry at Tudeley is from the reign of Edward III when
in 1330 194 iron blooms were processed. This was finished by the Black Death killing
many people so that in 1363 it was reported that there were not enough workers due
to the pestilence.
The Wealden iron industry was present in the area with Postern Forge to the west of Capel
being dated to the 1550's. The furnace processed blooms from the furnace ar Riverhall near
Wadhurst into implements and firebacks.
The Tonbridge to Ashford train line was opened in 1842 originally with a station
planned for Moncktons Arch in the parish, but the landowner objected and the station
was opened at Maidstone Road, nowadays it is better known as Paddock Wood .
The navvies who built this railway were billetted at Five Oak Green in the parish.
Once the railway had been opened, the hop industry flourished, with hops being picked
in August and shipped by rail to the nearest breweries probably in Maidstone or
The first 'Hoppers' Hop pickers came down to the area by horse and cart, but by the 1870
so much land was put over to hops that labour had to be brought into the area by rail
from London, so creating the Autumn hop picking holidays for the population in the East
End of London, this continued until the late 1960's when mechanisation removed the need
for the Hop Pickers .
In the area are a great number of oast houses which were used to dry the hops before
sending to the breweries.
Tudeley church has the honour of having 12 windows designed by Marc Chagall installed
between 1967 - 1985 , as a memorial to Sarah d'Avigdor-Goldsmid who died aged
21 in a sailing accident off Rye.
In 2003 the BBC with Rolf Harris came to see the stained glass windows by Marc Chagall in
Tudeley church for the series 'Rolf on Art'. Rolf designed a window based on Chagall's work
and it was installed 30th May 2003 in the Goldsmid Village Hall .
|The area is mostly farmland, with some good views across the Medway river toward Hadlow .|
Marc Chagall's windows in Tudeley church are well worth visiting.
|The area has a few local amenities, schools, public houses and the churches.|
For any major service or the main line to London you need to travel a couple
of miles to Tonbridge .
|Tudeley And Capel is shown as the red symbol on the map.|
(click on symbol to see the village page)
||(A beautiful Kent village)||3.37 miles|
||(Centre of the Hop Industry)||3.08 miles|
||(Mays Folly - 150ft tower)||3.01 miles|
||(The largest Wealden Iron Works)||4.92 miles|
||(Modern village and Old Quarry)||6.39 miles|
||(Broadcloth and Agriculture)||6.67 miles|
||(Largest Village Green in Kent)||2.54 miles|
||(Railway brings prosperity)||2.04 miles|
||(The ghost of Hawkwell)||2.29 miles|
||(The Toad Rock)||5.62 miles|
||(Nobleman captured at Agincourt)||5.55 miles|
||(longest medieval bridge in Kent)||5.04 miles|