Ide Hill Village

Ide Hill is roughly 4 miles southwest of Sevenoaks and 32 miles south Of London at one of the highest points on the greensand ridge. It is home to the highest church in Kent. Almost 7 hectares within the Village round the village green was deemed a Conservation Area in 1974 and it features seven listed buildings. Ide Hill is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and within the Greenbelt.

The origins of Ide Hill date back to Anglo Saxon times when the local forests were cleared for grazing animals and the north-south shape of Sundridge (civil) Parish was formed. The first known record of the village was in 1258 when it was mentioned in a title book as Edythshyll. The Manor of Sundridge of which Ide Hill has always been a part, was owned by the Archbishop of Canterbury for more than 700 years. By the 15th century, residents began to move up from the flat Darent Valley to clear land and ultimately establish a ring of prosperous farms surrounding the wooded hilltop. The village of Ide Hill existed but had not developed to incorporate the hilltop or have its own church. It remained largely unaltered until the 17th Century. Kentish style farmhouses in the area were largely constructed from the 17th to 20th Century.

By the 18th Century the Village, as we know it today, began to take shape. The original school was established in 1809 and subsequently replaced in the late 1880s. The growing population became a separate ecclesiastical parish by the middle of the 19th century. St Mary’s Church was built in 1865. Emmetts Garden was established during this time as well. The village also had three public houses and a Post Office. In 1899 the National Trust began acquiring various pieces of land with picturesque views surrounding the village, ensuring widespread recognition of the village as one of the prettiest spots in Kent. This reputation remains to this day.

The village leaders near the beginning of the 20th century comprised mostly of tradesmen, master craftsmen and famers. The first Parish Council was appointed in 1894. The community continued to grow, spreading both east and west, especially towards Goathurst Common. Most of the newer buildings were replacements for old cottages, infills or extensions to existing houses. Most of this construction took place in the 1950s during the post war period when the hop and fruit industries were still growing. The decline of those industries led to a decline in the peak population beginning in 1965 and it has remained largely unaltered since then.

The population of the Village, including Goat Hurst Common to the west, is now roughly 500. The Village has a busy Village Hall owned by a local trust, a flourishing community owned shop/post office, a cricket club, a playground and a single public house – the Cock Inn.

Ide Hill