Leigh, Kent
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Leigh , historically spelled Lyghe, is a village and a
civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of Parish (administrative division), administrative parish used for Local government in England, local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts ...
located in the
Sevenoaks Sevenoaks is a town in Kent with a population of 29,506 situated south-east of London, England. Also classified as a civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of Parish (administrative division), administrative parish used for L ...
district of
Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived ...

Kent
, England. It is located six miles (10 km) south of
Sevenoaks Sevenoaks is a town in Kent with a population of 29,506 situated south-east of London, England. Also classified as a civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of Parish (administrative division), administrative parish used for L ...

Sevenoaks
town and three miles (5 km) west of
Tonbridge Tonbridge ( ) is a market town in Kent, England, on the River Medway, north of Royal Tunbridge Wells, south west of Maidstone and south east of London. In the administrative borough of Tonbridge and Malling, it had an estimated population ...
. There is a large village green; nearby is Hall Place, once Leigh Hall, occasionally open to the public, built in 1876. The parish church (13th century) is dedicated to St Mary.


History

The name of the village derives from the
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventu ...
''leah'', meaning a forest glade or clearing. Leigh is thought to have grown from a
hamlet ''The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark'', often shortened to ''Hamlet'' (), is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare William Shakespeare (baptism, bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and acto ...
, evidence of which dates back to the late 11th century. Much of the land around the village was acquired in the 14th century by Sir John de Pulteney, owner of nearby
Penshurst Place Penshurst Place is a historic building near Tonbridge, Kent, south east of London, England. It is the ancestral home of the Sidney family, and was the birthplace of the great Elizabethan poet, courtier and soldier, Philip Sidney, Sir Philip Si ...

Penshurst Place
. In 1533, the estate passed to the
Sidney family Sidney may refer to: People * Sidney (surname)Sidney or Sydney is an English surname. It is probably derived from an Anglo-Saxon language, Anglo-Saxon locational name, '' t þǣresīdan īege'', " t thewide island/watermeadow" (in the dative ca ...
who retained ownership of most of this land until the early 20th century. The village grew substantially in the 19th century when the Baily and Morley families built many of the distinctive buildings present today, including Hall Place, East and Old Lodges, The Square, Forge Square and School Master's House. The Tonbridge to Redhill railway was built in 1842 to the south of the village, bringing further growth in population.


Government

Leigh is administered by Sevenoaks District Council and Kent County Council. It falls within the UK parliamentary constituency of Tonbridge and Malling (UK Parliament constituency), Tonbridge and Malling. The parish of Leigh also includes the hamlet of Charcott as well as the areas of Powder Mills and Moorden.


Community facilities

The ''Fleur De Lis'' is the only public house in the village itself, although the ''Plough Inn'' is located to the east of the village on Powder Mill Lane. The ''Fleur De Lis'' was originally built as cottages by Thomas Baily in 1855, but was bought by a local brewery, Bartrum and Company, in 1870.


Transport

Leigh railway station is on the Redhill to Tonbridge Line, Redhill to Tonbridge line and is located to the south of the village centre. It opened as "Leigh Halt" in 1911 but has been named "Leigh" since 1969. The former Penshurst Airfield was located within the parish, to the south of Charcott. It operated mainly as a military airfield in 1916–1936 and 1940–1946. The remaining buildings were removed in 1991.


St Mary's Church

The present parish church was built in the 13th century, although a church is believed to have stood in a similar position for over a thousand years. It occupies the highest point of the village, overlooking the village green. The church was reconstructed in the 19th century by two architects, George Devey and Charles Baily, who had been employed by the Lay Rector (Lord de Lisle) and the Parish respectively, the two parties being responsible for different parts of the building. The two architects used different types of stone to reconstruct the building.


Notable people

*Amy Catherine Walton (1849–1939), writer of noted Christian literature for children, moved to Leigh with her priest husband, Octavius Frank Walton, in 1906. He retired in 1918, but they soon moved back.


See also

* October 1926 Air Union Blériot 155 crash, which was within Leigh parish


References


External links


Leigh Parish Council website

Village notes
''Check for villages starting with'' L
St Mary's church

Leigh & District Historical Society

Leigh during the Second World War

Leigh barrier
{{authority control Villages in Kent Civil parishes in Kent