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The History of Kent

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History of Paddock Wood

Paddock Wood comes from the name of the woodland destroyed to build the railway complex.

Paddock Wood described as a hamlet in the Brenchley parish until the coming of the South Eastern Railway (SER) on 31 May 1842. The railway company had proposed a halt further up the line at Monkton’s Crossing until it met with opposition from a local farmer. Instead, they built a station further down the track, and named it Maidstone Road Halt, although, always known locally as Paddock Wood, being the name of the woodland obliterated to create it. After just two years, SER renamed the station Paddock Wood…. more

The railway brought such change that by 1851, what had been a small hamlet, just a few years before; had grown to a sizable village. Paddock Wood had by 1900, established itself as the hub for a railway network of branch lines throughout the Weald.

The railway brought thousands of London hop-pickers into Kent for the annual 'hopping working holiday'. Paddock Wood had become the centre of the hop growing industry. Many pickers travelled to local farms on foot or by horse-drawn wagon while others changed to go on to further areas.

Paddock Wood church is dedicated to St Andrew and originally built in 1851. However, on the 4 November 1940 a bomb, hit the church. In 1953, they laid the foundation stone for a new church, to be built to the design of Mr Cecil Burns. Ragstone from the old church formed the foundations and base. The new church took the cruciform style with a central altar. Joan Howson designed the rose window at the west end in memory of John Brunt VC MC.

Walter Arnold committed the United Kingdom’s first speeding offence in Paddock Wood in August 1896, when chased by a policeman, on a bicycle, whilst traveling, in his Benz motor car, at 8mph in a 2mph area.