Goudhurst is a village in Kent on the Weald, about south of Maidstone. It stands on a crossroads (A262 & B2079), where there is a large village pond. It is also in the Cranbrook School catchment area.
The village's recent history is extremely well documented. The Goudhurst Jubilee Book (1935), Goudhurst Coronation Book (1937) and Goudhurst and Kilndown Millennium Book (2001, ISBN 0-9527822-1-9) contain detailed reminiscences, directories, historical notes, matters of local intelligence and records of celebrations starting from the 1800s and before, up to the current time. These books were printed as limited editions and are much sought after, as the authors painstakingly recorded not only the written but also the oral history of the village.
St Marys Church
The church stands on a hill and its tower commands impressive views of the surrounding countryside.
St Mary's church was founded in 1170 by Robert de Crevecour. The church has been altered and restored many times over the centuries. Until 1637 it had a tall spire which was destroyed by lightning in that year. In 1638 three London masons rebuilt the west tower. During the Victorian era the church was restored by the architects William Slater and Richard Carpenter. The church contains a remarkable painted wood and gesso effigy to Sir Alexander Culpeper (d.1599) and his wife Constance.
Bedgebury is one of the oldest estates in Kent: having given its name to the de Bedgebury family, it passed into the hands of the Culpeper family in 1450. When the estate was sold in 1680, a new house was built which itself became a girls' school in the 1920s (closed in the summer of 2006). In 2007 the school was purchased by the Bell Educational Trust, an educational charity. In the summer of 2007 the school reopened as the Bell Bedgebury International School, and the grounds also play host to the Bell Bedgebury Language Centre. In November 2010, the owners decided to close and sell the school. – the riding school and 125 acres were sold separately and are now independent. Bedgebury Pinetum is nearby. It was acquired by the Forestry Commission in 1924.