Wadhurst is a market town in East Sussex, England. It is the centre of the civil parish of Wadhurst, which also includes the hamlets of Cousley Wood and Tidebrook. Wadhurst is twinned with Aubers in France.
The name Wadhurst (Wadeherst in early records) is Anglo-Saxon and most probably derives from Wada which is believed to be the name of a Saxon tribe which occupied the area and began the clearing of the forests in the 7th or 8th century. There is an Anglo-Saxon manor known as Bivelham which lay between the parishes of Wadhurst and Mayfield.
Although Wadhurst was almost certainly in existence at the time of the Domesday survey in 1086, it was part of the Archbishop of Canterbury's land and was therefore not mentioned. The earliest record relating to the area is a reference in the Cartulary of Battle Abbey to "Snape in the parish of Wadhurst".
Henry III granted Wadhurst its charter in 1253, allowing Wadhurst to hold a market every Saturday and a fair on 29 June, the feast of St Peter and St Paul.
In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries Wadhurst, as did many towns and villages in the Weald, had a thriving iron industry. Two of the large Georgian buildings in the High Street, Hill House and The Old Vicarage, were both ironmasters' houses, along with a number of other large houses on the outskirts of Wadhurst. In the church of St Peter and St. Paul there are several iron ledger-stone memorials of ironmasters, which are unique to this area.
During World War I, Wadhurst lost 149 men, out of a total village population of 3,500. The worst losses were during the Battle of Aubers Ridge, when 25 men from Wadhurst were killed in one day: nearly 80% of the men from Wadhurst who went into No Man's Land that day.