Last updated

A view across Westerham Green
Kent UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Kent
Population4,475 (2011)
OS grid reference TQ445545
Civil parish
  • Westerham
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TN16
Dialling code 01959
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
51°16′17″N0°04′12″E / 51.27134°N 0.07005°E / 51.27134; 0.07005 Coordinates: 51°16′17″N0°04′12″E / 51.27134°N 0.07005°E / 51.27134; 0.07005

Westerham is a town and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, England. It is located 3.4 miles east of Oxted and 6 miles west of Sevenoaks, adjacent to the Kent border with both Greater London and Surrey. It is recorded as early as the 9th century, and was mentioned in the Domesday Book in a Norman form, Oistreham (compare Ouistreham in Normandy, Oistreham in 1086). Hām is Old English for a village or homestead, and so Westerham means a westerly homestead. The River Darent flows through the town, and formerly powered three watermills.


Electoral Area

Westerham Hill, Berry's Green, Luxted, Single Street, Cudham, Downe, and Leaves Green combined form the Darwin (ward), Greater London's largest electoral Ward.


View of Westerham, Kent ca. 1831, from W. H. Ireland's History of Kent. WesterhamKent.jpg
View of Westerham, Kent ca. 1831, from W. H. Ireland's History of Kent.
Church of St Mary the Virgin Westerham church.jpg
Church of St Mary the Virgin

There is evidence that the area around Westerham has been settled for thousands of years: finds such as a Celtic fortification (c 2000 BC) and a Roman road are close by, along with the remains of a Roman encampment just past the ruins of a tower south of the town at the summit of Tower Woods.[ citation needed ]

The tower dates back to the 18th century, and was originally constructed by the owners of Squerryes Court as a folly for their children's amusement.[ citation needed ]

The manor was originally run by Godwin, Earl of Wessex and later by his son Harold Godwinson the last Saxon King of England. The first Norman lord of Westerham was Eustace II of Boulogne, and the town appears in the Domesday Book as Oistreham. By 1227 Henry III granted Westerham a market charter, making the new village a major player in the buying and selling of cattle in Kent, a tradition that survived to 1961 when the last cattle market was held. St Mary's Church is thought to date from the 13th century, [1] although it was much altered in Victorian times. In 1503 the Protestant martyr John Frith was born in the town.

The church is unusual in that it displays the only known representation of a royal arms of King Edward VI (reigned 1547–1553) in a church. There is little doubt that it is the king's arms as the supporters are a lion and a dragon, and there is a curious Latin phrase beside the arms: "VIVAT REX CURAT LEX" (Long live the King, custodian of the law). England did not have another male monarch until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. [2]

In 1596, there was a peculiar subsidence of a hill measuring 80 by 28 perches, which was transformed into a dale. [3]

General James Wolfe was born in the town in 1727 at what is now known as the Old Vicarage due to a terrible storm on the night he was born. He lived in Quebec House—many streets and buildings are named after him and St Mary's contains not only the font in which he was baptised but also a memorial window to him by Edward Burne-Jones. The town square contains statues to both Wolfe and Churchill.

Interior and exterior scenes for the 2009 BBC mini-series Emma were shot at Squerryes Court with the house appearing as Emma Woodhouse's home Hartfield, while exterior scenes were shot at Chilham, Kent. [4]

Alice Liddell, cited as the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's children's book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland lived in the Vicarage for a brief period. Alice rented 'The Breaches' just before she died and then when she became very ill she went to stay with her sister Rhoda at Hoseyrigge in Westerham. She was born at Westminster and when she died aged 82 a memorial service was held for her at St Mary's Church. She was not buried in Westerham. Record producer Brian Higgins, whose Xenomania production team produced hit singles and albums for artists such as Girls Aloud, Kylie Minogue, Sugababes, Pet Shop Boys, Texas and Franz Ferdinand, now occupy what used to be known as the Old Vicarage.

BBC Children's TV founders Freda Lingstrom and Maria Bird lived together in Westerham and named their production company Westerham Arts which was commissioned by the BBC to create The Woodentops, Andy Pandy and the Flower Pot Men. [5]

During a January 1967 visit to Knole Park in Sevenoaks to shoot a promotional film for Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane, John Lennon stopped at a Westerham antiques shop and purchased a poster for Pablo Fanque's Circus Royal, which later inspired the song, "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" [6]

As well as the parish church (a Grade II*-listed building), [7] there is a Grade II-listed chapel associated with the Congregational Federation [8] [9] and a Roman Catholic church. Westerham Evangelical Congregational Church dates from 1839 [8] and St John the Baptist's Catholic Parish Church opened in 1955. [10]


Westerham Mill c. 1912 Westerham 1912.jpg
Westerham Mill c. 1912

Westerham was home to the Black Eagle Brewery, which was taken over by Taylor Walker & Co in the 1950s, becoming part of Ind Coope in 1959 and closing in 1965. Yeast from the brewery was preserved at the National Collection of Yeast Cultures and is now used by the present day Westerham Brewery which was established in 2004 by Robert Wicks. [11] The brewery produces a range of ales, [12] including Westerham British Bulldog. [13]

Westerham was home to Crayford Engineering, a successful car conversion company, from 1962 to the 1980s, working from a workshop at Squerryes Mede.


Chartwell House facade, Westerham Chartwell House - front elevation - geograph.org.uk - 149040.jpg
Chartwell House facade, Westerham
The Churchill statue Westerham Churchill statue.jpg
The Churchill statue

In 1922 Winston Churchill MP purchased Chartwell Manor on the outskirts of Westerham, which, apart from the time he spent at 10 Downing Street and 28 Hyde Park Gate (his London Home), was his home for the rest of his life. Chartwell is now administered by the National Trust.

There is a statue of Sir Winston Churchill on the village green at Westerham. It was sculpted by Oscar Nemon and stands on a base of Yugoslavian stone, the gift of Marshal Josip Broz Tito.



The nearest National Rail station to Westerham is Oxted station, located 4 miles away.


Westerham is served by London Buses route 246, Southdown PSV routes 236, 594 & 595, Go Coach route 1 and Arriva route 401 (Sundays only). These connect it with places including Bromley, Biggin Hill, East Grinstead, Edenbridge, Hayes, Oxted, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells.


Westerham lies south of the M25 motorway. The A25 road goes west to Oxted, Redhill & Guildford and east to Sevenoaks and Wrotham. The A233 road goes north to Biggin Hill and Bromley. The B2026 road goes south to Edenbridge.

Local sports clubs

Westerham Cricket Club was founded in 1831, folded in 2004 and reformed in 2019. [14] Previous home grounds: 1831 to 1874 Farley Common, Westerham; 1875 to 1987 Squerryes Park, Westerham; 1988 to 2004 Costell's Meadow, Westerham. The cricket club invited the football, rugby and netball clubs to join them in forming the Westerham Sports Association (WSA) which secured a grant to build the new clubhouse which opened in 1990 and still exists.

Westerham is also home to a football team, Westerham Football Club, which was founded in 1888. [15] Westerham Junior Football Club provide football for 5-18 year olds playing in the Tandridge and Crowborough leagues. Both clubs are located at King George V Playing Field.

Westerham has two ladies netball teams that compete in the Tunbridge Wells League. Westerham also hosts a weekly parkrun on part of the Squerryes Estate.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Biggin Hill</span> Human settlement in England

Biggin Hill is a settlement on the south-eastern outskirts of Greater London, England, within the London Borough of Bromley. Within the boundaries of the historic county of Kent, prior to 1965 it was also in the administrative county of Kent. It is situated beyond London's urban sprawl, 15.2 miles (24.5 km) south-southeast of Charing Cross, with Keston to the north, New Addington to the north-west and Tatsfield, in the neighbouring county of Surrey, to the south. At the 2011 Census, Biggin Hill had a population of 9,951.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edenbridge, Kent</span> Town in Kent, England

Edenbridge is a town and civil parish in the Sevenoaks district of Kent, England. Its name derives from Old English Eadhelmsbrigge. It is located on the border of Kent and Surrey, on the upper floodplain of the River Medway and takes its name from that river's tributary, the River Eden. The town had a population of 7,808 in 2011.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">A25 road</span>

The A25 road is an east–west main road in the South-East of England. Its carries traffic east from Guildford, Surrey, eastward through Surrey and into mid-west Kent, to the town of Sevenoaks, and then on to Wrotham Heath where it connects with the A20.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hammerwood</span> Hamlet in East Sussex, England

Hammerwood is a hamlet in the civil parish of Forest Row in East Sussex, England. Its nearest town is East Grinstead, which lies approximately 3.5 miles (5.6 km) west from the village. The village is situated on the High Weald, on the East Sussex-West Sussex-Kent-Surrey border.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dunton Green</span> Human settlement in England

Dunton Green is a small village and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, England. It lies in the valley of the River Darent, 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the town of Sevenoaks. Dunton Green is designated as being part of the Kent Downs area of outstanding natural beauty, due to its proximity to the North Downs. The original ecclesiastical church parish of Dunton Green was part of Otford parish. The former parish church was dedicated to St John the Divine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oxted</span> Town and civil parish in Surrey, England

Oxted is a town and civil parish in the Tandridge district of Surrey, England, at the foot of the North Downs. It is 9 miles (14 km) south south-east of Croydon in Greater London, 8.5 miles (13.7 km) west of Sevenoaks in Kent, and 9 miles (14 km) north of East Grinstead in West Sussex.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edenbridge Town railway station</span> Railway station in Kent, England

Edenbridge Town railway station is one of two stations serving Edenbridge in Kent, England. The station, and all trains serving it, are operated by Southern, and it is on the Uckfield branch of the Oxted line, 25 miles 47 chains from London Bridge.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brasted</span> Human settlement in England

Brasted is a village and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, England. Brasted lies on the A25 road, between Sundridge and Westerham; the road is named Westerham Road, High Street and Main Road as it passes through the village east to west. Brasted is 6 km west of Sevenoaks town. The parish had a population of 1321 and includes the hamlets of Brasted Chart, Toys Hill and Puddledock. The village of Brasted has a number of 18th-century houses with several antique shops, pubs and residences. The parish church is dedicated to St Martin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Limpsfield</span> Human settlement in England

Limpsfield is a village and civil parish in Surrey, England, at the foot of the North Downs close to Oxted railway station and the A25. The composer Frederick Delius and orchestral conductor Sir Thomas Beecham are buried in the village churchyard and there are 89 listed buildings.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tatsfield</span> Human settlement in England

Tatsfield is a village and civil parish in the Tandridge District of Surrey, England. It is located 3.3 miles north west of Westerham and 3.9 miles north east of Oxted, and is adjacent to the Surrey border with both Greater London and Kent.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Riverhead, Kent</span> Human settlement in England

Riverhead is a northern village part of the urban area of Sevenoaks in the district of the same name in Kent, England and is also a civil parish. The parish had a population in 2001 of 1821, increasing to 2,634 at the 2011 Census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hever, Kent</span> Human settlement in England

Hever village is a village and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, England. The parish is located on the River Eden, a tributary of the River Medway, east of Edenbridge. It is 5 miles (8 km) by 1-mile (1.6 km) in extent, and 3,062 acres (12.39 km2) in area. The parish includes the villages of Four Elms, Hever itself, and Markbeech, and has a population of 1,136, increasing to 1,231 at the 2011 Census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chipstead, Kent</span> Human settlement in England

Chipstead is a small village within the parish of Chevening in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, England. It lies just west of the town of Sevenoaks and just off the A21 and A25 roads. It is also within a short distance of the M25 motorway, though not visible from it.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crockham Hill</span> Human settlement in England

Crockham Hill is a village in the Sevenoaks district of Kent, England. It is about 3 miles (5 km) south of Westerham, and Chartwell is nearby. The village has a population of around 270 people. It contains a 19th-century pub, the Royal Oak, and Holy Trinity church.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sutton-at-Hone</span> Human settlement in England

Sutton-at-Hone is a village in the civil parish of Sutton-at-Hone and Hawley in the Borough of Dartford in Kent, England. It is located 3.5 miles south of Dartford & 3.6 miles north east of Swanley.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Squerryes Court</span>

Squerryes Court is a late 17th-century manor house that stands just outside the town of Westerham in Kent. The house, which has been held by the same family for over 280 years, is surrounded by extensive gardens and parkland and is a grade I listed building.

Sevenoaks Rural District was a rural district in the county of Kent, England, from 1894 to 1974. It did not include Sevenoaks Urban District, which covered the town of Sevenoaks. It was created in 1894 from the majority of the area of Somerden Hundred, and parts of the Hundreds of Codsheath, Brasted, and Westerham and Edenbridge.

Squerryes Estate is a vineyard, estate, and location of Squerryes Court, a grade I listed building in Kent, England. It is a producer of English sparkling wine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Holy Trinity Church, Crockham Hill</span> Church in Crockham Hill, England

Holy Trinity Church is a Church of England parish church based in Crockham Hill, Kent, England. It was constructed in 1842 and is a Grade II listed building.


  1. "Church of St Mary the Virgin". historicengland.org. Retrieved 1 March 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. Hasler, Charles (1980). The Royal Arms – Its Graphic And Decorative Development. Jupiter Books. pp.  87, 89, 134. ISBN   978-0904041200.
  3. British History Online: Westerham Parish, accessed July 2017
  4. Adam Williams (2 October 2009). "A classic setting". Kent Messenger (What's on section, p3).
  5. "Bear Alley web-site" . Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  6. Turner, Steve, "A Hard Days Write" (1994). HarperCollins.
  7. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1244024)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  8. 1 2 Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1243951)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  9. "History". Westerham Congregational Church. 2012. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  10. Bell, Christopher (2012). "A Short History by Christopher Bell". St John the Baptist, Westerham. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  11. "Westerham Brewery – Home Page". www.westerhambrewery.co.uk. Retrieved 14 July 2009.
  12. "Westerham". ratebeer.com. Retrieved 14 July 2009.
  13. "Westerham British Bulldog BB from Westerham – Ratebeer". ratebeer.com. Retrieved 14 July 2009.
  14. "Westerham CC". Play-Cricket. Westerham Cricket Club. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  15. "Westerham FC". Kent FA. Westerham Football Club. Retrieved 12 July 2021.