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Hildenborough

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Kent  /  Hildenborough
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Hildenborough is a village and rural parish in the borough of Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, England. It is located 2 miles (3.2 km) north-west of Tonbridge and 5 miles (8 km) south-east of Sevenoaks. The village lies in the River Medway valley, near the North Downs, in an area known as The Weald.Origin of nameHildenborough was originally just Hilden – or, in its 13th-century form, Hyldenn. The elements here are Old English hyll ‘hill’ and denn ‘woodland pasture’, so the sense is of a ‘pasture on or by a hill’. By 1349 the name had become Hildenborough, having acquired the affix from burh ‘manor, borough’.WartimeAt the outbreak of World War 2 in September 1939 Hildenborough was considered a quiet safe location and children from London schools were evacuated to the Village School. In October 1939 there were 250 evacuees on the school roll. In the absence of air raids on London during this period of the “phoney war” many of these children returned home. The quiet was not to last.In July 1940 the Battle of Britain got underway in the skies above Kent and the village became anything but quiet. Hildenborough is only ten miles from Biggin Hill, an important airfield and a Sector headquarters coordinating airfields in Kent. Other airfields under Biggin Hill were at Gravesend some fifteen miles away and night fighters were at West Malling ten miles away. There were emergency landing strips in Stocks Green Road, Hildenborough less than a mile from the village centre and at Penshurst Airfield, Charcotte only 3 miles away. Most of the evacuees had left the village before the bombs started to fall.
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