The Villages of Crundale and Hastingleigh
Two small Hamlets in the North Downs above Ashford
Overlooking the Valley from Crundale Church
Although Crundale and Hastingleigh are some four miles apart, I've put them together as two very small Villages tucked away in a beautiful corner of the North Downs.
Crundale which is more or less split into two parts a mile and a half apart is more easily reached by taking the sign posted Lanes from Godmersham between Ashford and Chilham on the A28, but beware, many Lanes around both Villages are single track and being in rural situations you are often confronted with a Tractor or two!
The Village of Crundale is only a few Houses and a couple of Farms. The listed Old School House in the centre goes back to 1888.
Just above the main settlement is Crundale Church (St. Mary the Blessed Virgin) which sits on top of the Valley and a favourite stopping off point for Walkers and Cyclists.
It is said the positioning of the Church, some distance from both parts of the Village, is due to the area once being set into four Estates and this spot was the nearest equal distance to all of them - political correctness centuries old!
The Church dates back to the 13th.Century. It is a very special place in a very special spot.
The north-east part of the Village has the Compasses Public House.
Hastingleigh sits on the edge of the Downs and a short walk, ride or drive from the Village gives you panoramic views stretching from Ashford to the west, The Romney Marshes and Fairlight to the South and the English Channel to the east.
The Village has just a few Houses and like many others in Kent has just recently seen the closure of the Village Shop (see right). The Bowl Public House stands just opposite the once Stores.
Hastingleigh Church is another Norman built Church set apart from the Village, about one mile to the east. The Church dates back to around the 13th. Century.
The great Physician William Harvey, famous for his discoveries and knowledge on blood circulation (the Hospital in Ashford is named after him) has associations with the Village.
Hastingleigh is best reached by road from Wye passing the 'Devil's Punchbowl' along the route.
Both Villages are good stopping off points for some fairly challenging walks around this part of the North Downs.