The area's settlement is characterised by:
A very high density of dispersed historic settlements of farmsteads and hamlets with late medieval villages founded on trade and non-agricultural rural industries.
A dominance of traditional timber-framed buildings with steep roofs often hipped or half-hipped.
An extraordinarily high survival rate of farm buildings dating from the 17th century or earlier.
Timber-framed buildings covered in weatherboarding - often painted white or with tile-hanging.
Many small mansions built of local stone and surrounded by important historic gardens e.g. Wakehurst Place, High Beeches, Nymans, Sissinghurst.
Three castles: Bodiam, Hever and Chiddingstone.