High Weald


The buildings of the Kent and Sussex High Weald are 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 and three castles: Bodiam, Hever and Chiddingstone.

This section provides further information on the area's settlement history, character and sustainable development with a particular focus on the area's historic farmsteads.

Settlement is a key component of the High Weald's natural beauty. Policy objectives for settlement are set out in the High Weald AONB Management Plan.

Policy and guidance has been informed by joint research between English Heritage and the High Weald AONB Unit. 


Settlement: Summary of historic settlement development in the High Weald

Historic Farmsteads & Landscape Character in the High Weald AONB

Historic Farmsteads: A Manual for Mapping

Socio economic characteristics of farms

The Sustainable Development of Dispersed Settlement in the High Weald AONB

Commons, Greens and Settlement in the High Weald AONB: Scoping Assessment from Kent and Sussex Historic Landscape Characterisations

Single Storey, Twentieth Century Dwellings in the High Weald: A preliminary investigation based on the eastern High Weald

Sustainable settlements in the High Weald