HAMBROOK PAST AND PRESENT
Click here to visit the Hambrook Marsh Web Site
For hundreds of years this area was one of marshy land dotted with shallow ponds and scrapes, crossed by narrow water channels draining into the River Stour. It supported grazing cattle.
The paintings of Thomas Sydney Cooper and his family give some idea how it looked. It has taken its name from the Hambrook family, dairy farmers who owned it during the first half of the 20th century.
After World War 2 it was purchased by the Brett Group, the aggregates company. Bretts owned it until 2004 and extracted gravel during the period 1979 to 1985. Some of the extraction ended up in the A2 dual carriageway that carries traffic over Hambrook near where you are standing. Bretts filled in the large gravel pits, allowing the area to revert pretty much to its earlier landscape. In 2004 the new rural Hambrook site was purchased by Kent Enterprise Trust, who sold it to Love Hambrook Marshes a decade later.
Today Hambrook is grazed by cattle during the months April to October. During this period the Hambrook scene must look much as our forefathers knew it.