The Roman settlement of Wye and the present road network grew around the ford across this river, where Wye bridge now stands. For a rural village Wye has an unusually compact built form. Many of the houses which line the narrow medieval streets have Georgian or Regency fronts, but behind them are much older 15th and 16th century timber frames. These quirky buildings and traditional materials give Wye its distinctive charm and character.
The name Wye, recorded as 'Wi' in the Domesday Book, derives from the Anglo-Saxon word 'wih' meaning idol, or place of the heathen temple.
Long before 1066 Wye was a royal manor and the centre of the Lathe and Hundred of Wye. As such, Wye functioned as one of the seven administrative and judicial districts in Kent between the 6th and 13th centuries. Lathes are unique to Kent, and the Lathe of Wye once covered and area of about 400 square miles between the Thames estuary around Faversham to the Sussex county boundary.
The village of Wye now acts as a small rural service centre. The shops and facilities serve about 8,600 people (based on Wye Surgery's list of registered patients) who live in Wye, and neighbouring parishes. This helps to sustain small businesses and facilities, but has implications for traffic and parking, especially in the medieval streets, like Church Street above.
Facts and figures about Wye
A few key facts about the civil parish of Wye with Hinxhill:
The parish of Wye is 2,410 hectares, much of which is in the North Downs AONB. It contains the village of Wye and the outlying hamlets of Hinxhill, Naccolt, Withersdane and Pickersdane. The total resident population of the parish is about 2,560 people in 1,150 households. The shops and facilities serve about 8,600 people (based on Wye Surgery's list of registered patients) from Wye, and several neighbouring rural parishes.
The Wye Surgery practice boundary and patient catchment area covers about 120 square miles, and almost all of its patients live in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Our Place Wye programme area is defined by the Wye Surgery practice boundary.
- Just over a third of the parish population (33.6%) is aged over 60, and over 16 % are aged over 75 years (2011 National Census, 2013 MYDE);
- Over twenty three percent of all households in Wye (244) are single person households, where the occupant has a long-term health problem or disability, and no dependent children (2011 National Census);
- Over twelve percent of the population of Wye provide unpaid care (2011 National Census);
- Nearly twenty one percent of all households in Wye (220) have no access to a car or van, and are therefore reliant on public transport (2011 National Census);
- The two Lower Super Output Areas in Wye ward show extremes of both affluent and deprived households; and the two populations are diverging.
- KCC's Mosaic profile for Wye identifies 14% of the population are in Mosaic Group 'N' (Vintage Value – 'Elderly people reliant on support to meet financial or practical needs'). The comparative figures for Ashford borough are 3.7% and for the whole of Kent 4.3%.
- A third of the population of Wye is aged over 60. KCC data* for Wye ward (also the parish of Wye with Hinxhill) shows that 800 parishioners are aged over 60, out of a total population of 2,380. Of the 800, 130 are aged over 85, and of this group, 40 are over 90. (*KCC rounds the age groups to the nearest 10).
- To put the demographics of Wye in a national context, England will see a 51% rise in those aged 65+ and a 101% increase in those aged 85+ from 2010 to 2030
A lone walker on the Wibberley Way. This permissive path is close to the eastern edge of WYE3.
Wye with Hinxhill parish and ward boundary map
Please click the link below to download an Ordnance Survey map centred on Wye. This shows the parish and its boundaries, footpaths and other information. Crown Copyright Reserved. Reproduced by Wye with Hinxhill Parish Council under under PSMA Licencee number 100051457
Map of Wye with Hinxhill parish and ward boundary, with public rights of way (PROW) marked e.g. North Downs Way national trail, National Cycle Route 18, (NCR18) Stour Valley Walk, footpaths, bridle paths,
Ordnance Survey base map copyright.
Wye Farmers' Market, not only a sociable place to shop for local produce, but also a chance to go out, meet friends and neighbours, and catch up with the news while children play on The Green.
The Wye National Nature Reserve owned by Natural England is a mile east of the village. The reserve is also designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) primarily to protect 345 acres of rare species-rich chalk downland. Broad Downs and Wye Crown offers some of the best walks and panoramic views in Kent. From the top of one of the highest places in Kent you can see about 40 miles across the High Weald to Fairlight Cove in Sussex.
The Wye and Crundale Downs SAC has 'an important assemblage of rare, scarce and uncommon orchids, including early spider-orchid Ophrys sphegodes, late spider-orchid Orphrys fuciflora, burnt orchid Orchis ustulata and lady orchid Orchis purpurea. The site contains the largest UK colony of Orphrys fuciflora, representing about 50% of the national population.' JNCC The late spider-orchid is Red List designated as a 'vulnerable' species.