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Broad Oak Brede
(On the Crossroads)
Broad Oak Brede is a small village on the A28 midway between Hastings
and Tenterden , whose history is very closely tied in with Brede .
In 1030 the Manor of Brede was granted to the Abbey of Fecamp in Normandy,
and until 1416, Brede was controlled by the Abbey. The church was built by the
Benidictine monks from the Abbey around 1180. Very little of the early
church remains, and the majority stems from the 12th century.
An interesting tale from the 16th Century is of Sir Goddard Oxenbridge,
a giant of a man who was said to eat a child every night for supper,
and who could not be killed by metal, but only by wooden weapons. It
is believed that this story was spread by the smugglers in the area,
to scare away the curious from Brede Place, which was one of their bases.
The story ends with a very drunken Sir Goddard being killed with a wooden
saw at Groaning Bridge, between the Church and Brede Place.
Brede was famous for its iron works, and manufactured cannon and shot
until the late 1770's, when gunpowder was manufactured. Three major
explosions racked the mills, and finally on 7th March 1808 Brede
Gunpowder Mills was completely destroyed by a large explosion, ending
| The local services are limited to a garage, public houses, and small
shops with the main shopping town at Hastings about 10 miles away to
the south, or Tenterden about 6 miles to the north east.
The main bus route from Tenterden to Hastings goes through the village.
The nearest trains run from Hastings or Battle on the main London line,
providing 1/2 hourly services.
| The views all around are very picturesque, as Broad Oak(Brede) is on top
of a hill.
Going north towards Northiam , the valley is steep, and very pretty.