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Local information - history

Evegate Farm was purchased in 1980 by the Jeanes family. An arable farm with picturesque outbuildings including Oast houses, the land had attractive features including the Old Pond and Park Wood. When it was discovered that a natural spring was supplying the Old Pond, it was immediately expanded to become an ideal habitat for Coy Carp. In 1989 the lower Evegate lakes were formed to relieve the pressure of the flood plain – situated mainly beyond the railway line – that was established in Ashford. The natural supply of fresh water to Evegate lakes became a natural habitat for various wildlife that continues to flourish today.

The following year Park Barn was created. A converted barn relocated from the old tannery in Ashford, currently Woolgrowers, Park Barn was carefully restored and built on site in keeping with Evegate’s rural style. Several craft based businesses were soon established including a potters and silversmiths. Evegate’s country walks were expanded to encourage the business park to be a place to visit, and the Evegate Nature Trail is enjoyed by many visitors who explore Evegate’s lakes and wood.

Today, Evegate is a successful rural business park appreciated by businesses and guests alike. There are in excess of 45 thriving businesses with new buildings being built to meet demand. And conscious of the environment and energy efficiency, Evegate’s boasts its own solar panels suppling 30% of the electricity to the site and provides onsite recycling collection for all tenants.

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Places to visit 

Local attractions nearby include the famous Chilham Castle, Willesborough Windmill and Mount Ephraim Gardens. For those wishing to relax Eastwell Manor Hotel, Spa and Golf provides a peaceful retreat.

The Millennium Stone sits directly above the Wye Crown; a massive white crown carved into the hillside by students from Wye Agricultural Village in 1902 to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII. The stone itself was placed to mark the turning of the millennium by the Crown Management committee. It's perfectly placed to highlight the incredible view out across Romney Marshes all the way to the English Channel.

St Gregory & St Martin’s church is first mentioned in Domesday Book as a 'Minster church' with a cruciform plan. However, the earliest remains visible today date from the 13th century. These are the west wall, the west buttresses aisle walls, and the west doorway. The surviving arcades in the nave must also date to the later 13th century. As a result of the founding of the new college by Archbishop Kempe in 1447, the church was rebuilt.

Eastwell Lake is a man-made lake that is very rich in wildlife. Herons fish on the shores and kingfishers can be observed here. It is home to many native wildfowl and is an important site for migrating birds. Keep a look-out for badgers, stoats, and roe deer, too. Interestingly, Queen Victoria is said to have skated on the lake once whilst it was frozen over.

Hatch and Deer Park has been in the ownership of the Knatchbull family since 1486. When Mersham-le-Hatch (the Mansion House that lies to the south of the deer park) was completed in 1765 the deer park formed part of the parkland landscape designed to augment the views from the house. The deer park was first enclosed to hold deer in 1618 by a grant from James I. Originally the park extended beyond its current southern boundary right up to the Mansion House. During the Second World War the land between the deer park and the Mansion House was ploughed up as part of the “dig for victory” campaign. In 2006 with the aid of funding from DEFRA and the Rail Link Countryside Initiative the process of returning this area of arable land to pasture and incorporating it into the deer park again was started – and in the early part of 2009 deer were reintroduced. The deer grazing in the park today are directly descended from the original deer herd of the 17th century.

In 1987 the deer park (together with two adjoining areas of woodland) was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest principally because of the uniqueness of the acid grassland on the site and the diverse range of insect life that it supports. The areas of woodland adjacent to the deer park consist of ancient pollarded hornbeam


Evegate is located just off the A20 on the outskirts of Ashford and 13mins drive from Ashford International train station where the high speed rail link to London St Pancras station and has a journey time of around 37 minutes. Passenger services are also available from Ashford International to France.The coastal towns of Folkestone and Hythe are only 20 mins away by car as is the Eurotunnel, where you can take your car to France.

Local schools and colleges

There are many primary and secondary, private and state schools available in the surrounding area. The nearby village of Wye benefits from three schools, Lady Joanna Thornhill an outstanding Ofsted rated primary school, Spring Grove Preparatory School and Wye Free Secondary School.

There are a number of independent private schools notably Steiner School Chartham, Ashford School, Kent College Canterbury, St Edmunds Canterbury, Kings School Canterbury and St Christopher’s Preparatory School Canterbury.

Nearby there are five Grammar Schools; The Folkstone School for Girls, The Harvey, Norton Knatchbull, Highworth Grammar School, and Barton Court Grammar School. Nearby are two colleges. Canterbury College established in 1947 has become one of the largest Further and Higher Education colleges in the South East, with campuses in Canterbury and Swale. Ashford College was established in August 2014 and relocated to a brand new campus in late 2017 on Elwick Road in the town centre.

Within Canterbury is Canterbury Christ Church University with 16,000 students and the University of Kent with 19,000 students and ranked within the Top 25 universities in 2017 by the Guardian, the Times Higher Education and the Complete University Guide.