Frant is a village and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England, on the Kentish border about three miles (5 km) south of Royal Tunbridge Wells.


A view of Frant
Location within East Sussex
Area31.9 km2 (12.3 sq mi) [1]
Population1,645 (2011)[2]
 Density111/sq mi (43/km2)
OS grid referenceTQ590354
 London33 miles (53 km) NNW
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtTN3
Dialling code01892
FireEast Sussex
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament

When the iron industry was at its height, much of the village was owned by ironmasters. Smuggling occurred here in the 17th and 18th centuries, and one of the turnpike roads (now the A267) came through here at that time.[3]

Frant church is dedicated to St Alban[4] and there is a church school.[5] St Alban's Frant was a major surveying point for the Anglo-French Survey (1784–1790) calculating the precise distance and relationship between the Paris Observatory and the Royal Greenwich Observatory, undertaken by General William Roy.

There are three public houses in the parish: the Abergavenny Arms on the A267 in Frant, the George Inn in the High Street and the Brecknock Arms at Bells Yew Green. The George Inn plays host to the Sloe Gin World Championships each December, attracting entries from around the globe. [6]

Colonel John By, the Royal Engineer who headed the Rideau Canal project in Ottawa, 1826–1832, is buried here. He was also the builder of Bytown, which became Ottawa, the capital of Canada.


Frant is an ancient village and some of its Victorian buildings (the old Frant Church of England Primary School and other High Street buildings) still stand. Although it was not mentioned in the Domesday Book, a settlement certainly predates the Norman Conquest; indeed, excavations in 1929 by S. E. Winbolt uncovered pottery fragments and ironworkings that indicated the presence of a settlement dating back to 100 BC.[7] There is also evidence that a pre-Norman road, with military posts, ran from Frant to Crowborough.[8]

The first mention of an area within the parish was in 742, when the Saxon chief Æðelberht granted the manor of Ridrefelde (Rotherfield) and Ramslye to the Abbey of St Denis in France; though part of Royal Tunbridge Wells today, Ramslye was at the time part of the parish of Frant.[8]

Broadwater Down was part of Frant parish until 1894, when it became part of Tunbridge Wells in Kent.[9]

The village was within the Rape of Pevensey and the hundred of Rotherfield.[10]


From the 12th century onwards Frant appears in charters and records, in as diverse spellings as Fernet, Fernthe, Fernth, Ferthe, Ferring, Vernthe, Franthe, Fraunte, Feruthe, Frenthe and Fant; these variations notwithstanding, the etymology of the name has its roots in the Anglo-Saxon meaning "place of the fern" or "place of the bracken", a reflection of the verdant countryside around the settlement.[7]


Frant is part of Wealden District and, along with Withyham, makes up one of the District's 35 wards. The population of this ward (called Frant/Withyham) at the 2011 census was 5,274.[11] The ward contributes two of the District's 55 Councillors.[12]

The Member of Parliament for Wealden is the Conservative Nus Ghani. She was elected in 2015 with a majority of 22,967.


Frant is just inside the border of East Sussex with Kent, about three miles (5 km) south of Tunbridge Wells and 36 miles (58 km) south of London.

The village is at the northern edge of the High Weald, a ridge of hard sandstone that runs across southern England from Hampshire along the borders of Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent. The River Teise, a tributary of the Medway, runs through the parish.

There are a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest within the parish. Eridge Park is a site of biological interest, consisting of park and ancient woodland, hosting a wide variety of flora and fauna.[13] The site encloses the National Trust reserve known as Nap Wood. Eridge Green is an area of ancient woodland with outcrops of sandstone that hosts some unusual fauna.[14] Another site is High Rocks, an area of geological interest due to the weathering patterns of the local sandstone.[15]


The population of Frant rose steadily from just under 1,100 in 1801 to a peak in 1891 of around 3,500.[16] The records show a marked drop to 1,692 in 1901, but this is due to the transfer of the Broadwater Down parish to Tunbridge Wells that took place in 1894.[10] Over the course of the 20th century the number of people living in the parish has declined slowly, and a 2007 estimate by East Sussex County Council put the population of Frant at 1,367.[17]

Population of Frant[17][16][18]
Population 1090143917272071228024472469326334813565
Population 1692167116211604?151314451403??
Population 13871367


Frant is on the A267, which runs south from Tunbridge Wells to Hailsham. The B2099, which branches off the A267 just south of the village, runs south east to Wadhurst.

Frant railway station, actually located at Bells Yew Green, is on Southeastern's Hastings Line and has around 2–3 trains per hour each way.


  1. "East Sussex in Figures". East Sussex County Council. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
  2. "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  3. Frant history
  4. St Albans church Archived 19 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Frant CE Primary School
  7. Eeles, Henry S. (1947). Frant – A Parish History. Tunbridge Wells: Courier Co., Ltd.
  8. Pearce, Luke (1912). Historical Associations of Frant. Tunbridge Wells: Pearce & Co. p. 4.
  10. "Frant". The Weald. 15 July 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
  11. "Frant/Withyham ward population 2011". Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  12. "Your Councillors". Wealden District Council. Archived from the original on 25 May 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
  13. "Natural England – SSSI (Eridge Park)". English Nature. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  14. "Natural England – SSSI (Eridge Green)". English Nature. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  15. "Natural England – SSSI (High Rocks)". English Nature. Retrieved 26 September 2008.
  16. "Frant CP/AP: Total Population". Great Britain Historical GIS Project. University of Portsmouth. 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
  17. "Population and households profile for Frant (parish) – Wealden". East Sussex in Figures. East Sussex County Council. 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
  18. Wealden District Council Policy and Review team. "Population and Demographic Data for Wealden" (PDF). Wealden District Council. Retrieved 29 August 2008.

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