The origins and development of most villages can be traced by both the physical and written historical evi-dence. The Steering Group would like to express their thanks to local historian, Phil Sulley, for the following brief outline: Collier Street was originally all woodland and is so named for pro-viding in mediaeval times charcoal to fuel the iron furnaces in the High Weald to the south. Whilst Yalding, of whose church and later civil parish it formed part, flou-rished from Saxon times onward as a community, Collier Street had no specific centre for many centuries. At its south end, there was a small monastery known as Bockingfold from Norman times until the Refor-mation, but no significant houses appeared until Tudor times. These timber framed and tile hung houses were used for wool weaving, with the finishing provided by nearby water mills. This work ceased in the mid seventeenth century. But from this period, the woodland was largely cleared as Collier treet became an important part of the hop growing area of Kent. This led to the construction of oast houses for drying the hops. The area also became important for fruit growing – apples, pears and cherries.

In the nineteenth century it acquired its own church (in 1848) and school (1855) and also much of the housing in its centre. Its trade links had also improved through better transport with the construction of the Medway Navigation in the 18th century and the railway in the 1840?s. The latter im-proved travel for the many working class Londoners who came in large numbers to help with harvesting the hops, a family living in huts often just six feet square. At that time virtually the entire popu-lation worked on the land, although there was a coach building business in the centre of the village. Bus services, introduced from the 1920?s, allowed people to work elsewhere. With increasing agricultural efficien-cy, a steady decline in hop production (just a few fields now) and, from the 1950?s with increasing car ownership and commuting to London, only a few now work on the land and many oasts and barns have been converted to expensive houses.