Tunbridge Wells

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright November 2010, Oast House Archive; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.

Town Centre

TQ5838 : The Pantile Clock, The Pantiles by N Chadwick

Shared Description used on 181 images
Camden Road by N Chadwick
The shops in Camden Road are a diverse and specialist mix of traders, proud of their heritage and the unique atmosphere that the road brings to Tunbridge Wells. Enjoy a refreshing change from the regular chain stores - you will have an interesting shopping experience!

Visitors to Camden Road can find a wide range of specialist goods from over 130 shops, just a few of which include: designer furniture and upholsterers, lighting, hairdressers and barbers, photography studios, picture framers, sewing machines and fabrics, pet shop, shoe repairs, wedding specialists, clothing and a shoe shop. There are many restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars offering everything from cocktails, Italian coffees, cakes, milkshakes and specialist chocolates to Thai, Italian, Chinese and Indian restaurants and fish and chips. This is just a selection to wet your appetite, have fun browsing our site to find out more! Source: LinkExternal link

TQ5839 : Antique Shop, Camden Rd by N Chadwick

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Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells by N Chadwick
The Royal Victoria Place is a large indoor shopping centre with over 100 shops. It was opened by Diana Princess of Wales in 1992.

Website: LinkExternal link

TQ5839 : Ely Court, Royal Victoria Place by N Chadwick

Shared Description used on 79 images
Monson Road by N Chadwick
Monson Road is a short curved shopping street in Tunbridge Wells. One side of the road is taken up by a row of Victorian houses with a first floor balcony and ground floor shops, which are Grade II listed. LinkExternal link

Tunbridge Wells Adult Education Centre is also on this road.

TQ5839 : Monson Rd by N Chadwick

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The Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells by N Chadwick
The Assembly Hall,Tunbridge Wells was built in 1939 as a multi purpose Civic Hall and Theatre. The Hall was built next to the Town Hall and Council Offices and is of the plain brick frontage which was common for the period. It seats approx. 970 people. Puts on a variety of productions including pantomimes at Christmas.

Grade II listed building.

LinkExternal link

TQ5839 : The Assembly Halls, Calverley Rd by N Chadwick

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The Opera House by N Chadwick
Originally built as an opera house, which opened in 1902. It became a cinema in 1931 and, nearly 40 years later, made the transition into a bingo hall. Became a Wetherspoon pub in the late 1990s. Still holds occasional operas.

Grade II listed. LinkExternal link

TQ5839 : Opera House, Tunbridge Wells by N Chadwick

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Tunbridge Wells Town Hall by N Chadwick
Tunbridge Wells' Town Hall was opened in March 1941 by wartime mayor Charles Westbrook. It was designed by architects Percy Thomas and Ernest Prestwich who had won a competition in 1934 for a neo-Georgian Civic Centre which incorporated the Town Hall, Assembly Hall, Police Station, Library and Museum. Building commenced in 1937.

Grade II Listed building. LinkExternal link

TQ5839 : Tunbridge Wells Town Hall by N Chadwick

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Tunbridge Wells Library, Museum & Art Gallery by N Chadwick
Built in the 1940s along with The Assembly Halls and The Town Hall next door.

Grade II listed. LinkExternal link

The Art gallery regularly runs exhibitions. The museum focusses on local exhibits. A good display of Tunbridge Wells Ware. (In the nineteenth century, Tunbridge ware was highly esteemed nationally as well as locally. The young Princess Victoria, a frequent visitor to the town with her mother the Duchess of Kent, used to buy articles of Tunbridge ware as gifts for her family, and in 1826 the town's inhabitants decided to present her with a specially made example of the local industry. This was a king-wood work table, 'veneered with party-coloured woods from every part of the globe' and 'lined with gold tufted satin'. It cost the townspeople twenty-five guineas, and to prevent jealousy the principal manufacturers of the time had to draw lots for the privilege of making it.)

Tunbridge Wells Museum

TQ5839 : Farmers' Market outside The Library, Art Gallery and Museum by N Chadwick

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Tunbridge Wells Farmers Market by Oast House Archive
Held on Civic Way, outside the town hall, on the 2nd and 4th saturday of the month. The market has been running since 1999.

For more information LinkExternal link

TQ5839 : Stall at Tunbridge Wells Farmers Market by Oast House Archive

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Former ABC cinema & shops site, Mount Pleasant Road by Oast House Archive
The three-screen cinema at the corner of Mount Pleasant Road and Church Road closed in October 2000, after a new multiplex opened on the edge of town. The building was built around 1934. Previously the site was Belvedere House.

Along with the adjoining shop buildings on Mount Pleasant Road and Church Road, the site had numerous planning applications and owners since it was disused in 2000, and the old buildings were finally demolished and cleared in 2014.

A new planning application for the site was submitted in July 2017. It includes retail and restaurant use, cinema, and 99 flats (Application ref 17/02262/FULL ).

TQ5839 : Former ABC Cinema site by Oast House Archive

Shared Description used on 53 images
Trinity Arts Centre by N Chadwick
Originally Trinity Church, built by Decimus Burton as part of the Georgian New town of Tunbridge Wells. The church was de-commissioned in 1975. The Arts centre opened in 1983 and since then has grown in size.

Grade II* listed. LinkExternal link

Website LinkExternal link

TQ5839 : Trinity Arts Centre & Theatre by N Chadwick

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Tunbridge Wells Station by N Chadwick
Tunbridge Wells Station was opened by the South Eastern Railway (SER) on 25th November 1846. It is on "the Hastings line" ( LinkExternal link ). The station is a cut station with access in both directions by tunnels, the Grove Tunnel from the south and the Wells Tunnel from the north.

The station has a regular service to both London Charing Cross and Hastings as well as shuttles to Tonbridge and some to London Bridge via Redhill.

A Grade II listed building. LinkExternal link

TQ5839 : Tunbridge Wells Station by Paul Gillett

Shared Description used on 272 images
The Pantiles by N Chadwick
The Pantiles is the most famous street in Tunbridge Wells. It was originally a grove of trees until the Chalybeate spring was discovered in 1606. It rapidly developed into the hub of the new spa town. The street has over 40 listed buildings on it.

The Pantiles and Tunbridge Wells itself, owe their beginnings to the discovery of the Chalybeate Spring in the early 17th century and the popularity of the spa water amongst the gentry and royalty of Georgian England. As Tunbridge Wells grew in popularity as a spa resort, so did the area surrounding the Spring - eventually leading to the building of the colonnaded walkway in the 18th century, later known as The Pantiles.

In its heyday in Georgian times, the 'Walks' as they were then known, were the place to see and be seen for visitors to Tunbridge Wells. A strict protocol was adhered to - gentry on the 'Upper Walks', the colonnade, and everyone else on the 'Lower Walks'. Richard Beau Nash, a dandy of the day made it his business to ensure that this protocol was adhered to by acting as a kind of Master of Ceremonies during 'the season' in Tunbridge Wells and in the town's rival, Bath. Things are much more relaxed nowadays and the Pantiles is now a very attractive and stylish part of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Much of the colonnade has been renewed since its beginnings in the 17th century but most of the surrounding buildings date from the 18th and 19th centuries.

TQ5838 : Italian market on the Pantiles by N Chadwick


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