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.


Shared Description used on 57 images
The Grove by N Chadwick
The Grove lies at the centre of the village of Mount Sion, one of the two original settlements from the early days of Tunbridge Wells.

Before the discovery of the nearby chalybeate spring, Mount Sion was a remote and neglected corner of the manor of South Frith. In 1684 its owner Viscountess Purbeck realised its potential for development and began selling off plots of land to provide lodgings and other facilities for the visitors who came to drink the medicinal waters. The Grove, which was originally a small wood surrounded by open heathland, remained part of the manor until 1703.

In that year Viscountess Purbeck's son, the self-styled Duke of Buckingham, placed the area in trust to be preserved forever as an open space for the benefit of the local inhabitants. In 1782 the townsfolk were worried to discover that the trustees had all died without appointing successors. Remote descendants in different parts of the country had to be sought out and encouraged to appoint new local trustees. At this time the Grove contained about two hundred oaks and ten beeches, as well as many smaller trees.

Many improvements were carried out under the direction of William Law Pope, the public-spirited minister of King Charles' Church, who was the leading trustee from 1864. When Tunbridge Wells became a borough in 1889, the newly appointed Council took over control of the Grove from the Trustees and has been responsible for its care ever since.

Many older trees were blown down in the Great Storm of October 1987, but as the new trees planted at that time mature the Grove will gradually return to its traditional appearance. (TWBC)

TQ5838 : The Grove by N Chadwick

Shared Description used on 79 images
Woodbury Park Cemetery by N Chadwick
Trinity Cemetery, as it was originally called, was consecrated in the autumn of 1849 and was succeeded by the larger Hawkenbury Cemetery in 1873. Many notable Victorian dignitaries of Tunbridge Wells are buried here TQ5840 : Who is buried where?, including Canon Hoare TQ5840 : Canon Edward Hoare's grave, Woodbury Park Cemetery and Joseph Bell TQ5840 : Jacob Bell's Grave. The Cemetery is now a wildlife refuge in the middle of an urban area. Website: LinkExternal link

TQ5840 : Woodbury Park Cemetery by N Chadwick

Shared Description used on 63 images
Canon Edward Hoare and Memorial by N Chadwick
Canon Edward Hoare was the vicar of Holy Trinity ( LinkExternal link ) for 40 years and became known as the ‘Protestant pontiff of Tunbridge Wells’.

He was the son of a London banker and born into a Quaker family on his mothers side, and related to Elizabeth Fry the prison reformer. He moved to Tunbridge Wells from Ramsgate in 1853.

He was an outstanding preacher in the evangelical tradition who exercised his great talents to improve the spiritual life and shape the character of the town during the mid-Victorian period. His sermons were so powerful and compelling that parishioners would fill the church to the point of overflowing and many would travel from miles around just to hear him preach. Such was his powerful spiritual influence that the whole town and all classes benefited from his sermons, many rich and well-known families attracted by his personality bought or built mansions and villas and settled down in the town, developing a wealthy residential area. He also operated temperance meetings and soup kitchens for manual workers and the poor.

He was also instrumental in creating three new parishes and their churches in the expanding Victorian town. His affect on the town cannot be underestimated, it has been said that "his influence over the community's morals was as great as Beau Nash's had been over its manners".

Canon Hoare was the leading figure in the religious life of Tunbridge Wells for over forty years until his death in 1894. His funeral was a grand affair and the gothic memorial at the corner of Culverden Park Road was erected in his memory. The Memorial is Grade II listed. LinkExternal link

(Tunbridge wells.gov.uk)

He is buried in Woodbury Park Cemetery ( LinkExternal link )TQ5840 : Edward Hoare's Grave, Woodbury Park Rd

TQ5840 : Canon Hoare Memorial, St John's Rd by N Chadwick

Shared Description used on 66 images
Church of King Charles the Martyr by N Chadwick
Built in 1676, as the first permanent building in Tunbridge Wells.

A full history is at LinkExternal link

A Grade I listed building LinkExternal link

TQ5838 : King Charles The Martyr Church by N Chadwick

Shared Description used on 28 images
Medway Depot, St James's Rd by N Chadwick
The Medway Depot was for many years the base for the Tunbridge Wells refuse wagons. It closed and was vacant for a time, before being demolished in 2008 TQ5840 : Demolition site by Grosvenor Road Bridge & TQ5840 : The remains of the Medway depot, Grosvenor Rd Bridge. Flats, completed in 2011 TQ5840 : New flats by Grosvenor Bridge now occupy the site TQ5840 : New flats, Grosvenor Bridge.

TQ5840 : New development on the site of the Medway Depot by N Chadwick

Shared Description used on 47 images
Camden Park, Tunbridge Wells by N Chadwick
Camden Park is a Victorian development of villas, set in parkland, named after Lord Camden, built between 1853 and 1863. The gate lodges were built earlier in the 1840s.

TQ5938 : The entrance to Camden Park by N Chadwick


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