What’s ‘Royal’ about Tunbridge Wells?

Tunbridge Wells in Kent has been attracting visitors since 1606 when the Chalybeate Spring was discovered. The town has grown massively in popularity since then and became ‘the’ place to see and be seen. It has been a fashionable destination for the upper classes of society and they wanted things like accommodation, coffee houses and assembly rooms for balls and dances.

The town originated around land on Mount Sion which had been provided by the widow of the Viscount Purbeck, Margaret. She had a love for all things fashionable and particularly dancing so earned the nickname ‘The Princess of Babylon’. The land on Mount Sion had the earliest lodgings and the ground at the northern end of the Pantiles was used to build the Church of King Charles the Martyr.

What’s ‘Royal’ about Tunbridge Wells

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Thanks to the discovery of the spring, many visitors came to ‘take the waters’ and those visitors needed a place for worship so generously donated a substantial amount of money so that a church could be built. In fact, Sir Christopher Wren sent his chief plasterer to create its impressive ceiling.

The oldest park area in Tunbridge Wells is the Grove and it was given to the townsfolk in 1703 to provide them with a pleasant shady place to walk. A deed of endowment was drawn up to ensure that the trees in the Grove were always protected. The Grove continues to be protected and is still enjoyed as a haven for residents and visitors alike.

The town went from strength to strength as the cost of living was cheaper than in London but it was close enough to be able to get to London in just five hours as the stage coaches ran a good reliable service. If you’d like a website that offers a great and reliable service, you might want to think about Tunbridge Wells Web design. For more information, visit http://www.targetink.co.uk/

The town grew rapidly from 1800 onwards – in 1831 there were 5,929 inhabitants and in 1841 this had become 8,302 and this made it the fastest growing town in Kent! People flocked here to enjoy retirement and so the town began to attract an influx of permanent residents.

What’s ‘Royal’ about Tunbridge Wells2

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The people of the town knew how to have a good time and entertainments would take place on the common. There would be firework displays, archery, cricket and even horse racing which were enjoyed on an almost daily basis for the wealthy and retired classes. It seems things occasionally got out of hand though as eventually residents petitioned for the abolition of the races in 1845, on the grounds, that they caused drunkenness and riotous behaviour. You can still follow the footpath and bridle way today that once served as the race course.

So how did Tunbridge Wells gain its royal status? The town attracted so many royal visitors that in 1909, King Edward VII officially recognised its popularity. Even his mother, Queen Victoria had been a visitor and so the town was granted it ‘Royal’ prefix. It’s still a very popular destination to visit and live in and has kept its elegant charm.

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