Dennise Robinson
Dennise Robinson - Author of Tunbridge Wells Life.

Information About Royal Tunbridge Weels

Information About Royal Tunbridge Weels


The earliest written records are in the form of graves and the foundations of a Roman villa have been found in the Park Wood area. Many centuries later, when the Saxons arrived, Tunbridge was part of their kingdom of Wessex. They lived here amongst the Celtic people until around 825 AD, after which they separated into northern and southern kingdoms. The area around Tunbridge then returned to being controlled by Kentish people until almost 950 AD when it was taken over again by Wessex.

The origin of the town's name came from the Old English words _ticca_ and _hyll_, together meaning 'a hanging wood or clearing', Tunbridge Wells Life ( The clearings created by the Iron Age inhabitants of the Weald became fertile ground. The early Roman name for Tunbridge was _Tunbridgewæsc_, means 'the Well of Tunna's people', where 'Tunna'may have been an individual's name, or it could possibly mean 'place at the boundary stream', derived from the Anglo-Saxon root word 'twnen', meaning boundary.

Fortifications are an Iron Age feature in much of Britain. They were mostly used as high-status markers, but played a role in defending the hilltops or telling others to keep out. This was important in a country where (just like today) landowners wanted to make sure they protected their assets. In Sutton Common, archaeologists have found what may be these defensive earthworks. So, if you’ve always fancied exploring the sources of your food and finding out how it all began, why not plan a trip to Tunbridge Wells in Kent?.


You may have arrived at this article from a Google search. More specifically, you may be someone who is planning to move to Tunbridge Wells (or if not necessarily Tunbridge Wells specifically, then another town or city) quite soon. Perhaps, you’ve done some research already and discovered that the demographics of Tunbridge Wells are a little different to those of where you live now. Or maybe, you’re considering moving to Tunbridge Wells because it is more ‘bohemian’, or ‘liberal’ and open-minded than other places.

Regardless, I hope that this article will help provide useful information for anyone considering moving to Tunbridge Wells and will provide information which might explain some things about the place which. DemographyEdit. The population rose steadily from the beginning of the 19th century until the 1980s when it underwent a period of decline, mainly as a result of outward migration to new housing developments in the Weald and urban areas more generally. In particular, the town's popularity with London commuters led to an increase in commuter-derived population between 1971 and 1991, especially among those not retiring to the area but bringing up families in newly built properties.


GeographyEdit. Tunbridge Wells is located at 511332N 01552E / 51. 22556, 0. 26444. This is on the Kentish border with East Sussex, about 31 miles (50km) south of London; the original centre of the settlement lies directly on the Kent/East Sussex border, as recalled by the county boundary flagstone that still lies outside the church of King Charles the Martyr. The civil parish of Tunbridge Wells has a population of 35,343, and the borough had an estimated population of 85,973 in 2007.

The part of the town which lies on the western edge of the valley is collectively known as West Tunbridge Wells (locally referred to as just "West Town") while that which lies on the eastern side is known as East Tunbridge Wells or simply "East Town". GeographyEdit.  Tunbridge Wells is located at 511332N 01552E / 51. 22556, 0. 26444 on the Kentish border with East Sussex, about 31 miles (50km) south of London; the original centre of the settlement lies directly on the Kent/East Sussex border, as recalled by the county boundary flagstone that still lies outside the church of King Charles the Martyr.

The town is divided into four areas: the town centre; Gomme, which includes a large council estate and St Mark's Hospital; Southborough, the location of the original settlement; Pembury, which has a residential and light industrial Estate; and Park Farm. The trend has since reversed, leading to an increase in numbers between 1991 and 2001. DemographyEdit. In 2006 the town of Tunbridge Wells was estimated to have a population of approximately 56,500. The wider borough of Tunbridge Wells is home to considerably more people some 104,000 in 2001, up from around 99,500 in 1991.


The town is not directly on any train lines, but Tonbridge, to the south-east, and Maidstone in the opposite direction, are both easily accessible by rail. There are five railway stations close to Tunbridge Wells: Paddock Wood ( on the main line from London to Hastings ), Tunbridge Wells Central and Tunbridge Wells West on the South Eastern Main Line from London to Dover; Groombridge on the North Kent Line from London Cannon Street to Ramsgate and Faversham; and Eridge on the Oxted Line from Tunbridge Wells West to Uckfield.

The nearest airport is London Gatwick ; EasyJet run regular flights there. Tunbridge Wells is the hub of a series of roads, the primary ones being the A26, which runs from Maidstone to Newhaven; the A264, which runs from Five Oaks to Pembury (via Crawley and East Grinstead); and the A267, which runs south from Tunbridge Wells to Hailsham. The A21 passes to the east of the town, following the route of its turnpike ancestor, from London to Hastings.

There is a ring road which skirts the High Street. A bypass to the north of the town, originally planned in 1914 and opened on 1 December 1934 by the Prince of Wales, King Edward VIII, passes to the east and includes two small tunnels, one immediately north of Five Oaks Urban District. Tunbridge Wells railway station. The Tunbridge Wells By-pass, which is the A267, was opened in 1958 by the then Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.

This road has since been widened and by-passes Frant, Groombridge and High Brooms to meet the A21 at Pembury. The by-pass was recently widened again due to increasing traffic on this main East-West road. There are also a number of less used rural roads in the area, including: The A272 which leaves Tunbridge Wells for Ardingly and Horsham; the B2190, which is a road between High Brooms and Frant; and the B2196 running from Fletching to Bodiam.

Parks And Landmarksedit

The Pantiles are a row of 18th century Georgian terraced cottages on the south side of the High Street, opposite the open space of Priory Gardens. The name comes from the patterned brickwork which resembles pantiles. They were built between 1726 and 1783 by Thomas Cartwright and are now listed buildings. The chalybeate spring at The Pantiles was probably first discovered in Roman times and so was already well known when Tunbridge Wells was founded.

For many years it was thought to have had restorative powers and in 1623 Samual Pepys remarked that Tunbridge Wells "is made by the taking of this water". A local doctor called William Hyde popularised the water's supposedly healing properties in. The Pantiles is a terrace of 18th-century buildings that runs along the north side of London Road, southeast from the centre of town.   The stone buildings surround a small area where once stood an obelisk finial and chalybeate spring (a mineral spring thought to have health-giving properties), from where Tunbridge Wells got its name.

  The terrace was originally designed to attract wealthy residents who were advised to consume water from the chalybeate spring to ease gout.   However, it became less fashionable and more commercial in the 19th century; retaining its Georgian appearance despite being home to dentists'and doctors'surgeries, as well as bars and cafes. The Pantiles is a half-mile north to south street of shops with timber-framed and later masonry frontages, built in the early 1800s.

The controversy over whether the black colouring of the original timber was due to grime from the smoke of early stagecoach traffic or coal for cooking, gave rise to the alternative name, "Black Boy Alley". The High Street is dominated by a stone clock tower, 45 feet (14 m) high and built in 1835 as replacement for an earlier one that stood close where Hall Cross School now stands. A chalybeate spring was found nearby at Pantiles about 1720, but lost again on 19 February 1821 when it burst out during a fire and.

The Pantiles is a famous feature of the town. The original Georgian structure, from which the name is derived, was only a short length. It was rebuilt in 1895 but now only half remains with the other half now acting as a seat wall and adorned with flowerboxes. The remaining part of the Pantiles can be viewed by Tunbridge Wells residents, free of charge, on Wednesdays and Fridays when it is closed to pedestrians.

The Pantiles is tree-lined and pedestrianised, with a central footpath focusing on the chalybeate spring at its centre. The highlight is the cascading Latimers Fountains, created by sculptor John Robinson in 1710 to replace a wooden conduit built by the Lord of the Manor, Sir Thomas Latimer (1610–84), in 1699 to revitalise the spring after rubbish had been thrown into it. The Pantiles is a picturesque complex of cobbled streets and small shops at the base of the South Downs, in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Local Mediaedit

Having only BBC National DAB and the digital TV channels including the new Freeview services, Tunbridge Wells does not offer listeners a choice of radio stations like larger towns. To fill this gap, there is a low-power (10W ERP) community radio station called TWRadio began transmissions in 2004 on 90. 2FM from The Forum on the site of the old Gaumont cinema on Royal Parade.  It aims to cater for all tastes and has an emphasis on information and music well suited to older listeners.

It shares facilities with Radio Reverb in nearby Tonbridge, which broadcasts 24 hours a day from its studio there. The town is home to the main studios and administrative headquarters of KMFM which broadcasts to towns in Kent, Medway and Sussex on 107, 106 & 105 FM. The station plays mainstream chart music aimed at over 35s. Broadcasts from the station began in September 1999 as KFM West Kent Radio, under the ownership of Kent Messenger Group (KMG).

Under KMG it was part of the One Gold Network a group of local radio stations in Kent. The station then became 107. 8 KFM, again KFM West Kent Radio, before changing its name and frequency to become the much-loved KMFM West Kent Radio in July 2004. Local newspapers Edit. The West Kent Mercury is published weekly. It was known as the Tunbridge Wells Mercury until June 2018, when it became part of the newly merged East Grinstead-based Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kent on Sunday.

Notable Peopleedit

The Forum (Irish: Foinse) is a multi-purpose venue in Mountmellick, County Laois, Ireland. The Forum was named the "Best Live Music Venue in the World" in March 2007 by UK music magazine NME. It is operated by Bill Whelan and his wife Marie Therese Whelan. The building also houses a bar and cafe called 'The Purple Pub'(named after Bill Whelan's musical "Riverdance"), as well as 'The Purple Kitchen', where musicians can buy affordable meals.

The Forum has become one of the favourite places to play for modern musicians, due to its intimate atmosphere, with all proceeds going directly towards the artist. Notably, the Forum has hosted bands that go on to be extremely influential and successful, including U2, REM, the Cure, and Oasis who all played the venue on their early UK tours. The Clash played two concerts at the venue in 1977 which were amongst their earliest UK performances.

Friday night, the Forum is transformed into the Forum bar. The first Friday of each month is the First Friday Forum Bar event which caters for alternative people and style, music and performance etc…. The Green Scene is another forum bar, but with a "Green" ethos. The Forum is a 250-capacity live music venue in the town where many bands have played their early concerts on their way to success. Oasis, Great Big Sea, Sloan, and Matthew Good are just some of the bands who have played at The Forum.

Live Musicedit

Early performers at the forum included David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Nice and The Who. Pink Floyd recorded their Live at Pompeii album, while touring in December 1971, at this venue. In 1972, it was the venue for Queen's first full concert with lead singer Freddie Mercury, although for contractual reasons it was billed as a 'Queen + Paul Rodgers'show. Elton John was the main act.

The Rolling Stones played two nights at the Forum in 1973 on their Exile on Main St Tour. Status Quo played four consecutive nights at the Forum in July 1973, supported by Thin Lizzy. They returned ten years later in September 1983 to play three nights on their Rockin All Over The. In the 2000s, the Forum has become a popular venue for hosting live music, comedy and sport. It is a Grade II listed building, built in 1930 for Essex County Council to house its swimming pool and water polo facilities.

When the Council pool moved to another site in 1964, the building remained disused until Essex County Council approved a plan by Lawrence Archer to convert it into a 675-seat venue for rock music concerts. The reopening show was performed by The Who on 10 September 1970, supported by Doug Parkinson in his last live performance. The Forum is a 250-capacity live music venue in the town where many bands have played their early concerts on their way to success.

Opened in 1968, it has been run by five people, starting with John Miles. It is now owned by the Elborough family who also own The Queens Head pub next door.  It has hosted gigs by a long list of famous musicians, including the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, George Harrison, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, The Jam and The Beatles. The Forum was originally built in the early 1970s as a church hall, and was converted to a live music venue in 1984.

The principal promoter was Paul Smith, who had been involved in putting up posters so as to get shows for bands from out of town.  The first band he booked to play there was Marillion on 13 April 1984 (under their original name Silmarillion). The Forum Music Centre, often referred to as simply The Forum, is an entertainment venue in Norwich, Norfolk. It hosts live music, comedy, club nights and has a bar which serves food and drink.

Albert Hall, in the town centre, is where numerous bands have played their early concerts. It has played host to successful acts such as Arctic Monkeys and the Kaiser Chiefs, and was named Best Small Venue at the Live Music Awards in 2003. The name comes from the iron pillars supporting a wooden canopy which was erected in 1714 to replace an earlier stone structure that had become dilapidated. We’re sure you’ll enjoy sampling the local produce on offer throughout Tunbridge Wells.