Dennise Robinson
Dennise Robinson - Author of Tunbridge Wells Life.

The Borough Of Tunbridge Wells Guide

The Borough Of Tunbridge Wells Guide

Description Of Borough

The position of Tunbridge Wells, lying on a substantial geological fault known as the Weald-Artois Anticline, has resulted in its territory being part of two distinct physiographic provinces. To the north is the Lowweald, a flat layer of sedimentary and drift geology about 150 million years old. To the south is The Weald, a clay vale dissected by layered sandstone synclines that make up the much older Highweald which are formed around 350 million years ago.

The town is built on ground of two series of deposits: the Tunbridge Wells sands and the Weald Clay, Tunbridge Wells Life ( The former, lying close beneath the surface in this district, are a formation of variable thickness, composed of fine sand with occasional layers or streaks of clay, and are covered by thinner beds or bands of stiff blue clay. These sands occupy an elongated depression running in an easterly and west-north-easterly direction. Tunbridge Wells is a town and civil parish in the county of Kent, England.

It is situated 27 miles (43 km) south east of Central London, 7 miles (11 km) south of Royal Tunbridge Wells, and 2 miles (3 km) north of Tonbridge, beside the A26 road. The town centre lies just south of the Pantiles (a famous set of terraced Georgian streets), and the historic centre has numerous listed buildings. The bulk of the borough lies on the high ground to the west between these two rivers and their tributaries.

The main urban area has a broad central valley between them. The line of hills rises gently to the south before culminating in two lofty heights: Scotney Castle, 514 feet (157 m) above sea level, and Mount Ephraim, 362 feet (110 m) on Windmill Hill in Bircholt Ash. Borough status was granted in Tunbridge Wells borough consists of a number of settlements, the largest of which are Southborough, which is also the administrative headquarters of Kent County Council and Royal Tunbridge Wells, both located at the south end of the main street of Tunbridge Wells.

The western boundary, with West Sussex, is the River Rother. To the south of Tunbridge Wells lies the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and to the north-east the Nauga. Offering style and sophistication, an impressive product range and everyday value throughout the year to its discerning customer base. John Lewis at Home. Home & Garden department of the world famous retail store John Lewis. Offering products and advice for every room in the home, including the garden.

Borough Organisation

The borough covers an area of approximated by the Tunbridge Wells Poor Law Union, which took in the whole of the town and the surrounding rural area (roughly equivalent to a civil parish). The union was formed on 23 January 1837 when the townships of Eridge, Horsmonden, Lamberhurst, Hawkhurst and Speldhurst, which were formerly part of the Wealden Hundred and County of Sussex, were included in it. From 1894 until 1974 Tunbridge Wells formed its own municipal borough.


The old town lies at the northern foot of an escarpment which rises to the sandstone western heights of the High Weald, consisting of a series of north-south ridges interspersed by some valleys. At Maidstone the Teise and Beult join to form the River Medway which then flows for around 10 miles to the west of the town. The borough includes the string of villages along the upper part of this reach, and also the large village of Leigh, some 2 miles from Maidstone urban area in Kent, but 7 miles from Tunbridge Wells in East Sussex.

On a map, Tunbridge Wells is not a well defined town in that its small area is interspersed with surrounding villages and suburbs. The town's former boundary stretches from just east of Groombridge to the summit of the North Downs. To the north lie urban settlements, principally Tonbridge and Kippington, to which the town is connected by several main roads. The whole urban area lies in a generally north easterly direction on a shallow valley underlain by chalk and covered with loam soil.

The River Teise forms the boundary of the town with planted woodland within a former salmon fishery and water meadows above it. The stream rises in springs on the edge of High Rocks at Tunbridge Wells Common and flows through Caple Bottom on the northern edge of the town before skirting around the southern boundary, creating Smeeth. The town of Tonbridge is situated at a transition between the deep, warm alluvium of the Weald Clay plain and the shallow stony soils of the Sandstone-with-Flints north Downs.

The dominant geology of the area is London Clay and the superficial deposits remain largely unaltered since their deposition in the Pleistocene epoch. A local newspaper, the Tunbridge Wells Times, described the borough as ". this most charming area lying south of Tonbridge and almost encircled by the Weald. ". The Bewl, a natural drinking-water lake occupying part of the valley of the River Teise, is situated to the east of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

The North Weald Area

The North Weald area is an area of 42. 86 square miles (110. 48 km2) and its northern boundary is the River Thames. The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, from the parishes of Chiddingstone, Old Bexley, and part of East Peckham. Due to their proximity to London, commuter towns have grown along the length of its fringes, including Bexleyheath and Dartford to the north; and in the south Byfleet, Cobham, Esher and Oxshott.

As the name suggests the North Weald area is in the north of Tunbridge Wells and forms part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The neighbourhoods in this area include Chipstead Valley, Tunbridge Wells Common and High Brooms. The North Weald area is located within the Weald of Kent and consists of High Rocks, Lyncroft, Alderton, Tye Green and the village of North Weald. The restrictive area to the north and west of Tunbridge Wells lies within the Weald.

Weald Clay Plain

The Weald Clay Plain, named for its heavy clay soil, holds an abundance of mineral and other natural resources (eg, sand, peat, flint, and chalk) that make it the center of Kent’s rock-based industry. Brought underneath the plow over hundreds of years, this loam soil is also one of the most fertile in Britain. The plain’s towns and villages are linked to one another—and to London by rail—by its meandering river valleys. But even the most beautiful scenery needs a kick up the backside now and again.

The Weald Clay plain is no exception. The plain has been transformed into a housing estate called One Tree Hill (which was originally the name of a local farm). Now from the ground, you wouldn't know that this land used to be considered useless. But from above, you can see what they were up against. The Weald Clay is a predominantly geological clay plain in between the higher ground of the Greensand Ridge and Wealden sections of the North Downs, and the lower ground of Romney Marsh.

It is part of a gently undulating to flat area, with some small hills in places such as the spine of Charing and Ashdown Forest. Weald Clay is a very low-lying, flat and featureless plain that is nearly always wet, with the water table at or near to the surface throughout. Owing to the impermeability of the clay, water seeps through endlessly and only slowly discharges into rivers such as the Beult and Medway.

The cluster of villages known as the Wealden Clay Villages is centred on Tunbridge Wells in West Kent. The villages, with less than 2000 residents each are: Rodmersham, Wrotham, Mudhurst, Lamberhurst, Rolvenden, Scotney, Cranbrook, Worth and Robertsbridge. Brenchley is a village, civil parish and electoral ward near the River Medway in the Weald of Kent. It is 8 km south of Royal Tunbridge Wells. In 1974 these five towns became part of the Borough of Tunbridge Wells.


The Tunbridge Wells East Division was a parliamentary constituency in what is now the county of Kent, in South East England. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the UK Parliament (using first-past-the-post voting). Historically, Tunbridge Wells was located in the ancient administrative county of Kent, which existed from 1889 until 1998. The area became part of a new county called East Sussex on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972.


Politics in Tunbridge Wells is traditionally Conservative Party-leaning. The southern county of Kent is one of the party's strongest areas in south east England. Cranbrook ward, part of Tunbridge Wells Borough, was the only ward in Kent to vote Labour at the 2001 and 2005 general elections. However, after boundary changes for the 2006 election, the Labour councillor for Cranbrook moved to another ward and instead a Conservative candidate was elected in his place. Only Wards 1 & 2 have returned Labour councillors since 1991.

Politics in Tunbridge Wells. In the 2016 European Union referendum, Tunbridge Wells was the only district in Kent that voted to remain in the EU (54. 89%). In the 2017 General Election, Tunbridge Wells is part of the parliamentary constituency of South Thanet and elects one MP out of the current total of seven. The Conservative Party held the seat at the 2015 general election with a majority of 823 votes over Labour; UKIP was third with 7,049 votes.

At the 2017 election, however, the Conservatives lost their majority in the House of Commons but did not lose their seat in Parliament. This meant that they were reliant on support from either the DUP or others to remain in power (though not necessarily in office). Between them, Conservatives and DUP hold 315 seats. In the election on 7 May 2015, the town's electorate once again returned a Conservative MP: Amber Rudd (subject to recount) with an increased majority of 5,262 votes over her Labour Party opponent Jim Gifford.

In the general election in 2017 Ms Rudd resigned, and subsequently won a by-election for the seat. She is now Home Secretary. The new MP for the constituency from this point was local tennis player Claire Perry. Tunbridge Wells'MP is the Conservative Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, a position he has held since 14 July 2014. The city council consists of a mayor, currently David Royds-Smith, (Conservative), and 45 councillors elected from 21 wards.