Tonbridge, Kent
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Tonbridge, Kent, England

Tonbridge Rectory and Appurtances

Description: "The rectory of Tonbridge, with its appurtances, and all messuages, lands, tenements, tithes, etc. in the parish of Tonbridge, in the wards of Tonbridge, Southborough and Brombridge, and in the great park of South-frith, and in the park and lands enclosed, called North-frith, the Postern, and the Cage, parcel of the rectory." In about 1555, Lady Elizabeth Fane, widow of Sir Ralph Fane, sold the rectory to Henry Stubberfield, yeoman, of Tonbridge, who sold it to Sir Alexander Culpeper11b of Bedgebury.. Alexander sold it in about 1565 to William Denton, Esq.

Location: Presumably next to the church. More research is needed.

Tonbridge Church, March 2000St Peter & St Paul Church

Ancient Parish
Original registers from 1553.

No connection to the Culpepers has been established.

Location: At the intersection of the B2260 and B2021, near the Medway River.

National Grid Coordinates
TQ 592 467

Tonbridge, Kent

Location: 10 miles NW of Goudhurst, and 12 miles SW of Maidstone.
National Grid Coordinates: TQ 592 467

Tonbridge stands on the highest navigable point on the Medway and as such has been able to exploit this position over the centuries. There was an Anglo-Saxon settlement here and perhaps an earlier Roman community. Its most important historical landmark, on a rise in the center of town, is the ruined Norman castle, of which there are substantial remains. The walls date from the 12th century while the shell of the keep, as well as the massive gatehouse and drum-towers, were built in the early 14th century. Inside the wall is a mound which is thought to have been the site of an Anglo-Saxon fort. The parish church of Saints Peter and Paul shows mainly evidence of the style of architecture known as early English, in this case being built in the early 13th century. Subsequent restoration efforts and enlargements have altered the interior of the church, but it retains a sense of height and airiness that recalls the Middle Ages.

Source: Sean Connolly, Ed., "Tonbridge", The Hidden Places of Kent, Travel Publishing, Ltd., 1998., pages 79-80.

1831 Topographical Dictionary

TONBRIDGE, or TUNBRIDGE, a market town and parish in the lowey of TONBRIDGE, lathe of AYLESFORD, county of KENT, 14 miles WSW from Maidstone, and 30 SE from London, containing, with part of the chapelry of Tonbridge-Wells, 7406 inhabitants. This place is supposed to have been originally called “Town of Bridges,” from the stone bridges crossing the five streams into which the river Medway here branches, of which the present name is a contraction. A castle (by some supposed to have been built before the Conquest, but generally believed to have been erected shortly after, early in the eleventh century, by Richard, Earl of Clare, a relation of the Conqueror), which was on a very large scale, and a frequent scene of warfare, stood near the town, to which it probably gave origin: it was besieged by William Rufus, soon after his accession to the throne, the proprietor having declared in favour of Robert, Duke of Normandy: it was afterwards taken by King John, in his war with the barons; and subsequently was besieged by Prince Edward, son of Henry III., on which occasion the town was burned by the garrison, to prevent its giving shelter to the assailants. Having ascended the throne, Edward was sumptuously entertained here by Gilbert, Earl of Clare; and during his absence in Flanders, his son, afterwards Edward II, when administering the government of the kingdom, resided in this castle, and, having been crowned king, took possession of it, in consequence of the rebellion of its owner, after which it became, with three others, the depository of the records of the kingdom. The lordship, some time after, was the property of the family of Stafford; and, on the attainder of the Duke of Buckingham (the last powerful member of that family), in the reign of Henry VIII, it was seized by the crown, with his other possessions, and the castle suffered to fall into decay. The town consists principally of one long and spacious street, containing some good houses, and its situation, on the declivity of a hill, contributes greatly to its cleanliness: it is partially lighted and paved: the only public buildings are the town hall and market-house. A stone causeway, at its entrance from London, was constructed, in 1528, by John Wilford; and the principal bridge was erected, in 1775, at an expense of £1100. The chief articles manufactured are Tonbridge ware and gunpowder, but both to a less extent than formerly. The river Medway was made navigable to this town about the middle of the last century, and a considerable quantity of coal and timber is brought by it from Maidstone. Two representatives were sent to parliament from this town in the 23rd of Edward I, but it has not since exercised the elective franchise.

Last Revised: 02 Jan 2015


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