24 May, 2014

Tunbridge Wells

Nothing to be disgusted about here although the Church of King Charles the Martyr has a controversial dedication to say the least. I don't think you could have an 'Oliver Cromwell Church' in the Church of England. The church was closed when I called and I didn't want to hang around until Evensong at 1830 so went on my way without seeing the beautiful plaster ceilings or the odd layout. Tunbridge Wells is all very civilised and they were having a food festival in the Pantiles which is the original shopping centre dating from the 17th century. The Church is at the north end and was built in 1676. The Pantiles is also where the chalybeate well is found. Unfortunately today it had dried up so there was no dipper to give you a drink from the spa. I wonder when it will flow again? As you can see from the residues chalybeate water is rich in iron salts so is basically the panacea. One thing I did notice since my last visit (pre blog) is that Beau Nash is now commemorated in Tunbridge Wells. Any mention of him was notable by its absence when I last called but now there are some reminders. It may have been scurrilous but in Tunbridge Wells they accused Nash of cheating at cards and perhaps this is the reason for his sending to coventry. They seem to have forgiven him after 200 years. I spent some time in the north end of the town, rather less refined, and had a nice meal in a pub with the obligatory camp barman. The North end is not without its points of interest. The museum was showing some gainsborough and Reynolds portraits of which the attendant was very proud. Calverley Gardens and grounds also make a fine place to sunbathe.

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