Tunbridge Wells 1866

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Heritage Cartography - Victorian Town and Village Maps

ISBN 978-1-908914-35-4
Size 550mm x 600mm
Uncoloured size 550mm x 600mm

Tunbridge Wells in 1866 is seen as a long urban ribbon stretching north to south along the main highway between Maidstone and Brighton. The node of the town is London Road the site of the chalybeate spring discovered by chance in 1606 which became the centre of the spa so beloved of raffish Regency high society. From this small select group a large holiday trade developed with visitors from the capital, first by coach and then from the 1840s by the railway. It is this transport revolution which has transformed the town to what we see on the map. The majority of the building has been substantial Victorian detached villas for the hundreds of commuters moving to this attractive and socially desirable part of Kent. The town is served by two railway stations in the heart of the community, an indication that it was from the outset a New Town with no medieval centre to be avoided as in many other areas of the country. For the period,Tunbridge Wells is unique, no Workhouse is needed here.

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