Royal Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge, about five miles distant. Those who went to drink the waters went because they must, and were prepared to bear, though, it may be assumed, with many a grumble, all the discomforts incidental to taking a course of the waters. And the discomforts, it is not to be denied, were many and severe. Perhaps the worst was that there were no houses or buildings of any sort near the wells, and that the visitors had to stay so far away as Tunbridge, and journey backwards and forwards every day. As a consequence of this, the water-drinking season was limited to the period from May to October, when the road was most easily to be negotiated. It was also, doubtless, because of this that the place became known as Tunbridge Wells, which otherwise assuredly would not have been the case, for the wells were not in the parish of Tunbridge, but in that of Frant. " From the toune of Tunbridge," wrote Dr. Lodovick Rowzee, so early as 1632, " they have their name, as being the nearest Toune in Kent to them."
Tunbridge (which now prefers to call itself Tonbridge, to distinguish itself from its once humble dependency, Tunbridge Wells) was even at the time of the discovery of the springs 28