People, Society & Culture of Tunbridge Wells in the 18th Century & later.

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Development of Tunbridge Wells
authority, " still retained its original dreary forest aspect." In that year, however, two humble cottages were erected, one for the accommodation of ladies, the other for gentle­men. The latter, on the site afterwards occupied by the Sussex Tavern, which in a later age would have been called a coffee-house, was then known as the Pipe-house, and there a man, after taking the waters, might return to smoke and have a dish of coffee. A subscrip­tion of half-a-crown entitled him to the privi­leges of the place, including the use of pipes. Two years after the cottages were put up, a further innovation was made. A green bank, presently to be known as the Upper Walk, was raised and levelled, and a double row of trees planted on its borders. About this time some tradesmen realised that the visitors, who had nothing whatever to do in the intervals between their glasses of water, might well be induced to while away their time with purchas­ing; and they began to attend during the water-drinking hours and display their wares in the shade afforded by the trees.
Still, the great inconvenience occasioned by
the lack of lodgings nearer "The Wells " than
Tunbridge continued, but at last in 1639 some
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