Royal Tunbridge Wells
houses for the accommodation of visitors were built at Southborough, about two and a half miles from the wells on the Tunbridge Road; and presently this example was followed at Rusthall, about a mile to the west of the Wells. It is worthy of note, that when, towards the end of the reign of Charles I, party spirit ran high, the cavalier visitors stayed at Southborough, the opposite faction at Rusthall. These places, however, did not supply sufficient accommodation, and what buildings there were, according to Burr, " were small and few at first, rather suited to the circumstances and apprehensions of the builders, than to the company they were intended for." " However," continues the historian, " the water was in such high reputation, that people gladly put up with any inconveniences on its account; and therefore, when these new houses were full, would pay an extravagant price for cottages, huts, or any place to screen them from the weather, rather than return home without partaking of the benefits thereof."
During the Commonwealth the development of Tunbridge Wells was arrested, and an almost entire cessation of building in the neighbourhood resulted, as much from the troubled state 36