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

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Development of Tunbridge Wells
of the country as from the hostile attitude of the Puritans towards any form of amusement. The place was not, however, deserted, and in June 1652 John Evelyn took his wife and Lady Browne there to drink the water, establishing them in a little cottage for a while.1 This set-back to Tunbridge Wells was but temporary, however, and after the Restoration it more than regained its earlier popularity. Southborough and Rusthall added to the accommodation hitherto provided for visitors, and began to furnish places of entertainment for those that came to drink the waters; and, in addition to many good lodging-houses, Rusthall soon boasted an assembly-room and a bowling-green, and thus eclipsed Southborough, which could only offer its patrons a bowling-green and a coffee-house. There was, however, as yet nothing to attract to Tunbridge Wells those who did not want the waters. Even now the houses were too far from the wells, the centre of attraction, where there was no place of entertainment, and still no place of shelter for the drinkers other than the two small cottages. A sudden shower of rain found
1 Diary and Correspondence of John Evelyn (ed. Bray), I. 279.
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