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"SPELDHURST, a parish in the hundreds of Washlingstone and Somerden, county Kent, 3 miles N.W. of Tunbridge Wells, its post town. The parish, which is intersected by a branch of the river Medway, includes a portion of the town of Tunbridge Wells, and the chapelry of Groombridge. A portion of the inhabitants are employed in the Barden iron-furnace. Hops are extensively cultivated. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Canterbury, value £303. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, has a tower containing five bells. It was rebuilt in 1792, the old one having been destroyed by lightning in 1791. The register dates from the 16th century. There are also the district churches of Rusthall and Groombridge, the livings of which are perpetual curacies The parochial charities produce about £23 per annum. There is a National school for both sexes. C. Powell, Esq., is lord of the manor."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]

Description and Travel

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"GROOMBRIDGE, a chapelry in the parish of Speldhurst, hundred of Somerden, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, county Kent, 3 miles S.W. of Tonbridge Wells, its post town, and 8 E. of East Grinstead. It is situated on the borders of Sussex, and was formerly a market town belonging to the Cobham family. It afterwards came to the Wallers, one of whom, Sir Richard, captured the Duke of Orleans at the battle of Agincourt, and kept him close prisoner here. The living is a curacy annexed to the rectory* of Speldhurst, in the diocese of Canterbury. The church is a small edifice, dedicated to St. John. A very old tree is pointed out in the vicinity of the church, said to have been planted by an admirer of Cicely Nevill, Duchess of York, who subsequently became mother of Richard III. There is a National school for both sexes. Groombridge Place is a strongly-built mansion of the time of Henry V.; it is surrounded by a moat, and has, in some of the apartments, curious antique oak carvings. Fairs are held on the 17th May and 25th September."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]

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Historical Geography

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