|The Pantiles, circa 1900|
Something a bit different this week for Throwback Thursday, a slice of local history.
The Pantiles, in Tunbridge Wells, is probably the most famous part of the town.
Wikipedia will tell you: "The Pantiles is a Georgian colonnade in the town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. Formerly known as The Walks and the (Royal) Parade, it leads from the well that gave the town its name. The area was created following the discovery of a chalybeate spring in the early 17th century and is now a popular tourist attraction."
It is called The Pantiles simply because the Upper Walk was originally paved with pantiles in 1700, until these were replaced with stone flagging in 1793 and the area became known as The Parade.
Its original name came back into use in 1887 and it has remained The Pantiles ever since.
There are a number of pubs along there and these used to be a favourite haunt for Matt, Nick and I before we went to see live bands at The Forum, over on The Common.
TUNBRIDGE OR TONBRIDGE?
I currently live in Tonbridge (Tunbridge Wells' neighbouring older brother), but grew up (along with Matt, Nick, Gublin, Steve, Pete etc) in Pembury (a village just outside Tunbridge Wells).
I then lived for many years in and around Tunbridge Wells (with a break for university in Bournemouth and a spell in Sevenoaks) - until I moved in with Rachel in Tonbridge.
Until 1870, Tonbridge was actually spelt 'Tunbridge', but it was changed to 'Tonbridge' by the General Post Office due to confusion with nearby Tunbridge Wells... despite Tonbridge being a much older settlement!
The "wells" in Tunbridge Wells refers to the aforementioned chalybeate spring, which sits at one end of The Pantiles.
|Photochrom of the Pantiles, 1895 (via Wikipedia)|