King Charles the Martyr, Royal Tunbridge Wells

King Charles the Martyr, Royal Tunbridge Wells

by Chris Parker

Churches & Abbeys in Tunbridge Wells

The Tunbridge Wells area is rich in ecclesiastical heritage and architecture and has some of the finest examples of churches in Kent.

From the splendid plasterwork ceiling of King Charles the Martyr in Royal Tunbridge Wells and the beautiful collection of stained glass at All Saints' in Tudeley, to the magnificent 'Cathedral of the Weald', St Dunstan's in Cranbrook.

There are 13 significant churches of historical interest around the borough of Tunbridge Wells. All are located in stunning spots amongst the picturesque Wealden countryside too.

Famous Histories and Backstories

Entrancing stories are an integral part of each and every church. Find a moustachioed angel in one, a pirate in another and a handful in the Doomsday book!

There is much artwork to be admired too. All Saints Church in Tudeley has the Chagall stained glass windows commemorating a local family’s tragedy of the last century.

All Saints’ Church in Brenchley has unique exhibitions of artistic glory by Bell and the company Morris & Co in its stained glass windows too.

St Mary’s, Goudhurst, stands proud of the top of the steep windy hill offering stunning views.  You can climb the squat tower on summer weekends and, on a good day you will be able to see approximately 23 miles to the south coast of Kent.

In Royal Tunbridge Wells, King Charles the Martyr was the making of respectability in the town and popular spa centre during the seventeenth century. Not to mention a place for Winnie the Pooh to sit! (Join a guided tour to learn more about this!)

You might be forgiven for thinking that Bayham Abbey as such a spectral ruin, is one of the oldest in the area, however, this honour belongs to the simplest church, St Martin of Tours in Ashurst, dating from between 921 and 927.

A Self Guided Tour

Take a trip (by car or bike) and discover the enduring beauty of English and Norman religious and architectural heritage in Kent.

Further intriguing tales, and a map, of all these thirteen fascinating churches in Kent can be found in an informative pocket guide 'On the Wealden Churches Trail', now available to download.

Stop off in local hostelries along the way and get a feel for the ancient past and cultural reference points from the locals.  Sometimes the smallest sources are the best!

This Google map gives an idea of a tour but not all 13 churches can be included. Use the Churches Trail leaflet in conjunction to help guide you. (Half Moon Road is in fact Pembury Old Church!).

Here you can find more inspiration on where to stay and where to eat. The Tourist Information Centre is of course on hand to advise.  All of the churches have at least partial, if not full, wheelchair access.

Tags: Churches & Abbeys in Tunbridge Wells

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Number of items: 43

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  1. Add Pashley Manor Gardens to your Itinerary

    Pashley Manor Gardens

    Type

    Garden

    Ticehurst, Wadhurst

    At Pashley you will discover 11 acres of beautiful borders and vistas - the culmination of a lifetime of passion for gardening and an admiration of the tradition of the English country garden.

  2. Add Chalybeate Spring to your Itinerary

    Chalybeate Spring

    Type

    Spa

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Visitors came to see and be seen in fashionable Tunbridge Wells, but above all to 'take the waters'.

  3. Add Spa Valley Railway to your Itinerary

    Spa Valley Railway

    Type

    Steam Railway

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Spa Valley Railway takes you on a picturesque railway journey through through the beautiful Wealden countryside from Tunbridge Wells to High Rocks, Groombridge and Eridge

  4. Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk

    Type

    Waymarked Trail

    Tunbridge Wells

    The Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk is a 27.5 mile (44.3km) route that explores the wide variety of fertile and beautiful countryside around Royal Tunbridge Wells, a town within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the borders of Kent and East Sussex.

  5. Add Assembly Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    Assembly Hall Theatre

    Type

    Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The Assembly Hall Theatre is a 1,000 seat theatre offering an eclectic programme with everything from family shows to classical music.

  6. Add Cranbrook Museum to your Itinerary

    Cranbrook Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Cranbrook

    A 'must' for every visitor to the Weald.

  7. Add Bowles Outdoor Centre to your Itinerary

    Bowles Outdoor Centre

    Type

    Adventure Park / Playground

    Eridge Green

    A day and residential outdoor centre with accommodation offering rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, canoeing and development courses and fun!

  8. Add Parish Church of King Charles The Martyr to your Itinerary

    Parish Church of King Charles The Martyr

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The first permanent building in Tunbridge Wells. Stunning plasterwork ceiling by Sir Christopher Wren's Chief Plasterer.

  9. Hawkhurst Fish Farm

    Add Hawkhurst Fish Farm to your Itinerary

    Hawkhurst Fish Farm

    Type

    Fish Farm

    Hawkhurst

    Carp fishing for the family with a choice of 7 lakes, cafe and pottery.

  10. Add Sissinghurst Castle Garden to your Itinerary

    Sissinghurst Castle Garden

    Type

    Garden

    Cranbrook

    Famous, stunning gardens set in the remains of a large Elizabethan house amidst the unspoilt Weald countryside.

  11. Add Cranbrook Union Windmill to your Itinerary

    Cranbrook Union Windmill

    Type

    Windmill

    Cranbrook

    The tallest surviving smock mill in the British Isles, measuring 72 feet to the top of the cap.

  12. Add St Thomas a Becket Church, Capel to your Itinerary

    St Thomas a Becket Church, Capel

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Capel

    Twelfth century church with wallpaintings of the same period - the most extensive in West Kent. They depict various biblical scenes including Cain and Abel and The Last Supper.

  13. Add Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre to your Itinerary

    Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre

    Type

    Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Located in a converted Grade A listed church by the noted architect Decimus Burton, Trinity Theatre hosts a varied programme of art exhibitions, theatre, films, dance, opera and music productions.

  14. Add Scotney Castle to your Itinerary

    Scotney Castle

    Type

    Garden

    Lamberhurst

    Not one but two houses! Victorian country house and ruined 14th century moated castle set in one of England's most romantic 'picturesque' style gardens.

  15. Add Grosvenor and Hilbert Park to your Itinerary

    Grosvenor and Hilbert Park

    Type

    Parkland / Woodland Garden

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Grosvenor and Hilbert is the town's oldest public park and still contains some original historic features, such as the lake and grottoes or 'dripping wells'. There is an exciting and challenging play area which is well worth a visit.

  16. Add Dunorlan Park to your Itinerary

    Dunorlan Park

    Type

    Parkland / Woodland Garden

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    A glorious local awarding winning park and testament to the Victorian landscaping era. Boating lake and cafe.

  17. Add Weald Sports Centre to your Itinerary

    Weald Sports Centre

    Type

    Leisure / Swimming Pool

    Cranbrook

    High quality sporting facilities to include swimming pool, sports hall, fitness studio, exercise studio and creche.

  18. Add St. Dunstan's Church Cranbrook to your Itinerary

    St. Dunstan's Church Cranbrook

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Cranbrook

    Cathedral of the Weald.

  19. Add The Queen's Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    The Queen's Hall Theatre

    Type

    Theatre

    Cranbrook

    Providing entertainment in the heart of the Kent Weald.

  20. Add Putlands Sports & Leisure Centre to your Itinerary

    Putlands Sports & Leisure Centre

    Type

    Sports Ground

    Paddock Wood, Tonbridge

    Purpose built centre provides sports hall, fitness studio, meeting rooms, outdoor tennis courts, football and rugby pitches.

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