Royal Tunbridge Wells
Royal Tunbridge Wells just Tunbridge Wells, is a town in western Kent, England, 30 miles south-east of central London, close to the border with East Sussex upon the northern edge of the High Weald, whose sandstone geology is exemplified by the rock formations at the Wellington Rocks and High Rocks. The town came into being as a spa in the Restoration and enjoyed its heyday as a fashionable resort in the mid-1700s under Beau Nash when the Pantiles, its chalybeate spring, attracted significant numbers of visitors who wished to take the waters. Though its popularity as a spa town waned with the advent of sea bathing, the town remains popular and derives some 30 per cent of its income from the tourist industry; the town has a population of around 56,500, is the administrative centre of Tunbridge Wells Borough and the parliamentary constituency of Tunbridge Wells. Evidence suggests that Iron Age people farmed the fields and mined the iron-rich rocks in the Tunbridge Wells area, excavations in 1940 and 1957–61 by James Money at High Rocks uncovered the remains of a defensive hill-fort.
It is thought that the site was occupied into the era of Roman Britain, the area continued to be part of the Wealden iron industry until its demise in the late eighteenth century. An iron forge remains in the grounds of Bayham Abbey, in use until 1575 and documented until 1714; the area, now Tunbridge Wells was part of the parish of Speldhurst for hundreds of years. The origin of the town today came in the seventeenth century. In 1606 Dudley, Lord North, a courtier to James I, staying at a hunting lodge in Eridge in the hope that the country air might improve his ailing constitution, discovered a chalybeate spring, he drank from the spring and, when his health improved, he became convinced that it had healing properties. He persuaded his rich friends in London to try it, by the time Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I, visited in 1630 it had established itself as a spa retreat. By 1636 it had become so popular that two houses were built next to the spring to cater for the visitors, one for the ladies and one for the gentlemen, in 1664 Lord Muskerry, Lord of the Manor, enclosed it with a triangular stone wall, built a hall "to shelter the dippers in wet weather."Until 1676 little permanent building took place—visitors were obliged either to camp on the downs or to find lodgings at Southborough,—but at this time houses and shops were erected on the walks, every "convenient situation near the springs" was built upon.
In 1676 a subscription for a "chapel of ease" was opened, in 1684 the Church of King Charles the Martyr was duly built and the town began to develop around it. In 1787 Edward Hasted described the new town as consisting of four small districts, "named after the hills on which they stand, Mount Ephraim, Mount Pleasant and Mount Sion; the 1680s saw a building boom in the town: planned shops were built beside the 175 yards long Pantiles promenade, the Mount Sion road, on which lodging house keepers were to build, was laid out in small plots. Tradesmen in the town dealt in the luxury goods demanded by their patrons, which would have included Tunbridge ware, a kind of decoratively inlaid woodwork. "They have made the wells commodious by the many good building all about it and two or three miles around which are lodgings for the company that drink the waters. All the people buy their own provisions at the market, just by the wells and is furnished with great plenty of all sorts of fish and fowl; the walk, between high trees on the market side which are shops full of all sorts of toys, china and all sorts of curious wooden ware besides which there are two large coffee houses for tea, chocolate etc. and two rooms for the lottery and hazard board."
—Celia Fiennes, 1697 Following Richard Russell's 1750 treatise advocating sea water as a treatment for diseases of the glands, fashions in leisure changed and sea bathing became more popular than visiting the spas, which resulted in fewer visitors coming to the town. The advent of turnpike roads gave Tunbridge Wells better communications—on weekdays a public coach made nine return journeys between Tunbridge Wells and London, postal services operated every morning except Monday and every evening except Saturday. During the eighteenth century the growth of the town continued, as did its patronage by the wealthy leisured classes—it received celebrity cachet from visits by figures such as Cibber, Garrick and the successful bookseller Andrew Millar and his wife—and in 1735 Richard Nash appointed himself as master of ceremonies for all the entertainments that Tunbridge Wells had to offer, he remained in this position until his death in 1762, under his patronage the town reached the height of its popularity as a fashionable resort.
By the early nineteenth century Tunbridge Wells experienced growth as a place for the well-to-do to visit and make their homes. It became a fashionable resort town again following visits by the Duchess of Kent, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, benefited from a new estate on Mount Pleasant and the building of the Trinity church in 1827, improvements made to the town and the provision of facilities such as gas lighting and a police service meant that by 1837 the town population had swelled to 9,100. In 1842 an omnibus service was set up that ran from Tonbridge to Tunbridge Wells, enabling visitors to arrive from London within two hours, in 1845 the town was linked to the railway network via a branch from South Eastern Railway's London-Hastings Hastings Line at Tonbridge. During this time Decimus Burton developed John Ward's Calverley Park estate. In
Cranbrook is a small town in the civil parish of Cranbrook and Sissinghurst, in the Weald of Kent in South East England. It lies half-way between Maidstone and Hastings, about 38 miles southeast of central London; the smaller settlements of Sissinghurst, Colliers Green and Hartley lie within the civil parish. The population of the parish was 6,717 in 2011; the place name Cranbrook derives from Old English cran broc, meaning Crane Marsh, marshy ground frequented by cranes. Spelling of the place name has evolved over the centuries from Cranebroca. By 1610 the name had become Cranbrooke. Edward III brought over Flemish weavers to develop the Wealden cloth industry using wool from Romney Marsh. Iron-making was carried on at Bedgebury on the River Teise, an industry which dates back to Roman times; the tributaries of the River Beult around Cranbrook powered 17 watermills at one time. In 1290 the town received a charter from Archbishop Peckham, allowing it to hold a market in the High Street. Baker's Cross on the eastern edge of the town is linked to John Baker, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Queen Mary, a Catholic.
Legend holds that he was riding on his way to Cranbrook in order to have two local Protestants executed, when he turned back after the news reached him that Queen Mary was dead. Different versions of the legend have it that he heard the parish church bells ringing, or that he was met by a messenger; the place where this happened was, in the words of biographer and historian Arthur Irwin Dasent, "at a place where three roads meet, known to this day as Baker's Cross". Popular legend has it that Baker was killed at Baker's Cross; the town developed around the "King's High Road" until the Second World War. Following the war, additional housing was built adjacent to the historic centre - the Wheatfield Estate to the north and the Frythe Estate to the south. In the 1970s a Conservation Area was designated in the town centre. In 1974 Cranbrook Rural District was merged into the Borough of Tunbridge Wells. In 2010 Francis Rook of the Liberal Democrats won one of the three council seats in the Benenden and Cranbrook ward from the Conservatives to become one of only 6 non-Conservative councillors out of 48 in the borough.
The name of the parish council was changed from Cranbrook Parish Council to Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council in 2009. The parish council is based in the Old Fire Station on Stone Street. Located on the Maidstone to Hastings road, it is five miles north of Hawkhurst. Baker's Cross is on the eastern outskirts of the town. Cranbrook is on the Hastings Beds, alternating sands and clays which are more resistant to erosion than the surrounding clays and so form the hills of the High Weald; the geology of the area has played a major role in the town's development, deposits of iron ore and fuller's earth were important in the iron industry and cloth industry respectively. At the 2011 census, Cranbrook had 6,717 residents; the Kent Structure Plan calls it the smallest town in Kent, although Fordwich has a town council and just 381 residents. Since the decline of the cloth trade, agriculture became the mainstay of the economy; the first bank was opened in Cranbrook in 1803 by Samuel Waddington. It closed in 1805.
In 1804, the Cranbrook Bank was opened. It changed its name to the Weald of Kent Bank in 1812 and to Bishop & Co's Bank in 1813 before being declared bankrupt in October 1814; the Tooth family of Great Swifts, near Cranbrook, established a brewery at Baker's Cross. A large part of their trade was the export of beer to Australia. Subsequently, John Tooth emigrated to Australia in the early 1830s, traded for a time as a general merchant, in 1835, with his brother-in-law, John Newnham, opened a brewery in Sydney, he named the brewery Kent Brewery, which continued to 1985. Meanwhile, the brewery at Cranbrook had been sold to one William Barling Sharpe, whose daughter had married the local estate agent, William Winch; the brewery Sharpe & Winch was established in Baker's Cross at some point prior to 1846 by William Barling Sharpe. The brewery assumed the name Sharpe & Winch in 1892, was purchased and taken over by Frederick Leney & Sons Ltd, a Wateringbury company, in 1927; the brewery were responsible for the mock-Tutor extension to the 18th century Baker's Cross House.
During the 19th century, a group of artists known as the "Cranbrook Colony" were located here. The Colony artists tended to paint scenes of domestic life in rural Kent – cooking and washing, children playing, other family activities. Queen's Hall Theatre, part of Cranbrook School, sponsors many theatre groups, including the Cambridge Footlights and Cranbrook Opera and Dramatic Society; the Showtimers pantomime group produces an annual show. Cranbrook Town Band, founded in the 1920s, is a British-style brass band, which performs regular concerts in the Queen's Hall, St Dunstan's Church and around Kent. There have been many plans to create a community hub, starting with a proposal to convert the old council offices; the focus switched to a £2m building planned on Wilkes Field, next to the Co-op carpark. As of 2013 plans included small community rooms and three large day rooms which could convert into a hall for 300 people, along with a day care centre, council offices, public toilets and
Bewl Water is a reservoir in the valley of the River Bewl, straddling the boundary between Kent and East Sussex. It is about 2 miles south of Lamberhurst, England; the reservoir was part of a project to increase supplies of water in the area. It supplies not only Southern Water’s customers in the Medway towns and Hastings, but is used by other water companies in the area. Work began to construct the reservoir in 1973 by damming and flooding a valley, it was completed in 1975 having been filled with over 31,300 million litres of water. The project cost £11 million to build, it is now the largest body of inland water in south east England. In winter, when the flow in the River Medway exceeds 275 million litres per day, river water is pumped to storage in the reservoir. There is an outline plan to raise the water level by a further 3m to increase the yield by up to 30% to help with the growing water demand in south-east England; this will however put further demands on the River Medway to supply the additional water required with the potential for environmental degradation in the river and the eco-systems that it supports.
The reservoir in common with most large clean water lakes, is host to a large variety of wildlife. Many recreational activities take place around the reservoir; these include sailing and windsurfing and sculling, Canoeing and Kayaking, trout fishing and cycling. Bewl Water Outdoor Centre offers a wide range of training, team building and adventure opportunities, on and around Bewl Water. There is a passenger boat and a restaurant, conference facility and gift shop. Bewl Water Bewl Water Outdoor Centre Bewl Canoe Club Bewl Canoe Club facebook page Bewl Valley Sailing Club Bewl Sailing Association Ltd Bewl Bridge Rowing Club Bewl Water Reservoir water level
The River Bewl is a tributary of the River Teise in Kent, England. Its headwaters are in the High Weald, in Sussex between Lamberhurst and Flimwell; the valley is incised into Tunbridge Wells red sandstone, with a base of alluvium on Wadhurst clay. Between 1973 and 1975, a 900-metre dam was built across the Bewl valley; this formed a 30-metre-deep storage reservoir, with a surface area of 308 hectares. In times of good flow, water is extracted from the River Medway at Yalding and pumped through pipes into Bewl Water, where it is stored for times of heavy water demand; the River Bewl passes by Scotney Castle. At Finchcocks it enters the River Teise; the River Bewl and its tributaries powered a number of watermills. From source to mouth they were:- TQ 689 323 51°03′54″N 0°24′41″E The site of this watermill now lies in the middle of Bewl Water, it was one of those rare watermills, an overdrift mill, with the millstones driven from above. This arrangement is more found in windmills; when Bewl Water was built, the fourteenth century Mill House was dismantled and re-erected at Three Legged Cross, Wadhurst.
The overshot waterwheel was some 12 feet diameter by 6 feet 8 inches wide and was carried on a wooden axle. it drove a cast iron pit wheel 10 feet 8 inches diameter with 112 wooden cogs. A 5 inches square cast iron layshaft was driven. TQ 682 335 51°04′34″N 0°24′07″E The site of this ancient forge mill is now covered by the dam of Bewl Water. Chingley forge was built sometime between 1574 and 1589, when Richard Ballard was the tenant of Thomas Darell. Edward Pelham and James Thatcher bought the forge c.1595. In 1637 the forge was leased to Henry Darell; the forge seems to have been disused in 1653 and 1664, but was at work in 1717, producing 46 tons of iron in that year. It was marked on Budgen's map of 1724 and in 1726 the tenant was John Legas; the dam has been recorded as 100 metres long. TQ 684 327 51°04′08″N 0°24′16″E The site of this ancient blast furnace is now covered by the dam of Bewl Water, it was in the Culpeper family in the sixteenth century, Thomas Collepepper holding lands in Chingley in fief from Henry VIII in 1544.
The land had been in the ownership of the Abbey of Boxley, dissolved. The furnace was built between 1558 and 1565. In 1574 it was in the possession of Thomas Darell and the tenant was Thomas Dyke, it was sold by Edward Culpeper in 1595. In 1597 Thomas Dyke of Pembury leased Chingley Furnace to Richard Ballard of Wadhurst, his sons Thomas and Richard; the forge was powered by an undershot waterwheel. The sites were excavated in 1968/9 by the Wealden Iron Research Group. There is evidence that Chingley Forge was a hammer mill at some time as early as the first half of the thirteenth century; the dam was recorded as 50 metres long and 2.5 metres high. When the site was excavated in 1970, the remains of an overshot waterwheel 8 feet diameter and 1 foot wide were found. Medway watermills article
The Weald is an area of South East England between the parallel chalk escarpments of the North and the South Downs. It crosses the counties of Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey and has three separate parts: the sandstone "High Weald" in the centre; the Weald once was covered with forest, its name, Old English in origin, signifies "woodland". The term is still used today, as scattered farms and villages sometimes refer to the Weald in their names; the name "Weald" is derived from the Old English weald, meaning "forest". This comes from a Germanic root of the same meaning, from Indo-European. Weald is a West Saxon form; the Middle English form of the word is wēld, the modern spelling is a reintroduction of the Anglo-Saxon form attributed to its use by William Lambarde in his A Perambulation of Kent of 1576. In the Anglo-Saxon period, the area had the name Andredes weald, meaning "the forest of Andred", the latter derived from Anderida, the Roman name of present-day Pevensey; the area is referred to in Anglo-Saxon texts as Andredesleage, where the second element, leage, is another Old English word for "woodland", represented by the modern leigh.
The adjective for "Weald" is "wealden". The Weald is the eroded remains of a geological structure, an anticline, a dome of layered Lower Cretaceous rocks cut through by weathering to expose the layers as sandstone ridges and clay valleys; the oldest rocks exposed at the centre of the anticline are correlated with the Purbeck Beds of the Upper Jurassic. Above these, the Cretaceous rocks, include the Wealden Group of alternating sands and clays – the Ashdown Sand Formation, Wadhurst Clay Formation, Tunbridge Wells Sand Formation and the Weald Clay; the Wealden Group is overlain by the Lower Greensand and the Gault Formation, consisting of the Gault and the Upper Greensand. The rocks of the central part of the anticline include hard sandstones, these form hills now called the High Weald; the peripheral areas are of softer sandstones and clays and form a gentler rolling landscape, the Low Weald. The Weald–Artois Anticline continues some 40 miles further south-eastwards under the Straits of Dover, includes the Boulonnais of France.
Many important fossils have been found in the sandstones and clays of the Weald, for example, Baryonyx. The famous scientific hoax of Piltdown Man was claimed to have come from a gravel pit at Piltdown near Uckfield; the first Iguanodon was identified after a Mary Mantell unearthed some fossilised teeth by a road in Sussex in 1822. Her husband, Gideon Mantell, noticed they were many times larger; the area contains significant reserves of shale oil, totalling 4.4 billion barrels of oil in the Wealden basin according to a 2014 study, which Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said "will bring jobs and business opportunities" and help with UK energy self-sufficiency. Fracking in the area is required to achieve these objectives, opposed by environmental groups; some of the following notes in the early part of this section are taken from the High Weald website. Prehistoric evidence suggests that, following the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, the Neolithic inhabitants had turned to farming, with the resultant clearance of the forest.
With the Iron Age came the first use of the Weald as an industrial area. Wealden sandstones contain ironstone, with the additional presence of large amounts of timber for making charcoal for fuel, the area was the centre of the Wealden iron industry from through the Roman times, until the last forge was closed in 1813; the index to the Ordnance Survey Map of Roman Britain lists 33 iron mines. The entire Weald was heavily forested. According to the 9th-century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Weald measured 120 miles or longer by 30 miles in the Saxon era, stretching from Lympne, near Romney Marsh in Kent, to the Forest of Bere or the New Forest in Hampshire; the area was sparsely inhabited and inhospitable, being used as a resource by people living on its fringes, much as in other places in Britain such as Dartmoor, the Fens and the Forest of Arden. The Weald was used for centuries since the Iron Age, for transhumance of animals along droveways in the summer months. Over the centuries, deforestation for the shipbuilding, forest glass, brickmaking industries has left the Low Weald with only remnants of that woodland cover.
While most of the Weald was used for transhumance by communities at the edge of the Weald, several parts of the forest on the higher ridges in the interior seem to have been used for hunting by the kings of Sussex. The pattern of droveways which occurs across the rest of the Weald is absent from these areas; these areas include Ashdown Forest and Dallington Forest. The forests of the Weald were used as a place of refuge and sanctuary; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle relates events during the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Sussex when the native Britons were driven from the coastal towns into the recesses of the forest for sanctuary,: A. D. 477. This year came Ælle to Britain, with his three sons and Wlenking, Cissa, in three ships. There they slew many of the Welsh; until the Late Middle Ag
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom provide emergency care to people with acute illness or injury and are predominantly provided free at the point of use by the four National Health Services of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Emergency care including ambulance and emergency department treatment is free to everyone, regardless of immigration or visitor status; the NHS commissions most emergency medical services through the 14 NHS organisations with ambulance responsibility across the UK. As with other emergency services, the public access emergency medical services through one of the valid emergency telephone numbers. In addition to ambulance services provided by NHS organisations, there are some private and volunteer emergency medical services arrangements in place in the UK, the use of private or volunteer ambulances at public events or large private sites, as part of community provision of services such as community first responders. Air ambulance services in the UK are not part of the NHS and are funded through charitable donations.
Paramedics are seconded from a local NHS ambulance service, with the exception of Great North Air Ambulance Service who employ their own paramedics. Doctors are provided by their home hospital and spend no more than 40% of their time with an air ambulance service. Public ambulance services across the UK are required by law to respond to four types of requests for care, which are: Emergency calls Doctor's urgent admission requests High dependency and urgent inter-hospital transfers Major incidentsAmbulance trusts and services may undertake non-urgent patient transport services on a commercial arrangement with their local hospital trusts or health boards, or in some cases on directly funded government contracts, although these contracts are fulfilled by private and voluntary providers; the National Health Service Act 1946 gave county and borough councils a statutory responsibility to provide an emergency ambulance service, although they could contract a voluntary ambulance service to provide this, with many contracting the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance or another local provider.
The last St John Division, to be so contracted is reputed to have been at Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire, where the two-bay ambulance garage can still be seen at the branch headquarters. The Regional Ambulance Officers’ Committee reported in 1979 that “There was considerable local variation in the quality of the service provided in relation to vehicles and equipment. Most Services were administered by Local Authorities through their Medical Officer of Health and his Ambulance Officer, a few were under the aegis of the Fire Service, whilst others relied upon agency methods for the provision of part or all of their services.” The 142 existing ambulance services were transferred by the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 from local authority to central government control in 1974, consolidated into 53 services under regional or area health authorities. This led to the formation of predominantly county based ambulance services, which merged up and changed responsibilities until 2006, when there were 31 NHS ambulance trusts in England.
The June 2005 report "Taking healthcare to the Patient", authored by Peter Bradley, Chief Executive of the London Ambulance Service, for the Department of Health led to the merging of the 31 trusts into 13 organisations in England, plus one organisation each in Wales and Northern Ireland. Following further changes as part of the NHS foundation trust pathway, this has further reduced to 10 ambulance service trusts in England, plus the Isle of Wight which has its own provision. Following the passage of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, commissioning of the ambulance services in each area passed from central government control into the hands of regional clinical commissioning groups; the commissioners in each region are responsible for contracting with a suitable organisation to provide ambulance services within their geographical territory. The primary provider for each area is held by a public NHS body, of which there are 11 in England, 1 each in the other three countries. In England there are now ten NHS ambulance trusts, as well as an ambulance service on the Isle of Wight, run directly by Isle of Wight NHS Trust, with boundaries following those of the former regional government offices.
The ten trusts are: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust London Ambulance Service NHS Trust North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS TrustThe English ambulance trusts are represented by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, with the Scottish and Northern Irish providers all associate members. On the 14 November 2018 West Midlands Ambulance Service became the UK's first university-ambulance trust; the service was operated before reorganisation in 1974 by the St Andrews’ Ambulance Association under contract to the Secretary of State for Scotland. The Scottish Ambulance Service is a Special Health Board that provides ambulance services throughout whole of Scotland, on behalf of the Health and Social Care Directorates of the Scottish Government.
Due to the remote nature of many areas of Scotland compared to the other Home Nations, the Scottish Ambulance Service has Britain's only publi