Water in the Wells


Because of the large amount of water in Grosvenor and Hilbert Park (top photo) I’ve been along to a few meetings of another town group ‘Water in the Wells’. Our water in Grosvenor is all spring fed, and the park is located on former water reservoirs for the town. As well as this lake, we have many springs, streams and boggy areas. It’s possible parts of the park resemble the Pantiles area as it was in 1606; there ran the River Grom and a chalybeate spring, from which Lord North drank after a night out partying. This spring is the basis of the whole Spa town – the Wells of Tonbridge.

The aim of ‘Water in the Wells’ is to make us all more aware of our watery heritage, by making the most of what we already have (Brighton Lake, Dunorlan Lake, Grosvenor Lake, Sherwood Lake, Pantiles Spring) and encouraging the addition of water in the landscaping of new developments (eg on the former Kent and Sussex Hospital site). The group is an off-shoot of ‘The Town Forum’ and those attending meetings are generally involved with other Friends and Town groups.

Our Council are currently looking at de-cluttering Five Ways (bottom photo) and a suggestion has been made that water is added into this key-central location, maybe with a shallow water flowing over an improved base to the clock. This area is becoming our ‘Coffee Corner’ and could be a great top of the town meeting piazza to complement the Pantiles at the bottom of the town.

‘Water in the Wells’ is slowly getting established, and is looking for a logo that will embrace springs, wells, lakes and fountains, as well as the cultural past of Royal Tunbridge Wells. If you fancy having a go – comment in the box below and I’ll pass on your details!


9 thoughts on “Water in the Wells

  1. I love the idea of shallow water flowing over an improved base to the clock! It would also stop people sitting on it. Lol. I will also see if any of the K College/University of Kent graphic design students would like to try designing a logo for you 🙂

  2. I’m all for more water features around the town / local area but shudder at the idea of ‘making us all aware of our watery heritage’. Tunbridge Wells as a viable spa town is a dead duck, and it’s about time we let sleeping dogs (and wells) lie and started looking forward. So let’s use water to prettify the town for everyone’s benefit in the future, rather than trying to recapture a past that only a tiny percentage want but which we will all have to pay for. I’m sure most local kids learnt local history in school. If it had seemed relevant to them (us) today it would have been preserved, and if it had seemed relevant in a wider context then ‘a Day at the Wells’ would never have fallen out of fashion. 🙂

    • ‘A Day at the Wells’ exhibition quite a different idea to water and open spaces. One day I’ll send you all the facts and figures on life enhancement due to improved local surroundings …. Please note the ‘One Day’ part (‘One Day in the Wells’)

      • Yes, I know… it was the ‘making us aware of our watery heritage’ bit that led me up that particular path. Or should I say canal, given the subject matter? 🙂

  3. Interestingly I can’t reply again to David, however, I didn’t pick up on the ‘local kids’ bit – not everyone is local who lives here? My local history knowledge is of Canterbury Cathedral…

  4. I thought – declutter was a euphemism for decommission the Jon Mills clock for a moment – but then I read on and see it isn’t. Such heated debate when it was chosen in the late 90’s. Maybe like much public art the debate turns from hate to love over time…or perhaps not? As Im no longer a local I can’t judge!

    • Declutter = take out bollards and making the road a shared space; there are many people who would still like the clock to go away in the process – but I feel it’s here to stay!

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