Royal Tunbridge Wells - St John's Road & Churches

St John's Road runs from the top of Grosvenor Road towards Southborough and Tonbridge.   Here is the church, after which the road is named, looking from the north.  It is number 6655 by an unknown publisher.

Tunbridge Wells - St John's Church

The next card is  No.119 in the Wells Series published by Harold H Camburn, Tunbridge Wells and is of a similar view.  The pleached hedge has grown significantly since the picture above was taken.

 Tunbridge Wells - St John's Church

Here is a view of the interior taken by Louis Levy in the early 20th century, number 3 in the series.  Nowadays the pews have been removed to make the space more flexible.

Tunbridge Wells - St John's Church - Louis Levy

In the view below, the church,is visible in the distance. Today this prospect would be unrecognisable, with the church being the only constant, and the erection of a new parish hall in front of the south elevation would hide much of that too!

Tunbridge Wells - St John's Road

Here is a similar view to the one above, taken from a little further back, with piles of snow each side of the road.

Here is another view, No. 32 in  a series published by LL.  Following the death of Canon Edward Hoare, known as the "Protestant Pontiff of Tunbridge Wells",  in 1894 aged 87, the gothic memorial at the entrance to Culverden Park Road was erected in his memory in Jubilee year.  Edward Hoare, the Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, had been the leading figure in the religious life of the town for forty years, with congregations in his church overflowing and some coming to Tunbridge Wells just to hear him preach.  The site on the left of the card now houses the telephone exchange, built in 1965; the houses behind the monument have all been demolished.  In the 1980s the Hoare Memorial was threatened with demolition due to road improvements, but fortunately it proved possible to move the complete structure in one piece a few yards to the north.  The pediment of the former Salem Chapel is just visible to the right of the picture.

Tunbridge Wells - St John's Road - LL

Here is a Valentine's postcard showing the view from the tower of St John's Church looking south towards the town (the opposite view to the one above).  The buildings on the right are the long demolished brewery, which can also be seen through the trees in the view above. Another view which has changed beyond recognition.  Even the spire of Emmanuel Church is gone (right distance) - demolished in the 1960s.

Tunbridge Wells - View from St John's Church tower looking south

And here is a card showing the view in the opposite direction - towards Southborough.  The Skinners' School is in the top right (with the small turret).

Tunbridge Wells - View from St John's Church tower looking north

Here is a hand coloured LL postcard showing St John's Church from the south - I would estimate the date of this is c.1910.

St John's Church, Tunbridge Wells, from the South

This colour view is taken from a more northerly location, looking back south towards the church, from a location close to the Skinners' School.

Tunbridge Wells - St John's Road looking south

The next card, is a delightful image of children playing in the St John's Recreation Ground, number 62 in the Wells Series published by H H Camburn.  I wonder if the "Standing on the Swings is not allowed" notice was ever heeded?

Tunbridge Wells - St John's Recreation Ground

This view is at the Southborough end of St John's Road, in fact the road changes to Southborough Road at this point.  It is a view looking north, with the Cross Keys Inn on the right.  The Technical College is now where the houses on the left are.  The Inn is still there.  Behind the trees is Southfield Park, the playing fields for Skinners School, where I spent many a miserable games afternoon during my secondary school years.

Tunbridge Wells - St John's Road looking north, Cross Keys Inn

Scanned antique postcards

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