Maybe it is because we have so many beautiful old buildings, but I sometimes forget how new Tunbridge Wells actually is. We haven’t in fact got as long a history as the USA.
This really struck me on Heritage Weekend when we finished off our tour of local churches at Capel.
The Church of St Thomas a Becket here is old even by mediaeval standards, with parts being built not long after the conquest. I was delighted to find something so old inside the borough, if only just- like it’s neighbouring church in Tudely (of the Chagall windows) this building is actually nearer to Tonbridge than it is to the rest of us.
The Church itself has a simple elegance inside:
Somewhat more dramatic is a set of mediaeval wall paintings which were only discovered and restored in 1967:
Outside is a beautiful graveyard where it is believed that St Thomas A Beckett actually preached – hence the name:
A stark reminder of the age of the graveyard was this tombstone hidden in the roots of a tree:
We followed our visit with a walk through a nearby orchard:
And finally, some local woods: