The Society provides a programme of monthly talks and other meetings thoughout the year. Meetings start at 7.30pm on the second Thursday in the month (unless otherwise stated), and will take place at a specified venue or on Zoom, details of which are emailed out to members in advance. Non-members are welcome.
Programme for 2023
13th April at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'Bayham Old Abbey - from Canons to Camdens' - Roy Porter, a Senior Curator with English Heritage, reveals the lives of the abbey's occupants, from medieval canons through to a rich social life in the 18th and 19th centuries.
11th May at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'Lost Structures within Tunbridge Wells' - an illustrated talk by Nigel Stapple whose extensive archaeological research reveals an inhabited landscape far pre-dating our town's commonly recognised founding date of 1606.
8th June at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'Michelham Priory' - an illustrated talk by Helen Poole who traces the story of this property on a moated island in the Cuckmere river from its foundation in 1229, via Thomas Cromwell, to its modern life welcoming visitors to a place of tranquil beauty.
Wednesday 14th June
Annual Outing to Woolwich Arsenal and Lesnes Abbey
The Royal Arsenal was the largest manufactory in British history. At its peak, in 1916, it employed 79,000 with a further 20,000 under contract. Its history can be traced to 1517 when a gun-wharf was opened to serve the nearby Royal Naval Dockyard. From the 1670s the greatest architects of the day were engaged and the work of Hawksmoor, Vanbrugh, the Wyatts and many others can be seen. Twenty five of its buildings are on Historic England's list of structures of architectural and national significance.
Nearby Lesnes Abbey was founded by Richard de Luci in 1178 as penance for his role in the murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. The abbey was closed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525. It is now in ruins in an attractive wooded site. Lesnes Abbey is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is Grade II listed, with an ancient Mulberry Tree planted by King James I.
The coach will leave the Assembly Hall at 9.00am, so please be there to start loading at 8.45am. We then leave for a guided tour of the Woolwich Arsenal site followed by a ploughman's lunch at the historic Dial Arch Pub, a restored 18th century munitions factory. In the afternoon we visit Lesnes Abbey to walk around the ruins and the restored Monk's Garden returning to Tunbridge Wells by 5pm.
The cost is £35 per person to include coach travel, services of the tour guide, and ploughman's lunch (drinks extra).
To book please click on the link below:
Woolwich Arsenal and Lesnes Abbey Outing
or send a cheque to John de Lucy, 28 Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5TB.
Saturday 8th July
Garden Party 6pm to 8pm - at Birchmead, Nevill Gate, Warwick Park.
Details of tickets and how to book will be announced shortly.
- Friday 8th September to Sunday 17th September
Heritage Open Days in and around Tunbridge Wells.
- 14th September at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
The Local History Group presents its most recent work.
12th October venue to be confirmed
Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society Awards Evening - presented by Dr David Wright.
9th November at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
Annual General Meeting followed by an open forum for members.
12th November - 10.30 at the War Memorial
Remembrance Sunday - members are invited to attend the parade in Civic Way.
14th December at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'Overture, Beginners, Curtain up! Then 40 Years of Trinity' - an illustrated talk by Brian Lippard and Roger Norton who take us through a remarkable success story.
As this is the Christmas meeting the traditional refreshments of wine and mince pies will be provided after the presentation. Tea and coffee will also be available.
Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society - Registered Charity No. 276545