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Town of Bridges

How did Tonbridge get it’s Name

One story says the town got its name from the many bridges that crossed over the river Medway in the town. There were 5 streams in the town so they named the town Tonbridge shortened from the word  “Town of Bridges



I liked this story so I went to see how many Bridges were left

This is a picture of the great bridge down the centre of the town.

It was built in 1775 and it is made of stone. Before the stone bridge was made it would have been wood but they changed it because it had collapsed to many times. The stone bridge got demolished in 1888 to make way for an even stronger bridge. This is because it was a very busy bridge used by horses and carts daily carrying coal and timber, it was also the only route to London. All the buildings you can see in the picture were also demolished for the development of the new iron bridge built by the Gray brothers in 1887 the year of Queen Victoria,s Golden Jubilee. 

If you walk behind the high street in between Waitrose and the angel centre along the little path, and look on the wall on the back of the buildings you can see a bricked up arch of one of the other bridges, then if you go around the front you can see a plaque on the wall to mark this bridge.  This is a new plaque because the other one was hit by a car and broken.

This was a bridge crossing one of the many streams passing through the town that was diverted many years ago

If you carry on along the path you come to a more recent bridge crossing the river where if you look towards the town you can see the little bridge. This was also built by the Gray brothers in 1890. This is a most important bridge in our town because this is the origanal river that ran through the town. All the other streams and even what we call today the Medway at the great bridge was a small stream of of this one.

All the other bridges in the high street have gone but there are  still many other bridges and crossings in the river so you could still call the town of Tonbridge

Town of Bridges