This page is about recent Finds & Donations from local Town Folk
Antique engravings Chequres 1899 & 1901.
In the engravings you can see the original town hall that stood in the centre of the high street just up from the Chequers 1899 then without with the artist showing the road to be very narrow. yet the 1901 engraving has the older feel with the artist giving the building a older look.
Antique engraving Tunbridge Castle.
Lovely engraving one of over 100 engravings i have of the Castle and Town .
Antique engraving Tunbridge Castle William Bailey Esq 1820
1831 William Bailey, the owner devises the castle in his will to Frances, Lady Stafford
It was Frances Lady Stafford, who at the end, sold Tonbridge Castle to Tonbridge Urban District Council
Quarry Hill - Mabledon Park
In 1804 Mr. James Burton (a Scottish man, originally called Halliburton) who was already a well-known and successful speculative property developer in London and elsewhere acquired as a family home, Quarry Hill, south of Tonbridge, overlooking the Medway Valley.
Burton re-named the house Mabledon and had it re-modeled in the Gothic style the house well hidden at the top of Quarry Hill was also down to Burton the original road being very steep climb ran very close to the house, so James Burton arranged largely at his own expense to have a new road cut through the hill, so easing the steep climb.
This was said to ease the climb and make the road much better which it did but it brought advantage to Burton himself, as he made sure that the new road ran further away from the house.
QUARRY HILL seat of James Burton Esq - near Tunbridge 1st April 1807
James Burton had sold the house in 1828 to John Deacon, of William's Deacon's Bank in London who later commissioned 29 year old established architect Decimus Burton, the tenth child of James Burton former owner of Mabledon to design a new wing for Mabledon.
The wing he developed can be seen in the later print also the slim round towers
MABLEDON PARK The seat of John Deacon Esq 1838.
Lovely pair of matching prints published 22nd April 1861 by Rock & Co
William Frederick Rock (1801 – 1890) founded the London publishers Rock & Co., who published steel engraved vignette views in the form of cards, fancy stationery, and books and booklets.
The business prospered and Rock became a wealthy man, but with no wife or children to support he decided to give generously to his birth place Barnstaple. At first he founded the Literary and Scientific Institution in 1845 and then, later the North Devon Athenæum in 1888. He also financed the purchase of land for Rock Park in Barnstaple and he set up a Convalescent Home in Mortehoe
View of the Castle and part of the town Tunbridge in Kent.
Engraved by Harry Ashby from the artwork Lewes painter James Lambert Jnr. 1741-1799
Harry Ashby 1744 – 1818 was an English writing-engraver from Gloucestershire was apprenticed to a clockmaker in that town and at that time engraved dial-plates, spoons, and tankards . later he moved to London his principal employment being to engrave maps and charts
The Port Reeve’s House, The Old Ivy House
A truly beautiful watercolor Painted by Peter D wint – 9th September 1845.
Peter De Wint born 21 January 1784 stone Staffordshire – Died 30 January 1849) he was an English landscape painter. A number of his pictures are in the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum He moved to London in 1802, and was apprenticed legally bound through indenture to amaster craftsman in order to learn a trade this being to John Raphael Smith, the mezzotint engraver and portrait painter. Peter bought his freedom from Smith in 1806, on condition that he supplied 18 oil paintings over the following two years.
De Wint ranks as one of the chief English watercolorists
The Port Reeve’s House tucked away in East Street.
A Grade two listed building that has been placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest and Heritage protection
This is said to be the oldest house in tonbridge and dates back from around 12/13th century also known as the Ivy house and was once believed to be the Old Swan Inn as East Street was formally know as Swan Lane until around the 1860s
A extract from The Tonbridge of Yesterday
by Arthur H. Neve
published by Tonbridge Free Press, Ltd in 1933
Plate Drawing number 6 from The Tonbridge of Yesterday by George Mackley (born 1900 in Huntingdon, died 1983 in Tonbridge, Kent) a English wood engraving artist.
|Nice Oil Painting of the Old Ivy House signed AC - no date
A charming intricate pencil drawing, signed & inscribed ‘South side of Somerhill, Kent’ / CT Dodd, 1836.
Charles Tattershall Dodd - The elder (1815-1878). Born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 1815. Educated at the Royal College of Art London, where he won a Gold Medal for drawing. More commonly known as - The Artist of Tunbridge Wells.
A rare early example of CT Dodd’s work
Below another watercolour painted the same year as Dodds sketch title Summer Hill Tunbridge 28th June 1836 - Unknown Artist
Note both the spelling "Somerhill and Tunbridge"
Below : Replica on canvas of Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851 of Somerhill the original is in The National Gallery of Scotland. In 1811, Somerhill was painted by Turner for the Woodgates Family the location was chosen by the lake in the grounds looking up to the house.
Below : Interestingly another view similar to Tuners painting dated 1825 – Unknown artist
Mix and Match - Turner & Unknown Artist
Somerhill House is a grade 1 listed jacobean mansion situated in Tonbridge Kent. It was built for Richard de Burgh in 1611–13. The estate was sequestrated by Parliament in 1645, and restored to its rightful owner in 1660. The building had become derelict by the mid-eighteenth century but was later restored. Somerhill was painted by Turner in 1811. It was bought by a member of the Goldsmid family in 1849 and greatly extended between 1879 and 1897, making it the second largest house in Kent, after Knole House Sevenoaks.
Below some of many additional prints in my collection.
As a personal note regarding Somerhill my Grandfather from my mother’s side grew up in Somerhill Road Tonbridge with a lovely view of the house in the distance My Grandfather use to race Greyhounds and his star winner was a Greyhound called Somerhill Sunrise. I will track the trophy and pictures down from my Uncles and add to this post.
Grandfather with Somerhill Sunrise
Winner of 10 out of 13 races
Tonbridge “Mustache Cup”
During the Victorian era mustaches of all sorts flourished, being a form of male pride, with some men going to extreme lengths to grow a perfect example such as the Walrus and handlebar mustaches that were in style through much of Victoria’s reign.
The problem was how to maintain and shape, it required the use of a special wax to keep it nice and stiff and in perfect shape. With one problem solved this lead to another being e Gentleman’s past time drinking a hot steaming cup of tea or coffee the steam melted the wax and dripped it right into the cup and leaving the mustache drooping .
The “Mustache Cup”, was born
Invented about 1860 by a British potter named Harvey Adams his solution to this problem was quite simple, adding a the ledge with a hole in it to allowed the passage of liquids, but shielded the mustache keeping it fresh and dry.
Being invented and tried and tested in Britain and proved very popular, with news of its existence spreading quickly amongst all social classes.
The new invention spread all over the European continent and soon, every famous potter was making the new cups. Its popularity even led Industrial manufacturers shipping them to new markets, especially America.
The popularity of these cups lasted until the beginning of the First World War, when clean cut military faces replaced those fabulous Walrus and handlebar mustaches that were in style through much of Victoria’s reign.