The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
Great Culverden  Culverden Park  St Johns  Tunbridge Wells  

Books and other documents
PublishedTitle, author and references
1840New Guide for Tunbridge Wells by John Colbran and edited by James Phippen ⇒ p. 76

Historical records

1768HistoryGreat CulverdenColbran's Tunbridge Wells

In 1768, Lady Huntingdon resided at Tunbridge Wells, at a house on the Culverden, on the site of which Mrs. Jeddere Fisher's mansion is built. At this time Messrs. Shipman and Matthews, two of the students expelled from Oxford, applied for admission into her college at Trevecca, and were most cordially received at the Culverden by her ladyship. It now occurred to Lady Huntingdon that as she had two ministers in her house one of them should preach. Notice was accordingly sent round, that on such an evening there would be preaching before her door. At the appointed time a great many people had collected together, which the young men seeing inquired what it meant. Lady Huntingdon said, " As I have two preachers in my house, one of you must preach to the people." They in reply said, they had never preached publicly, and wished to be excused. Mr. Shipman was a ready speaker, but Mr. Matthews was remarkably diffident. Her ladyship therefore judged it best for Mr. S. to make the first attempt. While he hesitated she put a bible into his hand, insisting upon his appearing before the people, and either telling them that he was afraid to trust in God, or, to do the best he could. So on the servant's opening the door, her ladyship thrust him out on the steps which led up to it, with her blessing, saying, " The Lord be with you, do the best you can." He preached from Gen. vi. 3. After this Mr. Shipman preached in many parts of the kingdom.

1839Tunbridge WellsTunbridge WellsGreat CulverdenColbran's Tunbridge Wells

1840HistoryThe CulverdenColbran's Tunbridge Wells

As you approach the Wells, on the right is the Culverden property, which formerly belonged to the Countess of Huntingdon, who resided here. The present elegant mansion, built by the late J. Jeddere Fisher, Esq., and now the residence of Mrs. Fisher, is not seen from the road, but we may with truth apply the same terms in speaking of it now as were used of "The Culverden" upwards of seventy years since, " It is as happily situated as almost any house in the place." In one part of the grounds there is an unique building, having its lower apartments hewn out of the sand rock. It is called the Swiss Cottage, and both the exterior and interior well merit the name, as may be judged from the annexed wood-cut.

In another part of the grounds, and in a most romantic situation, is a tower, built also by Mr. Fisher, which overlooks an extensive tract of country, and looks down immediately on a wild glen, which with the necessary adjuncts of moustachiod faces and high crowned hats, would have formed a capital study for Salvator Rosa. There is also an interesting subject for the naturalist to be found here. In the ravine at the foot of the Castle, from three to six feet below the stir-face, lie buried large trunks and branches of birch trees in a tolerably perfect state, and with the rind (notable for its thin texture) in better preservation than the wood itself.

3rd Apr 1881CensusWilliam Swan, M, Head, married, age 67, born Plaxtol, Kent; occupation: gardenerWilliam Swan, gardenerEntrance Lodge, Great Culverden1881 Census
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Alice Swan, F, Wife, married, age 65, born Sutton At Hone, KentAlice Swan

3rd Apr 1881CensusJames M.O. Byng, M, Head, married, age 62, born London, occupation: honarable J.P. and L.D.L. for KentJames M.O. Byng, honarable J.P. and L.D.L. for KentGreat Culverden1881 Census
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Caroline L. Byng, F, Wife, married, age 56, born Tooting, SurreyCaroline L. Byng
Emmiline Walker, F, Visitor, single, age 34, born Edinboro, Scotland; occupation Private SecretaryEmmiline Walker
Thomas Waghorne, M, Servant, single, age 27, born N K, Kent; occupation ButlerThomas Waghorne
George Field, M, Servant, single, age 21, born Lympsham, Somerset; occupation: footmanGeorge Field
Phoebe Macmain, F, Servant, single, age 43, born Pytchley, Northampton; occupation: housekeeperPhoebe Macmain
Mary Morris, F, Servant, single, age 27, born Willington, Derby; occupation: cookMary Morris
Cordelia Hollge, F, Servant, single, age 31, born London; occupation: housemaidCordelia Hollge
Eliza Drury, F, Servant, single, age 22, born Biddenden, Kent; occupation: housemaidEliza Drury
Jane Mutton, F, Servant, single, age 18, born Wateringbury, Kent; occupation: kitchenmaidJane Mutton

3rd Apr 1881CensusHenry Bowles, M, Head, married, age 42, born Malling, Kent; occupation: coachmanHenry Bowles, coachmanGreat Culverden Stables1881 Census
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Anne Bowles, F, Wife, married, age 43, born Wadhurst, SussexAnne Bowles
Ellen M. Bowles, F, Daughter, single, age 11, born Tunbridge Wells, Kent; occupation: scholarEllen M. Bowles
Emily L. Bowles, F, Daughter, age 10, born Tunbridge Wells, Kent; occupation: scholarEmily L. Bowles
Charlotte Bowles, F, Daughter, age 9, born Tunbridge Wells, Kent; occupation: scholarCharlotte Bowles
Martha Bowles, F, Daughter, age 6, born Tunbridge Wells, Kent; occupation: scholarMartha Bowles
Henry J. Bowles, M, Son, age 4, born Tunbridge Wells, KentHenry J. Bowles
Thomas R. Bowles, M, Son, age 2, born Tunbridge Wells, KentThomas R. Bowles

3rd Apr 1881CensusGeorge Kember, M, Head, married, age 35, born Hartfield, Sussex; occupation: gardenerGeorge Kember, gardenerGreat Culverden Gardeners Cottages, Mount Ephraim1881 Census
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Sophie Kember, F, Wife, married, age 32, born Tunbridge Wells, KentSophie Kember
Arthur G. Kember, M, Son, age 6, born Tunbridge Wells, Kent; occupation: scholarArthur G. Kember
Ellen M. Kember, F, Daughter, age 4, born Tunbridge Wells, Kent; occupation: scholarEllen M. Kember
Fred. R. Kember, M, Son, age 3, born Tunbridge Wells, KentFrederick R. Kember
Alice E. Kember, F, Daughter, age 1, born Tunbridge Wells, KentAlice E. Kember

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