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The History of Kent

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History of Groombridge

Groombridge comes from the Old English ‘grome’ meaning a ‘young man’; therefore, is a ‘bridge where the young men congregate’. The first recorded entry is as Gromenebregge, in 1239.

In 1239, Henry III granted Groombridge to William Russell - who built a moated castle – together with a charter to construct a chantry. By 1618, Groombridge belonged to John Packer, a deeply religious man who built a private Chapel-of-Ease to Speldhurst. In 1662, Phillip Packer, with the help of his friend Christopher Wren, built a new house renaming it Groombridge Place. However, upon Packers early death, at age 32, the estate vested in the Chancery, and lay empty for 20 years. In 1872, the chapel ceased to be used for private worship, and the Bishop on Tonbridge consecrated and dedicated it to St John the Evangelist…. more

Groombridge railway station opened on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway’s, Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells Central Line, in 1866. Following the Beaching reports, of 1963 and 1965, for reconstructing the railways, Groombridge station finally closed on 6 July 1985.

The Spa Valley Railway, a heritage line, re-opened the Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells Central Line, terminating at Groombridge, in December 1996. They extended the line to Eridge, in 2011, allowing passengers to connect, via a footbridge, to Southern services to London Bridge.