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Tonbridge is a market town resided on the River Medway in the English County of Kent. The town has a total population of 40,356 according to the census of 2015. Tonbridge is approximately 47 km south-east of London, 19 km south-west of Maidstone and 6 km north of Royal Tunbridge Wells. The town was earlier spelt as Tunbridge, and in the year 1870, it was changed to Tonbridge. Richard Fitz Gilbert built a castle in the 11th century. He also has the responsibility to govern England in William I’s absences. The climate of the town is similar to the other regions of United Kingdom. Temperature remains mild and in winter snow falls occasionally.
The town has one of the busiest railway station of Kent. There are 4.1 million passengers approximately each year. Trains run to London, Hastings, Ashford and Redhill from this station. The town also has several bus routes and is served by the A21, A26 roads. M25 motorway is closest to the town Tonbridge. KMFM West Kent and Heart Kent are the two local commercial radio stations of the town. KMFM studios were originally based in Tonbridge (now in Medway). Kent and Sussex Courier, a local newspaper is the widest readership covering the town.
Richard Fitz Gilbert acquired the town and the adjacent area after the Norman Conquest. It was known with the name of Lowy of Tonbridge. It covers the area of Tonbridge rural, Hadlow, Southborough and Hildenborough. Tonbridge and Southborough became urban districts under the local government reforms in 1894. Tonbridge became the part of local government district of Tonbridge and Malling from 1974. It is distributed into seven local government wards which are Medway, Judd, Vauxhall, Cage Green, Higham, Trench and Castle. Out of 53 seats of the Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, these wards have 15 seats. This Council has the responsibility for running local services like refuse collection, recreation and council housing. For social services, education and trading standards, Kent County Council is responsible. Tonbridge town is in the Parliamentary constituency of Tonbridge and Malling. Thomas Tugendhat from The Conservative Party presently represented in parliament.
Sir Andrew Judde founded the Tonbridge School (independent school for boys) in 1553. It is located in the centre of the town. The Judd School, Tonbridge Grammar School (for girls) and Weald of Kent Grammar School are some of the grammar school in the town. Some schools of Tonbridge town have specialist status:
Hilden Grange School, Sussex road County Primary School, Cage Green Primary School, St Stephens Primary School are some of the primary schools in the Tonbridge town. West Kent College is preferred for higher education by the students. The town also has a small campus of the University of Kent.
Tonbridge town has many famous attractions for visitors. One of them is Tonbridge Castle, the 11th-century castle and is a Kent’s best example of a motte and bailey gatehouse. Tonbridge castle was reconstructed in the 13th century. In 1900, it was purchased by the local council, and they used it as offices. The Tudor Trail, a 6-mile cycle ride to Penshurst Place has its start from this castle. Haysden Country Park is another tourist attraction located on the outskirts of the Tonbridge town. It covers the area nearly about 160 acres of countryside. Barden Lake and Haysden Water are the two lakes in this park. Variety of wildlife can be seen in this park such as waterfowl, insect’s life and wildflowers.