Taking the Waters
The Chalybeat Spring was discovered In 1606 by a young nobleman named Dudley Lord North. He was returning on horseback to London having spent a few days on the ale at the Abergavenny Estate at nearby Eridge. He noticed reddish waters seeping from the ground and dismounted to take a drink. Feeling revived after drinking the iron-rich waters, he continued his journey to London where he told all of his friends about the wonderful health giving waters he had discovered.
Word of the waters soon spread and visitors began flocking to the little settlement that was growing around the spring. The water would be served by a "dipper" who would make a small charge for their service. This custom still survives today, the dippers serve water to visitors throughout the summer months, but the settlement has grown a bit, its now a major town known as Royal Tunbridge Wells.
One word of warning though; The water tastes awful!