Emmanuel Church, sadly long demolished, stood in a commanding position facing the London Road on Mount Ephraim (almost opposite the present United Reformed Church). The congregation originated in the benevolence of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, and the labours of her chaplains. The first chapel was built in 1769, opening in July, with the Rev. George Whitfield preaching the first sermons. It was a quaint structure of weatherboard and tiles, which after being enlarged several times, was taken down in 1870.
This image of the old chapel is from a contemporary picture. It was built in the grounds of the old Culverden House, which was then occupied by the Countess of Huntingdon.
This was replaced by the building in the picture below, which was built in 1867 to plans from Mr Wimble of 2, Walbrook. The image was scanned from a "Pelton's Shilling Guide to Tunbridge Wells" of 1896.
The spire was 130 feet tall and was a conspicuous local landmark, visible in many of the antique postcards of Tunbridge Wells in my collection.
My great aunt, Nellie May Butler, married Sydney Saunders in this church on 11th June 1949.
Here is a view of the church in the early 20th century, viewed from the south.
The church was demolished in 1974 to improve access to the Kent & Sussex Hospital - an act of vandalism by the town's authorities.
Click here for a complete index of my Tunbridge Wells images.
Antique etchings and postcards
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