The High Rocks are about a mile and a half in a westerly direction from the Pantiles and were once a far-famed attraction of the town - as the number of different postcards printed of the location attest. They are on the edge of Broadwater Forest and are still open to visitors.
I believe this Valentine's card shows the point where Tea Garden Lane joins High Rocks Lane near Cold Bath Farm - however I am not completely sure and would welcome confirmation or alternative suggestions.
This view shows the halt on the erstwhile railway line from Tunbridge Wells to Brighton via Groombridge, Eridge, Uckfield and Lewes. The stretch from Tunbridge Wells to Groombridge is currently owned and run by the Spa Valley railway, who have plans to re-open the line as far as Eridge. There is also massive support from the affected Kent and Sussex communities for re-opening through to Lewes, with support from local MPs and local authorities; however there is regrettable resistance from central government bodies. I wish the campaigners well - the line should never have been closed.
The bridge carries High Rocks Lane over the line.
Here is the entrance to High Rocks from a card c.1910 - the publisher is not identified.
Here is a view of a children's playground at the High Rocks, number 38 taken by Lankester of Tunbridge Wells. It was posted in 1904. I don't think that see-saw would meet modern health and safety requirements!
Here is a view of the rocks, number 67 in a series published by LL. The path seems to be lines with some rather bedraggled rhododendron or laurel bushes - perhaps freshly planted?
Another card by LL, this time No. 24, shows the High Rocks Hotel which seems to be almost engulfed in creepers! This old 17th century hostelry had been renamed the High Rocks Hotel by the beginning of the 20th century, and is now the High Rocks Inn.
Here is a detail from the image, presumably showing staff and visitors to this attraction.
A Raphael Tuck "Silverette Series" card, posted in 1908, shows the chasm through the rocks. I have many cards with a very similar view published by different companies.
A narrow chasm leads to the Bell Rock, so called because it rings when struck. The rock once contained an epitaph to a lap-dog which fell the fissure:
This scratch I make that you may know
On this rock lyes the beauteous Bow;
Reader, this Rock is the Bow's Bell,
Strike't with thy stick and ring his knell."
Another rock, the Warning Rock, carried the following lines by J. Phippen:
"Infidel! who, with thy finite wisdom,
Wouldst grasp things Infinite, and dost become
A scoffer of God's holiest Mysteries,
Behold this Rock, then tremble and rejoice,
Tremble! for HE who formed the mighty mass,
Could, in His justice, crush the where thou art:
Rejoice that still His mercy spares thee."
Here is two views from the Valentine's series, the first depicts of the Bell Rock. The second shows the chasm from the opposite direction to the Tuck card above.
The next three are published by Salmon of Sevenoaks. The first, number 653, is by F W Burton and was posted in 1912.
These two autumnal views were painted by A R Quinton and are both numbered1290 and illustrate how the A R Quinton cards were often modernised by removing people in dated clothing. If you look closely you can see their ghostly remains on the second image.
The next two cards show some of the facilities provided to visitors to the rocks. The first, number 48491in the GRANO SERIES published by W T French, High Rocks Hotel, Tunbridge Wells, shows the Tea House.
The next card is taken from a position further back from the one above; the Tea House is visible in the right background. The card is number 506 published by J W Alexander & Co, Publishers, Forest Gate, London.
There is also a lake at High Rocks, here a two early pictures, both are from c.1900 - 1910.
The first doesn't identify the publisher.
The second card is a hand coloured Valentine's card, number 57680.
The last two images are views of other areas of the rocks, the first is number 55 by Stafford's of Tunbridge Wells, posted in 1910, the second is number 49897 published by the Photochrom Co. Ltd., Royal Tunbridge Wells.
Scanned antique postcards
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