The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex

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Mount Ephraim House    Mount Ephraim  Tunbridge Wells  

Books and other documents
PublishedTitle, author and references
1766The History of Tunbridge Wells by Thomas Benge Burr ⇒ p. 44
1840New Guide for Tunbridge Wells by John Colbran and edited by James Phippen ⇒ p. 82

Historical records

1665 to 1670HistoryMount-Ephraim-HouseBurr's Tunbridge Wells

In this space the assembly room (called Mount-Ephraim-House) was brought home from Rusthall to Mount Ephraim, on which a bowling green was inclosed, a tavern (now [in 1766] a lodging house but still retains its original name of the castle) was opened and many lodging houses were erected for the use of the company; but the triumph of the hill was short, Mount Sion became a formidable rival, and quickly eclipsed its growing splendor; for when the ball-room, the bowling green, and the lodging houses arose so near the spring, a less convenient distance was generally avoided

Thus in the course of a few years we find Tunbridge forsaken; Southborough and Rusthall raised and ruined; Mount Ephraim drooping; and Mount Sion in the full bloom of prosperity; this last indeed not only rivalled, but despoiled her predecessors, and triumphantly transferred their ornaments to herself; for many houses were brought from Southborough, Rusthall, and Mount Ephraim, to be rebuilt on Mount Sion; and some, whole and entire as they were, were wheeled on sledges to be fixed in this new seat of favour.

c 1670HistoryMount Ephraim HouseBurr's Tunbridge Wells

In this period, the place called Fish-ponds was opened for the amusement of the public; and as it was laid out in a pretty rural taste, and every way calculated for the entertainment of genteel company, while its managers continued carefully to maintain decency and strict decorun in its precincts, it was justly esteemed one of the principal scenes of diversion at Tunbridge; but when the vigilance of the managers dropped, low company admitted, and indecencies encouraged, it soon became disreputable for any of the fair sex to be seen there; which, as a natural consequence, very quickly reduced it to the ruinous condition in which it now [1766] remains.

1770 to 1809HistoryEphraim HouseColbran's Tunbridge Wells

… about the year 1770 a chapel was built for "The General Baptists," by the united exertions of Mr. Mathias Copper and Mr. Joseph Haines, both of whom were preachers in that persuasion, and the latter it appears held the ministry for about thirty years. This chapel was erected immediately adjoining Ephraim House, and was pulled down about the year 1809. On its site a row of cottages has been built, but the original Baptistry still remains. The burying ground, too, though sadly, we may say disgracefully neglected, still marks the spot, where some of the "rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep."

1839Tunbridge WellsTunbridge WellsEphraim HouseColbran's Tunbridge Wells

1840HistoryMount Ephraim HouseColbran's Tunbridge Wells

Ephraim House, we have already noticed as having probably been the residence of Charles 2nd. and his Court. It is a large commodious building, but some parts of it have been recently modernised - the old staircases however, still remaining in the back part of the house, shew that it must have been a mansion of some consequence. In making alterations in the house a few years since, a silver coin was found under one of the jambs of the kitchen chimney. From the situation in which it was discovered, it appeared to have been placed there when the foundations were laid. It is a shilling of Charles 1st., and bears on its obverse " Carolus D. G. Mag : Bri : Fr : et Hib : Rex." the head is very indistinct. On the reverse are the royal arms, with this inscription, " Christo : Auspice : Regno."

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