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(Home of the Groombridge Gang)

Name Derivation

General Details

Groombridge lies on the Tunbridge Wells to Forest Row road and fits along the Kent and Sussex border. The name may have been derived from Gromenbrigge the bridge over the river Grom.

Sir Richard Waller from Groombridge Place captured a French nobleman reputed to be Charles of Orleans or his brother Jean Duke of Angontime at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. It was said he was held at Groombridge the home of the Wallers for 20 years, during which time the ransom paid by the French court provided enough money for Sir Richard to rebuild Groombridge Place The ransom must have been quite substantial as Richard also rebuilt his local church at Speldhurst from the same funds.

The Groombridge Gang of smugglers appeared to have been formed in 1733 and was led by Robert Moreton and John Bowra. Much of their goods were landed at Lydd , Fairlight Bulverhythe and Pevensey and secreted in the Ashdown Forest to avoid discovery before being transported to London . They were quite dominant in the area, and worked with the Hawkhurst Gang and the Hooe Company . One of their leaders John Bowra was arrested for smuggling tea in 1737, then disappeared. Robert Moreton continued to lead the gang until 1749 when an informer Jerome Knapp shopped the gang to the authorities and they were held at Rochester until their trial.

In 1737 a detachment of the army was sent to Groombridge to restore order, this is probably when John Bowra was arrested, but this only caused the smugglers a minor inconvenience. The old village to the north of the bridge was the main area until 1864 when the railway was laid south of the village, and many businesses and houses were set up near the station, now the main part of the village.

Steam Trains run at the weekends from Groombridge to Tunbridge Wells on the Eridge line .


Groombridge has quite good local services with shops and public houses.

Royal Tunbridge Wells about 4 miles to the east provides a wide range of shops and supermarkets as you would expect from a large town.

The nearest main line train service again runs from Tunbridge Wells providing a regular service up to London and down to Hastings .


Groombridge has some very picturesque spots , the houses just north of the river crossing are quite pretty . The area is one of rolling hills and many trees providing pretty views all round.

It is well worth visiting the old station on a summer afternoon, to see and ride on the Steam Trains which progress through to Royal Tunbridge Wells .

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