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Tonbridge is a market town in the English county of Kent, with a population of 40,356 in 2015. It is located upon the River Medway, approximately 4mi north of Royal Tunbridge Wells, south west of Maidstone and south east of London. It belongs to the administrative borough of Tonbridge and Malling .HistoryToponymyThe town was recorded in the Domesday Book 1087 as Tonebrige, which may indicate a bridge belonging to the estate or manor (from the Old English tun), or alternatively a bridge belonging to Tunna, a common Anglo-Saxon man's name. Another theory suggests that the name is a contraction of "town of bridges", due to the large number of streams the High Street originally crossed.Until 1870, the town's name was spelt Tunbridge, as shown on old maps including the 1871 Ordnance Survey map and contemporary issues of the Bradshaw railway guide. In 1870, this was changed to Tonbridge by the GPO due to confusion with nearby Tunbridge Wells, despite Tonbridge being a much older settlement. Tunbridge Wells has always maintained the same spelling.Normans and Tonbridge CastleTonbridge stands on spur of higher land where the marshy River Medway could be more easily forded. Ancient trackways converged at this point. There is no record of any bridge before 1191. For much of its existence, the town remained to the north of the river, since the land to the south was subject to extensive seasonal flooding. One part of the town is called 'Dryhill'. Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare founded the Priory of St Mary Magdalene in 1124.Tonbridge is in Kent. Plan your vacation with our United Kingdom road trip planning site and discover the best things to do in Tonbridge.
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