St John's Recreation Ground, Tunbridge Wells 3104

Tunbridge Wells, England, Kent, Tunbridge Wells

Brief Description

Land for the creation of the recreation ground was acquired in 1899. Features include grassland with trees, a pavilion, tennis and bowling facilities and a Victorian glazed tile fountain.


The recreation ground was opened on 13th June 1900 although developments, additions and enlargements to the park continued throughout the 20th century.

Visitor Facilities

This is a municipal site for general public use.

Detailed Description

Grassland with trees and shrubs and herb borders add garden interest around the pavilion, tennis courts and bowling green. An Atlantic Cedar graces the entrance near to the Victorian glazed-tile fountain.
  • Ornamental Fountain
  • Description: The green Doulton ware fountain was given by local resident John H Love, of Pembury Grange in Sandown Park. It was formally accepted by the Mayor in August 1919 and installed in the spring of 1920. Having latterly ceased to function it object narrowly escaped disposal in 1971, but was eventually restored structurally and to working order by the Borough Council in 1994.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: Atlantic Cedar.
Bowling Green, Pavilion, Tennis Lawn
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

This is a municipal site for general public use.

Detailed History

The land for St John's recreation ground was purchased by the descendents of the first mayor of Tunbridge Wells who opened this second municipal park in his memory.

A temporary bandstand was erected at the start of the 20th century which continued to be used into the 1930s. A tea house was erected in 1914 although only the foundations survive today. The tea house was converted in 1942 into a decontamination centre in readiness to provide assistance to the civilian population in the event of a poison gas attack.

The park's most distinctive feature is the large green Doulton ware fountain which acts as a centrepiece in the lawn by the main entrance. The fountain was installed in 1920 and restored to working order in 1994.

The park was extended in 1961 with the addition of a strip of land between the park and Reynolds Lane which had been used as allotments. In 1990 a further 8 acres of meadow land was purchased and added to the park and it is intended that this area will be maintained in its current form.




  • Kent Gardens Trust