The Tunbridge Wells area is rich in ecclesiastical heritage and architecture and has some of the finest examples of churches in Kent.

From the splendid plasterwork ceiling of King Charles the Martyr in Royal Tunbridge Wells and the beautiful collection of stained glass at All Saints’ in Tudeley, to the magnificent ‘Cathedral of the Weald’, St Dunstan’s in Cranbrook.

There are 13 significant churches of historical interest around the borough of Tunbridge Wells.

All are located in stunning spots amongst the picturesque Wealden countryside too.

King Charles the Martyr, Royal Tunbridge Wells by Chris Parker
The Cathedral of the Weald, Cranbrook by David Hodgkinson
Get the best views of the Weald from St Mary's Church, Goudhurst by David Hodgkinson

Famous Histories and Backstories

Entrancing stories are an integral part of each and every church. Find a moustachioed angel in one, a pirate in another and a handful in the Doomsday book!

There is much artwork to be admired too. All Saints Church in Tudeley has the Chagall stained glass windows commemorating a local family’s tragedy of the last century.

All Saints’ Church in Brenchley has unique exhibitions of artistic glory by Bell and the company Morris & Co in its stained glass windows too.

St Mary’s, Goudhurst, stands proud of the top of the steep windy hill offering stunning views.  You can climb the squat tower on summer weekends and, on a good day you will be able to see approximately 23 miles to the south coast of Kent.

In Royal Tunbridge Wells, King Charles the Martyr was the making of respectability in the town and popular spa centre during the seventeenth century. Not to mention a place for Winnie the Pooh to sit! (Join a guided tour to learn more about this!)

You might be forgiven for thinking that Bayham Abbey as such a spectral ruin, is one of the oldest in the area, however, this honour belongs to the simplest church, St Martin of Tours in Ashurst, dating from between 921 and 927.

John Piper Window - St Mary's Church at Lamberhurst
St Paul's Church - Rusthall Village - by David Hodgkinson
Chagall Windows at Tudeley Church by David Hodgkinson

A Self Guided Tour

Take a trip (by car or bike) and discover the enduring beauty of English and Norman religious and architectural heritage in Kent.

Further intriguing tales, and a map, of all these thirteen fascinating churches in Kent can be found in an informative pocket guide ‘On the Wealden Churches Trail’, now available to download.

Stop off in local hostelries along the way and get a feel for the ancient past and cultural reference points from the locals.  Sometimes the smallest sources are the best!

This Google map gives an idea of a tour but not all 13 churches can be included. Use the Churches Trail leaflet in conjunction to help guide you. (Half Moon Road is in fact Pembury Old Church!).

Here you can find more inspiration on where to stay and where to eat. The Tourist Information Centre is of course on hand to advise.  All of the churches have at least partial, if not full, wheelchair access.