Evidence suggests that during the Iron Age people farmed the fields and
mined the iron-rich rocks in the Tunbridge Wells area, and excavations in 1940
and 1957–61 by James Money at High Rocks uncovered the remains of a defensive
hill-fort. It is thought that the site was occupied into the era of Roman Britain,
and the area continued to be part of the Wealden iron industry until its demise
in the late eighteenth century – indeed, an iron forge remains in the grounds
of Bayham Abbey, in use until 1575 and documented until 1714.
The area which is now Tunbridge Wells was part of the parish of Speldhurst