TONERIDGE, or TUNBRIDGE, Kent, a market-town and the seat of a Poor-law Union, in the parish of Tonbridge, is situated chiefly on the left bank of the river Medway, in 51' 12' N. Int., 0° 16' E. long., distant 13 miles S.W. from Maidstone, 30 miles S.E. from Lonclou by road, and 41 miles by the London and South-Eastern rail way. The population of the town of Tonbridgo in 1851 was 4539. The living La a vicarage in the arehdcaconry of Maidstone and diocese of Canterbury. Tonbridgo Poor-Law Union contains 10 parishes and townships, with an area of 46,171) acres, and a population in 1851 of 28,545.
In the time of the Conqueror it castle was built at this place by Richard Fite-Gilbert, afterwards earl of Clare; and the town rose under the protectiou of the castle. In the civil troubles of the reign of Henry III. the castle was besieged and taken from its owner, Gilbert Rufus, earl of Clare, Gloucester, and Ilertford, by I'rince Edward. During the siege the garrison burnt the town. There was a priory at Tunbridge, founded by Richard do Clare, first earl of Hertford, for canons of St. Augustine. The town consists chiefly of one street, which is broad, and lighted with gas. There are several bridges over the Medway, which is navigable for barges up to this point, and is here divided Into various arms. Near the principal bridge is a wharf,
whence the timber brought from the IVeald is sent down the Medway. The church Le a large and handsome fabric, in various styles of archi tecture. The Independent.., Baptists, and Wesleyan Methodist, have plains of worship. There are a nelheudowed Free Grammar school, in the innnagement of the Skinners' Company; National and Infant schools ; a mechanics institute; a literary and scientific ivatitution, with reading-room and library ; a savings bank ; and some almshouses. The town-hall end the market-house are good buildings. Tho market is held on the first and third Tuesdays in each month, sad a fair ou October 11th. The trade of the town is In coal and timber brought from Maidstone for the supply of the neighbourhood ' • gunpowder and fancy wooden wares (called Tonbridge wares, from the town) are made to a email extent. The ruins of the castle, which are near one of the bridges, consist of the gate-house, flanked with round towers, and tolerably perfect, and of the artificial mound on which the keep stood: the outer walls inclosed an area of six acres.