Siamese twins were born here in 1100 and have remained famous ever since. Known as the Biddenden Maids, they founded a charity distributing cakes to the poor of the village which is still commemorated nowadays.
The Kent and Canterbury Hospital Postgraduate Medical Library (CT1 3NG) has a collection of books relating to the history of medicine.
The cathedral has a series of mediaeval stained glass windows arranged around the shrine of St Thomas a Becket depicting healing and other miracles which are supposed to have been wrought at his tomb. The ruins of a mediaeval monastic infirmary are visible near the cathedral.
Joyce Green Hospital was once the centrepiece of the Metropolitan Asylums Board complex of smallpox and isolation hospitals at Long Reach. There was a large and impressive complex of buildings, with some remains of the tram-tracks, etc of the hospital's railway system, which conveyed patients from ambulance steamers bringing them down river. The pier, the steamers and the horse-drawn trams have all vanished but the hospital's archives in the London Metropolitan Archives are rich in photographs and in case-notes of the smallpox patients.
Home of one of the Britain's most celebrated biologists, Charles Darwin, Down House at Downe is a memorial to the life and work of this remarkable man whose theories laid the foundation for understanding concepts which have since been important in the development of modern medical theory. Many of Darwin's personal belongings are on display, his journal on the Beagle, his scientific apparatus and biological specimens.
Contact English Heritage Booking Line on (44) 870 603 0145 for opening times and further details. Entry is by timed ticket.
Birth place of William Harvey but the house in which this event took place on April 1st 1578 has been demolished and there is nothing more for Harvey devotees to discover than a plaque in Church Street, near the corner with Rendezvous Road commemorating this auspicious occasion. However, there is a fine statue of Harvey looking out to sea near the bandstand in The Leas and every year on Harvey's birthday, flowers are laid here as a commemoration.
Royal Sea Bathing Hospital was founded in 1791 by John Coakley Lettsom, opening five years later. Designed by Revd John Pridden, it pioneered sea-bathing (thalassotherapy) and open-air treatment for tuberculosis, though only in the summer months. After 1858, indoor salt water baths were provided and treatment could be taken more comfortably all year round. The hospital closed in the mid 1990's but the original building, overlooking the beach still survives, though swallowed up by later additions and all is in decline and approaching dereliction.
Tuberculosis settlement (c.f. Papworth, Cambs) founded in 1920
St Bartholomew's Hospital was founded in 1078 for the "poor and leprous'' by Bishop Gundulph, the architect of the Tower of London. The only part of the original hospital to survive is the chapel.
The chalybeate spring at Tunbridge Wells was discovered in 1606 by Lord North. A thriving spa developed but little remains of this today.