A small square tile which gives its name to Tunbridge Wells’ iconic colonnade of shops and other facilities for visitors coming to ‘take the waters’ dates back to the 1680s and was originally known as the Walks.
Showing Kent as a centre for fashionable society and Royal patronage. Made Royal by King Edward VII in 1909 in recognition of generations of royal patronage.
When the little Duke of Gloucester, son of the future Queen Anne, slipped over on the muddy Upper Walk, she gave money for the area to be paved. Returning next year, she discovered the work had not been done and left, vowing never to return. When paving was finally installed, the locally made square tiles gave the place its new name. However, the tiles were not very durable and had to be replaced by Portland stone flags in the 1790s. A few were preserved in situ for many years before being placed in the Museum for safe keeping.
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