Royal Tunbridge Wells
Tel: 01892 554171
The discovery of the Chalybeate Spring in 1606 was fundamental in the birth of Tunbridge Wells and its subsequent development as a favoured resort of the gentry and royalty during the seventeen and eighteenth centuries. Many of the donations to the Museum have come from the families of people who settled in the fashionable town and formed the town’s character and reputation as a pleasant place to live, work and visit.
The core of Tunbridge Wells Museum’s costume collection was acquired during the 1950s by its dedicated curator, Edith Bradley and includes dress from the 18thcentury onwards. Now the collection boasts 7,500 pieces including textiles and includes many beautiful evening gowns including a good collection of beaded dresses from the 1920s. Menswear is represented by a good collection of embroidered waistcoats from the Georgian and Regency period, including one unusual black silk example. Children's wear, rural work wear, corsets and other structural wear are all represented in the collection, including 21st century examples.