Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery shares the special story of the Borough of Tunbridge Wells through fantastic collections of art, natural history, archaeology, craft, toys and so much more. It is a fascinating tale beginning with the discovery of the spa waters in 1606, eventually giving birth to the Georgian ‘den of iniquity’ which would become the byword for Victorian respectability.
The collection began in 1885 when the ‘Literary and Scientific Society’ began displaying their collections on The Pantiles. However, it was not until the 1950s that the bespoke art-deco building was completed which currently houses the Museum & Gallery along with the local library.
The Museum & Gallery holds collections of regional and national importance, including the largest collection of Tunbridge Ware, a massive costume collection dating back to the 1700s, and one of the largest collections of entomology (insects) in Kent. The story of Kent’s spa town is featured throughout, highlighting the decadence of the manor house and the Spartan lifestyle of the humble hop-picker.
All of this is complimented by a regular calendar of special exhibitions in the Art Gallery, which range from displays of modern or classical art to history and science. Exhibitions strive to show the world to Tunbridge Wells and Tunbridge Wells to the world.