Royal Tunbridge Wells
Room, with a bowling-green adjacent, and a tavern, called The Castle, as well as many lodging-houses, and it was at Mount Ephraim House that Charles II and his Queen Catherine stayed when they came again in July 1666, with Prince Rupert, and, not far off, Nell Gwynn and Rupert's mistress, Mrs. Hughes.
After this date, the town of Tunbridge was no longer used by those who wanted to drink the water, and for many years it remained a deserted village. " The Houses in the Town are most ill-built, and the streets sorrily paved," x Defoe noted in 1738; and so late as 1762 Derrick described it as consisting of one broad street, badly paved, with the redeeming feature now, however, of being adorned with some very good modern houses.2 South-borough and Rusthall were likewise neglected, while Mount Ephraim rejoiced exceedingly. Its triumph, however, was short-lived. Mount Sion, still nearer the wells, was, for that reason, found more attractive; and about 1670 it was generally regarded as the fashionable quarter. It, too, soon boasted its ball-
1 Tour through Great Britain (1838), I. 195.
2 Letters from Liverpoole . . . Tunbridge Wells, Sept. 1762, II. 75.