Development of Tunbridge Wells
years the buildings multiplied in every direction, but in 1687 a fire destroyed all the shops and houses on the old Green Bank. Though at first regarded as a calamity, the conflagration was, so far as the town was concerned, a blessing in disguise, the wooden structures being replaced by others more substantial, constructed of stone and brick. The Walk was now laid out on a regular plan, an Assembly Room, coffee-houses, shops, and dwelling-house being erected with a uniform frontage, and a portico that ran from one end of the parade to the wells.
Royalty continued to be attracted to Tunbridge Wells, and in 1670 the Duke and Duchess of York, with their daughters, the Princess Mary and the Princess Anne, went there for a while during the season. The Duke of York came again four years later, and during this visit used frequently to walk to the High Rocks, about a mile and a half beyond the town, which in consequence became a resort so generally patronised that without much loss of time a cottage was erected, where shelter and refreshments could be obtained. The High Rocks are a natural curiosity, some of the eminences being so much as seventy, although the average