The Pantiles Coach House: Restoring a Landmark Building

1st September 2016

Swan Garage was something of an ugly duckling, but after years of careful renovation, it’s become a beautiful addition to the Pantiles.

In 2014, property developers Targetfollow teamed up with Joseph McCarthy to transform the derelict building into a vibrant new home for Joseph McCarthy Mirror & Frame Makers. The project was completed in June this year, giving the landmark building a whole new lease of life as a vibrant workshop and showroom.


The Pantiles has been home to Joseph McCarthy Mirror & Frame Makers for many years. Joseph has over 35 years’ experience in designing, creating and installing luxurious feature mirrors, and has assembled a team of highly skilled craftsmen who share his dedication and passion. Their clientele include private collectors, leading interior designers, national institutions and even royalty.

The Pantiles Coach House: Restoring a Landmark Building
The Pantiles Coach House: Restoring a Landmark Building

A far cry from the run-down garage it once was, the Pantiles Coach House is now home to a traditional Tunbridge Wells gem – and even a Great British treasure. Joseph McCarthy owns the Bloomsbury Collection, an exquisite collection of boxwood carvings that have been in continuous use since 1837. Perhaps the only unbroken large-scale collection of its kind in use today, it has been described by the Tate as being “of national importance to the history of frame making in Britain”.

The Tate is a world centre for the study of British art, and owns a major collection of nineteenth century composition frames. As a highly respected expert, Joseph is working closely with the Tate to research and catalogue the Bloomsbury Collection. The Pantiles Coach House will now be home to this ground-breaking project, which the Tate says “will fill a substantial gap in our knowledge”.

“We’re really excited to work closely with this creative and unique British brand. We share the Tate’s view that this is a ‘national treasure’ and a truly unique asset to have in Tunbridge Wells.”

Targetfollow’s George Craig, who worked on the Swan Garage restoration project.

The Pantiles has a unique 400-year history, so it seems only fitting that the Pantiles Coach House should be home to a true national treasure – and will be for many years to come. Pay it a visit next time you’re in town to see the stunning restored building and Joseph McCarthy’s exquisite craftsmanship for yourself.

To find out more about Joseph McCarthy and his work, visit