The history of Kent Peg Tiles
A short history of Kent peg tiles and Kent peg tile production ...
Peg tiles were first used by the Romans.
There was then an approximate gap in manufacture of 700 years, when they departed in the 5th Century.
By the 14th Century tile production was in full swing.
In 1477 during the reign of King Edward IV there was a charter standardising the size of plain tiles to 6.5 x 10.5 inches. Kent pegs never followed suit and range from 9" to 10" deep by 6" wide, which makes them easily identifiable and unique!
Original Kent peg tiles were always made with locally dug clay.
Many country estates had their own brickworks, producing a range of wares from bricks and tile, to land drains and chimney pots.
- In 1355 Kent peg tiles were recorded as costing 2 shillings per 1,000
- In 1483 they were 5 shillings per 1,000
- Now they average £1,000 per 1,000 including VAT
Contrary to popular belief Kent peg tiles appear to have only ever been fixed with “SOFTWOOD” pegs.
- In 1891 there were 150 recorded tile makers in Kent.
- In 1914 there were 105
- In 1938 there were 64
- In 1959 the last works closed in Staplehurst
There is now somewhat of a revival with several firms making traditional Kent peg tiles and fittings. The best Known local yards being Spicer tiles and Babylon tile works, both of which there are links for on this website.
Please note: All images on this website are copyright © Karl Terry