In 1718 a Mr. John Appletree formed a company to produce raw silk alongside Park Walk . The venture attracted “fast & furious” investment but in 1724 it went bankrupt! Rumour has it that they mistakenly planted ‘black’ mulberries when only the ‘white’ variety attracted the silk larvae! The fact that Robert Walpole withdrew the tax on imported silk may also have been a contributory factor.
Park Walk has, at various times, been known as Lovers Walk and Tuppenny Walk. The present name dates from 1866 and owes its origin to the fact that it formed the western boundary of what was then Chelsea Park. In those days it was still planted with trees and considered by many to be too dangerous to pass through after dark, owing to its seclusion.
A pub named The Goat in Boots marks the Fulham Road entrance into Park Walk. Its rather strange name is thought to have come from the Dutch ‘Mercurius is der Goden Boode’ which means ‘ Mercury is the Messenger of the Gods’ . (Mercury was the sign used by inns where post-horses were kept). The original feature of the gods’ messenger was transformed into the figure of a goat with boots, cutlass and spurs by the artist George Morland, an impoverished artist in payment of his tavern bill.