What did we find about the production of woollen cloth in Wales?
Wool has been spun and woven in Wales for hundreds of years, but only became an important cottage industry when Cistercian monasteries were established in the 12th century. The monks appear to have supported the development of trade and built fulling mills, enable the production of cloth that became known for it's quality.
By 1450, there was a busy export trade in woollen cloth from Wales and this was controlled by the Shrewsbury Drapers Company who received a Royal Charter in 1462 and had a virtual monopoly to buy Welsh wool and sell it on, becoming very wealthy, click HERE to go to the informative Shrewsbury Drapers Company site.
Nigel Hinton, is a Freeman of the Shrewsbury Drapers and the author of 'Shrewsbury Drapers Company 1462-2017, The Legacy'. Nigel, and fellow Draper Gaynor, have been very active in the project and Nigel prepared an essay for us about the history of the Shrewsbury Drapers - click HERE
Nigel also introduced us to the writing of William Davies in 'General View of the Agriculture and Domestic Economy of North Wales', published in London in 1810 Click HERE to get to the National Library of Wales on line eversion of this book recalling information collected in 1799 about the trade in wool in Mid Wales.
Wikipedia has an excellent site on the Welsh Woollen Industry, which is updated regularly - last one on 25 12 19. It provides a lot of information very clearly and several members of the project team have mentioned that we should thank the writer of the page which has got better and better during the year!