The last post took industrial development up to about the time of the Civil Wars in the 1640’s. Here are some snippets from then on. Enjoy!
- William Strode of Barrington, born in Darshill in 1589, boasted that he could walk from SM to his home at Barrington Court (Ilminster) – about 30 miles – without ever leaving his own land
- In 18th century, SM was the centre of the woollen cloth industry in the sub-region and was the focal point of worker demonstrations – mainly over wages and the cost of bread – drawing people in their thousands from as far afield as Trowbridge, Bradford-on-Avon and Stonehouse
- There were 6 riots in SM between 1740 and 1815, the most violent of which was in 1783 over the introduction of the steam-powered Spinning Jenny, in which two rioters were shot dead at Bunker Hill in West Shepton
- The last woollen mill on the Sheppey closed in 1815 substantially after the SM area clothiers refused to invest in steam fearing for their lives and property
- In the 19th century, many of the old woollen mills were converted to making silk cloth, particularly crepe and velvet
- The then silk mill owners boasted that although children as young as 5 were best suited to making silk cloth, they only employed 8 year olds and upwards
- And what remains today are the decayed or converted workshops, cottages and houses of the vanished centuries of industry
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2 Replies to “Quality Shepton 2”
I am a student of The Writers Bureau and am writing a travel article. I have chosen Shepton Mallet for my article. From doing a little research I am surprised of its history, much of it was unknown to me. It has quite a interesting history that I would like to continue knowing more after my article is written.
I live in Radstock and come into Shepton quite a bit.
Good morning Michelle, Thanks for your comment and I apologise for this slow reply. We’ll be updating the blog throughout our project which runs until the summer of 2020. We have lots more historical material which isn’t yet in a state to publish and the hamlets we specifically cover – Bowlish, Ham and Darshill – have some interesting buildings and publicly-seeable gardens which might make a photographic contribution to your article. We’re also just about to start an outreach programme both at schools and public events. Please let me know if you’d like to meet up. All the best, Ian Keys