Southwell Carpet Factory

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Southwell Carpet Factory

The Southwell Carpet Factory was built around the 1824 by Thomas Martin Southwell on the site of the old Franciscan Friary.

By 1860 the factory had swallowed up the last remaining friary buildings and it employed 600 people.

In 1897 it presented a carpet to Queen Victoria (1837-1901) to commemorate her golden jubilee and at the end of the First World War (1914-1918) they also presented a victory carpet to the palace.

carpet throne roomDuring the Second World War the factory was taken over by the Rootes Group to build parts for aeroplane engines.

It operated as a family business until 1943 when it was brought by another old company in Kidderminster, the Carpet Manufacturing Company (CMC Ltd).

In 1969 CMC Ltd became Carpets International Ltd and they thrived at first until cheaper tufted carpets and foreign imports lowered their profit margins.

The 110 ft high Carpet Factory chimney known as “The Shed” was taken down on 16th March 1978.

In the 1980’s Bridgnorth’s last factory was closed down. It was demolished in May 1989 and replaced by new houses.

A Southwell Carpet from the Council Chamber now hangs in Bridgnorth Town Hall.

For More Information Read Weaving In Bridgnorth

One Comment

  1. William Cooper December 9, 2015 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    My great-great-grandfather came from a family of carpet weavers and worked here for years. He had a hand in making the carpet that was made for Queen Victoria’s jubilee, and we have a small piece of the material that was used which has been passed down in the family. He emigrated to Canada just before the First World War and was a founding member of the Carpet Weavers Union.

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