The Origins of Carpet Making in Kidderminster


Image: Cartouche from John Doharty’s Plan of Kidderminster of 1753. The image displays the importance of carpet making in the town by the mid 18th century.

Image from: Local Studies and History, Birmingham Central Library.

Lord Foley, lord of the manor of Kidderminster, recognised the need for new housing for the carpet weavers who were now flocking to work in the town in the mid-18th century, and the potential of extra rental revenue for himself. Kidderminster became synonymous with carpet weaving. In 1753, John Doharty’s 1753 Plan or map of Kidderminster showed some 150 new houses, neatly laid out in courts, along with two buildings clearly marked as “Carpet Halls”. These can be identified as the first two carpet factories of any size, leased jointly by John Broom and John Pearsall. By 1758, these two buildings contained thirty-two looms between them4 . In 1788, the traveller John Byng described Kidderminster as flourishing, with a great demand for its products, meaning carpets, both at home and abroad5.

4 Gilbert, C.D, Kidderminster’s Early Carpet Industry, Transactions Worcestershire Archaeological Society, 1990, p.220
5 Ibid, p. 9


Continue browsing this section

4429-0Made in Kidderminster: the History of the Carpet Industry 618-0The Origins of Carpet Making in Kidderminster 4427-0The Origins of Carpet Making in Kidderminster 4431-0The Origins of Carpet Making in Kidderminster 1230-0Handloom Weaving 4428-0The Factory System 4426-0Washing and Winding 4423-0Washing and Winding 2531-0Technological Changes: the Scotch Loom 2535-0Technological Changes: the Brussels Loom 4430-0Technological Changes: the Jacquard Loom 1830-0The Kidderminster Carpet Industry and the Wider World 1803-0The Kidderminster Carpet Industry and the Wider World 4422-0Working Conditions in Kidderminster Carpet Factories 4425-0The Great Strike of 1828 4424-0The Aftermath of the Great Strike of 1828 1837-0Kidderminster in the mid 19th Century 1832-0Kidderminster: the Factory Town