TROWBRIDGE MILLS AND MUSEUM
The industrial history of Trowbridge dates back to the late 18th/early 19th century, when it was the foremost producer of woven textile cloth in the South West. At its peak of production, there were 20 textile mills operating in Trowbridge.
It was the introduction of mechanised production that began the industrial decline in Trowbridge, and the last working mill closed in 1982.
The legacy of this prosperous time is still visible today in the town’s architecture. Although largely underused, a lot of the mills remain standing. The Industrial and Architectural Trail map, which you can pick up from the museum, is a useful guide to discovering these buildings. Some are unique, like Handle House, which is the only known example of it’s kind in the country – originally designed and used for drying teazels used in textile production.
The Museum lives in a section of Home Mill, access to which can be gained through The Shires shopping centre. In here you can see looms in action, and even buy samples of cloth.
Trowbridge today remains a working town, it has been less closely conserved than neighbouring Bradford on Avon. But with thriving industry and rich cultural diversity, it’s well worth the time to explore.