Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Wool In Winchcombe - A Celebration of Winchcombe's Wool Town Heritage - 14th April to 5th May

Those who know, live or work in Winchcombe will appreciate it is a town made up of many interesting facets of history, intrigue and eccentricities.

Having had the idea of highlighting Winchcombe's wool connection on the back burner for a couple of years, I finally set the wheels in motion last year for 'Wool in Winchcombe' not realising that it would raise such enthusiasm from so many people who wished to take part or be involved.

Jean Bray, Sudeley Castle's Archivist, helped a great deal in sourcing historical information such as an extract taken from Thomas Baskerville's Journal (1677-78) which reads.....

"As to the town of Winchcombe, when the castle had its lord and the abbey its abbots and monks to spend the estates and income of both places here, then here was more to do than at present, yet the town for the bigness is very populous and the people of it in their calling very diligent to get their livings.

Here in a morning at 4 o'clock I saw many women of the older sort smoking their pipes of tobacco* and yet lost no time, for their fingers were all the while busy at knitting and women carrying their puddings and bread to the bakehouse lose no time but knit by the way...

....We lay at the sign of the Bell, Mr Houlet, a very respectful man our landlord and his wife who gave us very good entertainment and seldom fail of good ale, for they have very good water in their well....Here is one fair church, a small alms-house and some ruins of the abbey yet remaining. 

Prior to the ruin of Winchcombe Abbey, it is known that the monks kept a flock of 8,000 Cotswold sheep only 2,000 less than that recorded for Gloucester Abbey.

This even may well even develop further over the course of the next few weeks but the main enthasis is that everyone can be involved.

*tobacco was also grown in Winchcombe but thats another story for another time.......

Dates of events to follow.....

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