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Bradford on Avon’s Woollen Cloth Industry

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Church Street and Abbey Mills c1880

Bullpit, Church Street and Abbey Mills in the 1880s

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The making of woollen cloth began at a domestic level, but some of the processes, especially the fulling or cleaning of wool, started to be mechanised by the adaptation of existing water-powered flour mills. New dedicated woollen mills began to be built and new machinery was introduced gradually removing the industry from homes. Weaving, on hand-operated looms, was one of the last processes to move into the factories after water and steam-powered weaving machinery were installed.