Verwood UK - History Site.
A Chronological History of Verwood from AD 0930
 - It will never be complete.

- Tanning

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   Tanning, Ribbon & Glove Making.  


  Note that this article was originally written in 1968 by Mrs. P. Reeks.

There were some crafts that have left no visible evidence other than a mere mention in records of the area.

In the thirteenth century tanners were in abundance in the Cranborne Chase, the deer hides being exported to Normandy .   During the eighteenth century leather became subject to tax; the Cranborne Borough Court appointed twice yearly inspectors who watched, branded and registered the output.

Also early in the eighteenth century in the Cranborne area there was a ribbon weaving industry.   It is thought that an employer brought his staff and business from London ; after higher wages were fixed in London following the Spitalfield' s Act of 1773.   The industry died out because of foreign competition.

Cloth for export was woven in Dorset in the fourteenth century, but it does not appear to be something of which to be proud.   Apparently the statutes of Richard II and Henry IV included Dorset with Somerset and Gloucester as
 "shires guilty of fraudulent practice in the concealment of defccts" which the acts prohibited..

Glovemaking was a cottage industry on the Hampshire-Dorset border at the beginning of this century. Several ladies in Verwood can remember, as children having to knit the ribbings of the gloves ready for their mothers to complete them. One lady said that the knitting was always in her mothers hands even as she walked about the house and garden.   This lady could not: remember the pattern as she was never entrusted to complete a glove. I am told that a man came from Blandford once a fortnight to collect the finished gloves and bring more of the soft string with which they were made.

Copyright P Reeks.     



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