Month: February 2020


Barnsley, in South Yorkshire, has a proud mining heritage. Monks, who first erected a chapel and then established a market, built the original foundations of the town. Barnsley was also important for linen weaving and has a long history of glass making, but is most well known for its coalmines. Today, the Elsecar Heritage Centre, […]


Barnoldswick in Lancashire is at the highest point of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The market town dates back to pre-Roman times, was prominent in the Industrial Revolution and Rolls Royce developed the jet engine there in the Second World War. The steam engine at Bancroft Mill still works and is part of the Stream […]

Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

A busy traditional market town, and the county town of Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury has significant buildings dating back to the Middle Ages, particularly around its large central market square with an imposing clock tower, built in 1876. These days it’s a popular choice for commuters to London, and is a significant transport hub, though its bus […]

Braintree, Essex, a silk centre

Braintree’s role in silk manufacture was rather significant. The Courtauld family was famous in the silk industry. George Courtauld established a silk throwing business in 1799 near Braintree, moving into the town in 1818. In 1825, the family began making crêpe (crimped silk gauze). This made the company famous. The Courtaulds used their enormous wealth […]