Cloth manufacture was the first industry to develop around Stroud as the hills around Stroud were ideal for grazing sheep for wool. Two types of wool were produced. Firstly, long fibre wool for worsted cloth which was exported to the continent. And secondly, short fibre wool which was used for producing broadcloth.
The valleys provided an abundant supply of water needed for processing wool into cloth. Fulling mills were built on the River Frome as early as the late 1300s and by the mid 1500s, fulling mills were widespread around Stroud.
By the 1600s, most people were employed in the cloth trade. In the early 1600s, Stroud was still a relatively small settlement. In 1608, there were 19 clothiers, 76 weavers, 33 fullers and 3 dyers recorded in Stroud.
Find out more about Stroud's reputation for producing high quality cloth....