The Woolly History  of The British Isles is researched and written by Bev Newman of Bits and Bobs Crafts.

This site gives me the opportunity to share my learning as I explore the history of wool in the lands we now call the British Isles. The aims of my research are to examine both archaeological and historical documents and writings that demonstrate how wool became important to man, the tools he made in order to use it in a variety of ways and as time progresses used the profits from the wool trade to build England and finance her wars.I also hope to discover the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the Wool trade across The British Isles and in time explore the factors that lead to the decline in the use of wool. I will also explore the various cultures that influenced the wool industry and also the specialist techniques that have developed over time in hand knitting in specific island and / or trade based communities. 

I will also share extracts of my research over on my sister blog, Bits and Bobs Crafts, via a combination of experimental archaeology where I will learn some of the crafts that lead to the development of the wool industry and share snapshots in woolly history via a fictional family or two who are part of the wool industry through time. I hope this will encourage modern crafters to engage in the story of the people who came before.

My broad themes are as follows:

  • Tools
  • Sheep
  • People and Communities
  • Methods of preparing wool for use
  • Methods of Using Wool
  • Wool, taxation and politics
  • Evolutions in Production
  • Impact of the Industrial Revolution

I apologise in advance for not writing in strict chronological order, this site is in effect my research journal and I will hop around the centuries, especially when following a specific theme or historical thread. However by using categories and tags I hope to make finding specific threads of information easier for you.

I hope you will join me on my journey and I look forward to getting to know my readers and welcome comments, suggestions and feedback… as long as its polite 🙂


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