Shepherd Hut Tilford

This hut is a link to Surrey’s important wool industry.


Shepherd’s Hut.
Image courtesy of The Rural Life Centre, Tilford

Extensive areas of grazing on the Downs and commons of South West Surrey supported large numbers of sheep. Along with natural resources such as Fuller’s Earth, (used to clean the natural grease from woollen cloth), running water to wash, dye, and power fulling-mills, the wool industry of Surrey thrived.

Cistercian monks of Waverley Abbey farmed sheep on a large scale. Throughout the Middle Ages they exported wool to the Continent, and by the end of the middle ages many areas of Surrey were involved in the wool trade with at least 8 fulling mills supporting production. The finished thick cloth known as ‘kersey’ was widely exported.

The wool trade throughout England declined in the 17th century.

Useful Links

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Industry in Surrey

Rural Life Centre

Contact details for museums in Surrey

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