Stroudwater Textile Trust

The Stroudwater Textile Trust began its life in 1999 as successor to the Friends of Stroud Museum Textile Group as the result of the wish of a group of local people to recognise and interpret the importance of the woollen industry in the Stroud Valleys at all levels from the local to the international. An essential aspect of the Trust’s work is that it considers the present and future of working with wool in the area to be an important part of its purpose as well as that of the past. To these ends the Trust, which was founded at the time when the new Stroud 'Museum in the Park' was being planned, operates is several different ways:
· It runs the Dunkirk Mill Centre near Nailsworth where a magnificent working waterwheel can be seen
· Provides guided walks and lectures on the woollen industry of the area
· Carries out educational work with wool in local schools
· Mounts exhibitions
· Organises a biennial festival with a theme of textiles
· Carries out research into the history of the local woollen industry and, where possible, seeks to acquire historical matter relating to that history for conservation.
· Has restored and maintains and demonstrates various historic textile machinery.

The Dunkirk Mill Centre offers a wonderful opportunity to see a see a massive working water wheel directly powering a rare piece of historic textile machinery. The overshot wheel, twelve feet wide and thirteen feet in diameter, was installed in the mill in 1855 as part of the last major re-building programme carried out during its time as a woollen mill. It was made and installed by James Ferrabee of Stroud having a mainly cast iron frame with forty steel buckets. The wheel is operated regularly on opening days, (subject to water supply), and the sight of the wheel starting to move in a powerful cascade of water is unforgettable.

Venue Type:

Association or society

Collection details

Costume and Textiles, Social History

Stroudwater Textile Trust


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