About The Museum
Trowbridge Museum is in Home Mills, one of the last working textile mills in the town. It tells the story of the town and its people. We opened here in July 1990 and since then, over 500,000 visitors have enjoyed this friendly and fascinating museum. Find us in the middle of the busy Shires shopping centre. This unique position means that visitors have ample parking and easy access.
When you visit Trowbridge Museum you will discover the story of the town from its early days as a Saxon settlement to its position as the “Manchester of the West” and beyond. It’s here that you will find out about the textile industry, the lives of everyday folk and the important people that built the town.
Textiles and Machinery
By 1817, Trowbridge had twelve firms operating seventeen woollen factories. The town was said to contain “the largest manufactures of the superior class of fancy goods in England if not Europe”. The museum still has working looms that produce woollen cloth.
The History of the Town
Trowbridge has an amazing past and the Museum contains objects and facts relating to this including: a Castle that was once substantial enough to have withstood a siege in 1139, Bowyers (makers of the famous Porkinson Banger), Ushers Brewery (who brewed Lowenbrau for Germany), and Taylors Shop, a haberdashery shop where customers were given small change in the form of buttons.
Great and the Good
Isaac Pitman, creator of Pitman shorthand (as important in the C19th as the invention of the computer in the C20th) was born here, The Rev. George Crabbe, (one of Jane Austen’s favourite poets) was rector of St James’s Church and top snooker player Stephen Lee is just one of many local sporting heroes.