When you walk into The Old Silk Mill, take a minute to look at the photograph of the four guildsmen in Sheep Street, 1902.
Charles Robert Ashbee set up his Guild of Handicrafts here in 1902. His workshop in the old silk mill in Sheep Street is now a small museum. A co-operative of twenty-three artists, ceramicists, contemporary designers, photographers, furniture makers, textile artists and sculptors take turns in stewarding an exhibition of their work and are always happy to talk to visitors about the items on show.
In the early twentieth century, the town became known as a centre for the Cotswold Arts and Crafts movement, following the move of C.R Ashbee with the members of his Guild and School of Handicraft from the East End of London in 1902. The Guild of Handicraft specialised in metalworking, producing jewellery and enamels, as well as hand-wrought copper and wrought ironwork, and furniture. A number of artists and writers settled in the area, including F.L. Griggs, the etcher, who built Dover’s House, one of the last significant Arts and Crafts houses, and set up the Campden Trust with Norman Jewson and others, initially to protect Dover’s Hill from development. H. J. Massingham, the rural writer who celebrated the traditions of the English countryside, also settled near the town…Read more