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A view into the Past of Trowbridge Town: IMP

Flag of Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

At IMP we are proud of our heritage and given the last few years during the pandemic we believe we rightly should be as here we are still bustling away, busier than ever, nestled in the small town of Trowbridge, and some may consider the sleepy county of Wiltshire.

Sleepy, it is anything but! Trowbridge has a rich history and the name dates back to the Saxon age with treow-brycg, meaning tree bridge. At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, it was noted as a typical settlement with a population of around 120.

Trowbridge is one of only two southern England Magna Carta Baron towns, and the only one in the Southwest is Trowbridge. Our very own Baron Henry de Bohun, was one of twenty-five barons chosen to enforce the terms of the Magna Carta signed by King John in 1215.

The weaving industry began to grow in the 14th century, bringing prosperity to the town and Trowbridge gained a reputation for high-quality cloth sought out by European royals which is unsurprising given that it was the center of the wool industry as well as leather tanning.

Southwick on the outskirts of Trowbridge was home to many workers of the woollen cloth industry, and there are still examples around the area of the Flemish influence in buildings as in 1331 King Edward III granted letters to John Kempe of Flanders ‘weaver of woollen cloths’ for himself and colleagues to trade and teach. The mainstay for the immigrant weavers was in Corsham but fine examples can be found in The Halve, Trowbridge.

Penny Williamson's Pictures of Trowbridge

Fast forward to 1813 and Isaac Pitman was born here; a teacher of English he developed the most widely used system of shorthand, now known as Pitman Shorthand. A phonetic system of shorthand for the English language which became popular in offices when letter dictation.

Trowbridge has changed so much over the years and new, innovative businesses keep popping up all the time. People often ask us why we stay, and why we don't move to a more cosmopolitan business hub. Well, it's a simple answer, we know IMP resides on land with a strong historical background. We could wax lyrical all day about how much we love our community, and how amazing our local history is, but since the birth of IMP in 1981, we have been very aware that we are creating our very own story to add to our town’s rich heritage. #TheBestIsYetToCome #WatchThisSpace #CommunityIsEverything


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Aintree Ave, Trowbridge, BA14 0XB

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