Wool staple mark

Contributed by Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

This mark was removed from St Peter's Church in Tiverton during restoration work in 1853-63.

The production of woollen cloth was a major industry in the South West of England by the late medieval period. The cloth was exported all over the known world. Each merchant had his own mark to identify his produce. This mark is thought to have belonged to a Tiverton merchant, John Greenway. The purpose of this particular mark is a bit of a mystery - we don't definitely know what it would have been used for and if it originated from the church building.

Each bale of cloth that was exported would have had a lead cloth seal to identify where it originated from. Examples of wool cloth seals from Tiverton merchants have been found in Holland. We have two on display dating from the Eighteenth Century belonging to Samuel Burridge that were found on the island of Schermer Eyland.

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