WONERSH
© Wonersh History Society - www.wonershhistory.co.uk   (WHS)
HISTORY SOCIETY

THE WOOL TRADE

From   the   late   14th   Century   to   the   early   17th   Century,   Wonersh   had   a   thriving   cottage   industry   weaving   a   woolen   cloth   called   kersey,   or ‘Wonersh Blue’ which was traded with the Canary Islands, Western Europe and India. The   main   centre   of   the   weaving   in   Wonersh   was   in   the   houses   on   the   South   side   of   The   Street   -   today   called   Throwsters,   Medd   House   and   The   Old   House.       The   Old   House   and   Medd   House   were   each   originally   three   or   four   cottages   and   may   well   have   remained   relatively unaltered until their rather drastic restoration in the late 19th Century. The   once   thriving   industry   was   languishing   before   the   end   of   Elizabeth   I’s   reign   and   by   1630   there   was   serious   unemployment   in   the village.      It   has   been   suggested   that   the   market   for   the   cloth   was   lost   because   of   the   dishonesty   of   the   makers   who   stretched   their   cloth   and once   this   was   discovered,   the   cloth   was   returned   and   would   no   longer   sell.      This   is   probably   quite   unfair   as   the   cloth   industry   was   already dwindling   in   South   West   Surrey   in   the   late   17th   Century   and   the   fate   of   Wonersh   was   no   different   to   that   of   Guildford,   Godalming   and Farnham. With   the   decline   of   weaving,   Wonersh   became   a   mainly   agricultural   village   although   Gosden   Tannery   (between   Wonersh   and   Bramley)   did provide some employment.  The cottages at Lawnsmead were built in 1872 to house the workers from the tannery.
The Old House in The Street c1870