Trade and Industry

A trailer in the timber yard in Dillon's field, where Brimblecombes had their sawmill - now Hilton's Supplies

For centuries the woollen industry was the dominant employer in Moreton. In the 16th-18th centuries, in particular, it underpinned the economy of the whole county. Other industries were based on other farm products: skins (leather industry), fat (tallow and soap) and meat (butchers) all had extensive business based in Moreton. Forestry, as shown by the above picture, was also important to the local economy, largely supplying local needs. As a market town and trading centre, Moreton provided luxuries for people living outside the town, so there were many shopkeepers and innkeepers, as well as skilled craftsmen such as clock and watchmakers, tailors, dressmakers and hairdressers. As travel developed in the 18th-19th centuries, the importance of posting inns, and wheelwrights and blacksmiths (often closely connected with them) increased, and by the late nineteenth century we see the beginnings of tourism with people coming to Moreton in large numbers, just for pleasure!

In all these changing times, Moreton experienced a high volume of traffic, and the one industry which remained strong was that of innkeeping. More than ten inns graced the town centre at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

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