Wiltshire Community History
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Question Date :
Thursday 26th April 2007 10:44
I have a newspaper clipping stating William Arthur Lucas was the son of Mr and Mrs D Lucas of Bridge House, Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Was there a place called Bridge House? What cloth factory would his family been employed at?
Bridge House is an 18th century clothier's house that has a workshop at the rear. In the 1860s it seems to have been used to house families of the more important workers at the factory and may also have included offices. At this time the factory was owned by John and Thomas Clark, who had built a new factory block on the site in 1869 and power loom sheds in 1865. The whole complex was called Studley Mills and was the was the second last cloth mill to close in Trowbridge in the 1970s. Today the factory and weaving sheds have been demolished but Bridge House (less two bays removed by a German bomb in World War II) and a handle house survive. The Handle House is the last surviving teasel drying wind stove in the country and your ancestor would have known it well as it is just to the side of Bridge House, on a bridge over the river Biss.
William Lucas probably went to the Conigre Infants' School and the Parochial National School that had replaced the old free school in the churchyard. You will find brief details of these on one of our Trowbridge pages - http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/school_search.php?community=Trowbridge