- 1-3 St. Peter's Street
The Weavers is one of the most famous and most photographed
of Canterbury's buildings. It was built - so all the books say -
in 1500, and was intended to house weavers who had come from Flanders
or France to flee religious persecution and/or to find work. They
were welcomed and given special rights and privileges, and were
numbered amongst the 'Strangers', i.e. foreigners who came to work
They were expected to deal with their own lawbreakers.
As in Sandwich and other towns in the area, they were important
to the local economy... England had a lot of wool but not the technology
to weave it, so they 'imported' the expertise. The leaning
building in Palace Street was also designed for a weaving family
of French origin.
To see an old view of it look at the print
of All Saints Church which used to stand on the other side of
the river from the Weavers. The print shows how the building looked
This building is typical of that period of design
- a shop front onto the street, and behind it a hall.. in fact there
are three buildings here, of more or less the same design.
The building was horribly restored inthe 20th century,
using wooden floorboards as 'timbers', bolted on. But you can see
what it was like originally on these pages.
I have put on these pages some old postcards which
I like, and on the next page some old postcards
of the interior.
This old postcard shows the building
before it was 'restored'. Compare the timbers with the photo below,
of the restored building floodlit - completely different pattern.
The original building. above, has bulges, an old style roof and
And notice that there are only two sets of windows...
the photo below (left) shows the extension built at the back. The
photo below (right) is again an old view... I don't know if it is
older than the one above, but it seems to show no timbers. They
are plastered over.
speaks of this building - "No. 1 continues to the rear along
the bank of the River Stour with a seventeenth century extension;
the gables belong to a remodelling of 1561"
But which extension? He can't mean the last two
gables in the floodlit picture above, because the other pictures
show that that extension is more recent (post 1900).
the photos above (restored) with the photo below (before restoration
- taken in 1900). Different timber pattern... look above and below
the sign in the photo below (for a laundry) and you will see the timber
pattern is different.
See old postcards
of the interior on the next page>>