A record of the town since the dawn of photography


Acton Square

Catalogue ref: pa569

Category: Business and Industry

Period: c1890-1914

Acton Square | Click image to go back to gallery

A row of Jacquard hand looms inside what is now the 'Dental Emporium' on the edge of Acton Square. The image seems to date from the time between 1910 and 1924 when Reginald Warner's Gainsborough Silk Company owned this building. These looms were too tall to fit into most weavers' cottages (although in some cases a hole was knocked in the ceiling to accommodate them) and so the hand weavers had to come to the factory rather than working at home. In about 1924 the Company centralised all their silk production in a new purpose-built factory on Alexandra Road taking these hand looms with them. Silk weaving was not completely mechanised at Alexandra Road until about 1930.

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The market town of Sudbury, on the borders of Suffolk and Essex, has a long and fascinating history. Much of the way of life in the town since the invention of photography has been caught on camera. The Sudbury Museum Trust has developed this website to show and provide information on a selection of these photographs.

If you have old photographs you think could feature on this site, or if you would like permission to reproduce any photo on this site, please contact us at