Ridiculous Refinement

Front cover of "Ridiculous Refinement"

Front cover showing Greatfield Hall which once stood on Bewdley Hill

Rev. Humphrey price, the carpet weavers’ champion during the great strike of 1828, accused Kidderminster’s carpet barons of “ridiculous apeings of refined life”. Their wealth was in sharp contrast to the hardship of those who worked the looms. They moved to mansions on the outskirts of Kidderminster or as far afield as Astley and Chaddesley Corbett.

Nigel Gilbert links the building of mansions to developments in the carpet trade, and concludes by lamenting the age of the developer when many of these fine houses were lost. Oaklands, Summerhill, Broomfield and others live on only in road names.

Published in 2001, “Ridiculous Refinement” is now out of print.

Broomfield Hall which formerly stood at the bottom of Franche Road

Broomfield Hall which formerly stood at the bottom of Franche Road