DENTON’S HATTING HERITAGE: Steps closer to protection

What a Bow Garret would have looked like inside

What a Bow Garret would have looked like inside

A unique piece of Denton’s hatting industry has taken a step closer to being protected for the future.

At the height of its industrial past, Denton was the UK’s centre for hat manufacturing. However, this great industry started from humble beginnings – often in small outbuildings at the back of cottages and houses – and used to supplement income from agriculture.

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The Denton ‘Bow Garret’

These outbuildings have all but been lost to history and it was believed the last surviving ‘Bow Garret’ was located on Two Trees Lane in Haughton Green. Now sadly demolished, the history of the building (as well as the process of bowing and planking) is recorded on this Stockport Hat Works Museum fact sheet.

However, another ‘Bow Garret’ has recently been discovered, hidden in a back yard of a terrace house on Market Street in Denton Town Centre… Details of the find are on this earlier post, including the fantastic detective work of local historian, Margaret Smethurst.

An application was made, just before Christmas 2013, for English Heritage to consider the evidence and to list the building, as the last surviving example of a pre-industrial domestic hat workshop in the UK. Whilst English Heritage is still to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the report following their recent visit is now published here.

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