The Blanket Hall, 100 The High Street, is one of Witney’s most notable historic buildings. After many years in private hands, it opened to the public in October 2015, offering a fine array of woollen scarves, throws and other items from Cotswold Woollen Weavers as well as the excellent Pie Shop Cafe, which will serve as the venue for these classes.
The Blanket Hall also offers an on-going programme of talks on a wide range of fascinating subjects. You can find updates and information through Facebook – The Witney Blanket Hall and on Twitter – @theblankethall. These are held in the wonderful 18th century Great Room, formerly the venue for many town events and assemblies, and all overseen by the impressive portrait of Queen Anne.
The queen granted the Witney weavers their charter of incorporation in 1711. This allowed them to regulate the products and business activities of the weavers within a twenty mile radius of the town. After a decade of holding meetings in various local buildings, the Witney Company of Blanket Weavers opened their own premises, the Blanket Hall, in 1721. This was a meeting place for the company as well as the official venue where locally made blankets were weighed, measured, inspected and marked. Witney was famous for blankets, worldwide, for hundreds of years. Although the last blanket mill closed in 2002, Witney remains very proud of its industrial heritage.
These classes will see those keen to spin a different sort of yarn writing a new chapter in this building’s history.
There is ample, free parking within five minutes walk of the Blanket Hall. The main bus routes into Witney from the Oxford direction all go past the door and it’s a short walk from the Market Square for anyone coming in from further afield in West Oxfordshire.