A market town situated in the northern part of Warwickshire, Bedworth sits between Coventry and Nuneaton, and is made up of six main suburban districts. The town has Saxon origins, and was mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1066. Historically, Bedworth has flourished in coal mining, hat making, and ribbon weaving, with engineering and haulage remaining today as the dominant traditional industries.
Silk ribbon was in particular a thriving industry for Bedworth, originally introduced to the town by French Protestant families during the 18th century who had been exiled due to religious persecution. Setting up their hand-looms within their own Bedworth homes, they soon passed the craft onto the local people, becoming a widespread skill and proving to be an extremely lucrative sport for the Master Weavers.
The industry abruptly came to a halt during 1860, when France removed the duty on French silks entering England. Today, Bedworth is still home to renowned ribbon crafters, such as the world-renowned silk ribbon maker Toye, Kenning & Spencer, whose banners, flags, and Masonic regalia are demanded the world over.