The Incorporation of Weavers, Fullers and Shearmen


More than six centuries ago a group of merchants came together to promote their trade in woollen cloth in the City of Exeter. As their guild and fellowship grew, they made philanthropy part of the plan. This website tells their remarkable and continuing story.

The Incorporation of Weavers, Fullers and Shearmen has evolved from a trade association into a charitable body, historical presence in Exeter and venue to be enjoyed. We are a fellowship and now we attract people from all trades and professions, people who ask what they might do for the guild and find companionship in serving others. 

Our members join us from all walks for life and come together to support causes they believe in particularly helping young people into trades, to share their expertise, and to build on centuries of experience of charitable giving.

The Guild and Incorporation have existed in Exeter for nearly 600 years and have occupied Tuckers Hall since 1471. Both the Incorporation and the Hall have a remarkable story with a glorious and continuous history.


Master The Incorporation of Weavers, Fullers & Shearmen, 2021

Our priority is providing significant opportunities to individual young people in Exeter.

The Incorporation of Weavers, Fullers and Shearmen


Tuckers Hall was built and has been owned by the Guild of Weavers, Tuckers and Shearmen since 1471, but the earliest record of a Guild of Clothworkers in Exeter is 1459, when a dispute with the Cordwainers as to antiquity and precedence is recorded.        

In 1471 the Exeter Guild of Weavers, Fullers and Shearmen was given a plot of land on Fore Street by William and Cecilia Bowden. The Bowdens’ gift lay half way between the city’s historic centre and its manufacturing district.

The Guild regulated the woollen cloth trade in Exeter, which made the city wealthy and a centre for international trade. 

The woollen cloth trade thrived from the 1430s until the end of the 18th century, at times making Exeter the third richest city in the country.

From 1459-2011 the Hall has been constantly renovated, repurposed and even confiscated by a monarch. 

In 1931 the modern world came to Tuckers Hall with the introduction of electricity. Part of the old world was re-discovered when medieval wall paintings were found hidden beneath the oak panelling of the upper chamber.

Today we’re a thriving fellowship, place to visit, hire and talk to about charitable giving. 

Our 400th anniversary by Royal Charter granted by King James I

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