Between 1680-1830 the manufacture of leather and leather goods was, by value, the most important English industry after textiles, and one of the largest employers of labour outside agriculture. The principle regions of glove making were the grazing areas of the west of England, where skins were readily available.
In the case of Ludlow, glove making became the principal industry of the town after wool and cloth industry declined. Ludlow was well placed to manufacture leather goods predominantly gloves, it has access to two rivers, the Corve to the north and the Teme to the south. Lower Corve Street, where Turford House is built, became the focal point for tanneries and glove workshops.
Edward Turford a glover is recorded as living with his wife and grandchild at Turford House, 81 Lower Corve Street, a property that had been burnt and subsequently rebuilt after the 1600’s Civil War. Turford clearly a man of substance, appears to have held a lease on 14 Corve Street between 1652-1670, holding a number of official posts with the Corporation and building at Turford House a house suited to his status.
From 1664 Turford House was occupied by his son James Turford , also a glover, with his wife and 2 apprentices, he was able to renew the lease without the usual payment of a fine “in consideration of great charge laid out in building of the premises being burnt in time of war”
Today Turford House is a protected Grade II listed building, named after Edward and James Turford who lived in the house for many years with their families during the glove making glory days spanning periods of the 17th and early 18th centuries.
Throughout 2020 Turford House was extensively restored and renovated by present owners, Paul & Rose, who undertook major works inside and out to uncover, preserve and restore its 1600’s historical charm.
Early 2021 Turford House was chosen and occupied for a month by “Catherine Birdy Productions” renowned New York actor and film Director Lena Dunham and Executive Producer Liz Watson for the making of the long-awaited children’s coming of age comedy film “Catherine Called Birdy” filmed on location in and around Stokesay and Ludlow Castles and the surrounding countryside.