Visit our Heritage Centre to see the story of Dursley – 1000 years of history in the life of a town. From the middle ages, Dursley was a flourishing Market Town, the centre of the agricultural area of the Severn Vale. Like many Cotswold towns it was a producer of woollen cloth which made the town prosperous.
Following the decline of the woollen industry, its place was taken by the rise of engineering. R.A. Lister became famous for agricultural machinery and engines and Mawdsley’s was well known for its electrical machinery. At the end of the 19th Century Mikael Pedersen came to work for Lister’s and invented his distinctive bicycle, still admired to this day. A restored early example now holds pride of place in the Heritage Centre. Other industries followed and the town became a centre for employment in the locality.
We have displays of machinery and small objects of interest, all made in Dursley, or with very close connections with the town, as well as books to browse and a large video screen showing local scenes and films.
Dursley’s Heritage Centre has been open since the beginning of 2005 and has proved very popular with visitors from far and wide. It occupies a very central position, close to the Methodist Church and opposite the Market House and St. James Church. It can be found next to the old Jacob’s House building which has been fully restored and is now occupied by Dursley Town Council. It is entirely run by volunteers and is open from Tuesday to Saturday, between 10.30am and 12.30pm.