By the 17th century, weaving had become a large trade, and the carpet industry began in 1741, when two French weavers were brought in by Earl Henry Herbert of Pembroke to teach the local people new skills.
Carpet weaving prospered until 1815, when peace following the Napoleonic Wars introduced European competition.
More information about the preservation of the wills can be found on the conservation team's pages.
We hope that after reading about the wills and seeing the examples you'll agree that they deserve the special care the Wiltshire Wills Project is giving them.
Many of the materials used in the church's construction were imported from Europe, including marble columns from Italy and 12th and 13th century stained glass from France.
The building of Salisbury Cathedral nearby, however, caused Wilton's decline, as the new site of Salisbury, with a new bridge over the River Avon, provided a convenient bypass around Wilton on the trade routes.
Wilton Abbey was surrendered to Henry VIII in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and in 1541 much of the estate was granted to Earl William Herbert of Pembroke, upon which Wilton House was built.
The collection is one of the finest in the country, and an invaluable source for historians.
The Wiltshire Wills Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund , has made sure the documents are cared for better than ever in the future.