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History of Leek

History of Leek

The Lawtons bakery started life in 1928 and still operates from the same site in the pretty market town of Leek, situated on the edge of the Peak District. Leek, lying close to the River Churnet, is built on a hill among some of the most picturesque moors and dales of the Staffordshire Moorlands and for that reason is known as the ‘Queen of the Moorlands’. Mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, Leek received its first Royal Charter from King John in 1214 and seven years earlier was granted the right to hold a Wednesday market in the town and a seven-day annual fair. A livestock market developed, trading in cattle and sheep, and by the end of the 13th century the area was producing sufficient wool to export. Agriculture remains important to the surrounding area today, comprising mainly sheep and dairy cattle, but by the second half of the 17th century Leek had also become a major textile centre and had a flourishing silk industry.

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