This ancient borough was an important settlement with six mills by the time of Domesday Book. Its borough status was formalised in the first charter of 1237. It had many inns and its markets were always important. Industries developed with cloth-weaving, followed by paper and lace making; then in the 18th century came the rise of the furniture industry to a full-scale, mass-production business. The author brings the fascinating story of the town up to the 21st century which now has a wide range of cultures and backgrounds among its people.