Bowhill & Elliott

Founded 1874

Bowhill & Elliott is a family-owned shoemaking business known for their high-quality footwear, especially their traditional albert slippers, they have a history of over 145 years.

Bowhill & Elliott History

To understand the relevance of Bowhill & Elliott’s position in today’s shoemaking industry, it is necessary to delve into the history of Norwich, England’s shoe quarter over 145 years ago. At that time, the city was buzzing with the sound of shoemakers, and Norwich was one of the biggest contributors to British shoemaking output, rivaled only by Northampton.

Bowhill & Elliott’s heritage as a shoemaking company dates back to 1874, when Obadiah Henry Bowhill, a local shoemaker, purchased the existing manufacturer, Wright and Co., which was located in the same site that Bowhill & Elliott now occupies. Obadiah passed the business down to his son, also named Obadiah, and his son-in-law, Thomas Baines Elliott, who later formed the company in 1897.

During its early years, Bowhill & Elliott continued to produce shoes and boots for all purposes, with an emphasis on quality. The company supplied bespoke riding boots to army officers during the South African War, and provided ankle boots and leather gaiters to troops during the two World Wars and the Great Depression.

After the wars, Bowhill & Elliott diversified its offerings and became renowned for made-to-order styles while maintaining the trademark level of quality. However, when the company acquired the Osoeasie Slipper Company in 1960, it shifted its focus to house shoes, particularly the traditional albert slipper, which became the company’s hallmark product.

Under the ownership of Margaret Elliott’s great-great-grandson, Roger Jury, Bowhill & Elliott gained wider appeal and further strengthened its reputation. In 2018, the company developed and trademarked the Street Slipper ® to meet the increasing demand for slippers that can be worn outdoors. The shoe’s rubber sole was added to withstand various elements.

Bowhill & Elliott showcased the Street Slipper ® at the world-renowned Pitti Uomo in early 2020, and it received high praise for its quality craftsmanship and versatile style. The company has since gained notoriety for its quality and production, with customers describing its shoes as “the most comfortable shoes they’ve ever worn.”

Today, Bowhill & Elliott is manufacturing for only a select few, but its unrivaled quality of production has kept it in business for almost 150 years, making it a favorite among customers worldwide.

Read more on Bowhill & Elliott history.

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Bowhill & Elliott


Where do Bowhill & Elliott manufacture?

Bowhill & Elliott manufacture their products in Norwich.



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Last modified: 2023-05-31 08:58

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