Our History

William Armes Synopsis of our History
  • 1830 - William Armes Ltd. founded in King's Lynn, Norfolk.
  • 1960 - Revolutionary PVC rug invented (Dandycord)
  • 1969 - Guthrie Corporation bought William Armes Ltd.
  • 1985 - William Armes Ltd. bought back as a family business
  • 2000 - Firmly established as a leading doormat distributor in the UK, William Armes Ltd. continues to grow

The Beginnings

The Armes' story started in Kings Lynn in 1830 when William Armes, a Master Mariner, quit his seafaring to start his own business trading in and manufacturing, coir and sisal matting. William Armes moved the business from Kings Lynn to Sudbury in 1888, taking over the premises known as Chilton Mills, hitherto a flour mill which had been built some twelve years previously. Weaving coir yarn imported from India into doormats and coir matting, mats and matting of every shape and size emerged from the factory and business flourished.

In 1960, with the Company headed by Mervyn Clover, the founder's great-great-grandson, a woven kitchen rug made from tubular PVC was invented, and called Dandycord. An instant success, it was soon to be seen in kitchens and bathrooms throughout the land.

The Business Grows

The business grew apace and, in 1969, was snapped up by the huge, multi-national conglomerate, the Guthrie Corporation.

Guthrie's world-wide marketing expertise and its financial muscle complemented Armes' skills and the product range, already well established in its various markets, became firmly entrenched. Innovative products followed - synthetic grass from Canada, rush matting from China, finished coir mats from India - all marketed in tandem with Dandycord.

In 1985 the Company was purchased back from the Guthrie Corporation and since then has been run as a family business. With thousands of High Street accounts, including some of the huge multi-branch outlets like Argos and Homebase, William Armes Ltd. is now firmly established as a leading U.K.manufacturer/distributor of domestic doormats and associated products.

The Present Day

William Armes Ltd. is ISO9001:2008 Certified, demonstrating its total commitment to quality control.

Proud owner of its new 4.4 acre purpose-built site in Sudbury, Suffolk, William Armes Limited, always looking for new opportunities and the potential of innovative products, moved into the Millennium with enthusiasm and confidence.