Bowhill & Elliott - A Brief History

Now a 5th-generation family business, Bowhill & Elliott was founded in 1874 by Obadiah Bowhill. At the time, Bowhill & Elliott formed as part of an already buoyant shoe industry in Norwich, where the city boasted many shoe factories within the city walls.

While it took some decades to move into their current location, they moved to 65 London Street into a space that was already known for the craft, and still continue to do 100% of their making from that spot, hidden below the retail floor.

While Bowhill once manufactured a range of mens and ladies boots and shoes, it was their acquisition of the Osoeasie Slipper Co. in 1960 that saw them concentrate entirely on the production of slippers – particularly velvet Albert slippers – that they are so synonymous with now.

A New Vision

Seeing the versatility of this style for outdoor wear too, the development of the brand has seen them move into providing an alternative to the loafer or pump styles you may be more familiar with, but with the same emphasis on premium materials and hand-craftsmanship.

Whereas previously production would have concentrated on the traditional house shoe, such as Mule, Monk or Grecian styles of slipper, the Albert slipper has seen development to include 3 cuts; the Albert, the Venetian and the Pump. Further development saw the introduction of the sub-brand Street Slipper®, which saw a rubber sole and often, leather lining owing to popular demand for the slippers to be worn outdoors.

The constant development of the brand, even after almost 150-years is only possible thanks to Bowhill’s lasting heritage of British craftsmanship and quality they have alway championed. 

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