Henry Cowls - Britain's last true netmaker
In 1889, Henry Cowls began to produce nets for the huge Cornish fishing industry on the Cornish Lizard Peninsular. Renowned for his skill and quality of netting, he saw an increase in demand from the horticultural sector, as it became fashionable to grow exotic fruits in the UK. In fact, in the early 1900s, Henry’s customer list read like a who’s who of landed gentry.
With the decline of fishing in the UK in the mid-century, we transferred all our net-making knowledge and skills to the horticultural sector and other applications. Since then, we have refined our design to create a functional, adaptable and practical range of fruit cages
Just under a century after Henry first set up his trade, we finally outgrew our premises in Porthleven. With strong Cornish roots, we moved five miles up the road to a purpose-built factory in Helston. Here, we still make all our knotted nets in the traditional way, but on rather more modern machinery.
Henry’s great grandson and great great grandson are still involved in the business. They take great pride in the fact that their illustrious forbear’s original company is thriving – and remains the only genuine net maker left in the whole of Great Britain.