Our crown

The Crown wallpaper brand is steeped in history. In 1839 commercial wallpaper production in Darwen began and it’s from these origins that the brand later emerged.

Explore the fascinating story below.

1839

Potters of Darwen

Charles Potter adapted a calico printing machine for printing paper and his brother Harold patented it in 1839. They moved production to Belgrave Mill in Darwen and started producing wallpaper commercially under the trade name C. H. E Potter.

1851

Winning Designs

Great design was as vital to wallpaper then as it is now. The Potters received distinctions for their wallpapers at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. They also went on to receive a gold medal at the 1867 Universal Exhibition in Paris. This beautiful design is from our archive.

1872

Innovation

The Potters continued their success and John Gerald Potter followed in his father’s footsteps. In 1884 The Potters started to experiment with ‘sanitary’ wallpaper, which unlike typical paper at the time, was washable and helped promote good hygiene in the home.

1899

Wallpaper Manufacturers Ltd (WPM)

The WPM was an amalgamation of the Potters division with other wallpaper companies. It was around this time that the Crown name emerged and most of the wallpapers manufactured by the WPM were sold under the Crown trademark.

1914

The War Effort

The mills helped aid the war efforts by adapting their machinery to create munitions.

1920

The Great Fire

The mills saw many fires throughout the years and were rebuilt several times over. The most notable fire was in 1920 when the swift action of the fire brigade saved the mill, where production continued until 2004.

1950s

Do It Yourself

The nation’s love of DIY grew and Crown launched fantastic national advertising campaigns encouraging everyone to get decorating.

1960s

Crown Stores

As demand on the high street for Crown wallpapers grew, shops were opened throughout the UK.

1968

A Proud Workforce

A wallpaper truck all dressed up and ready for the Queen’s visit.

1970

Worldwide Interest

Crown wallpapers were now being exported and sold around the globe. The distribution efforts came from multiple hubs around the UK and service was as important then, as it is today.

1980

Great interior fashion

Continued investment in creating outstanding interior fashion is still crucial for Crown in the present day. Here is another design from our archive treasure chest - so retro!

1990s

Family Homes

Young At Heart – This is one of Crown’s wallpaper pattern books from the 1990’s.

2008

Best-sellers

Snow Kite, one of Crown’s most popular wallpapers during this period, selling in excess of 300,000 rolls

2017

The Team Today

Our aim is still the same as when Crown first emerged; to provide stunning, innovative wallpapers to enhance your living space. Our enthusiastic people and team ethic are key, and of course we like to have some fun along the way!