The 200-year-old gun and rifle makers share a brief insight into their fascinating history and plans for the future.
Westley Richards has been handcrafting guns in the heart of England since the Napoleonic Wars. Founded in 1812 by William Westley Richards, it is now the last-remaining gun company in Birmingham’s famous gun quarter; and one of the oldest surviving gun and rifle makers in Britain. The company has established a reputation for making guns of the highest quality, sporting firearms whose technical refinement is matched only by the artistry of their decoration. With engravings and precious stone settings of such distinctiveness and skill they are now regarded as the home of the Art Gun.
The company’s independent spirit has cultivated an exceptional culture of innovation, adventure and virtuosity, commanding enviable respect from its peers and continuously lionised by true characters of the outdoors. Over its long history Westley Richards is honoured to have been at the forefront of gun development, with revolutionary actions whose influence are still apparent today in modern sporting shotguns and rifles. The company is proud to number among its former clients such well-known, audacious sportsmen as Ernest Hemingway, Stewart Granger, and the Maharaja of Alwar.
The Westley Richards name is synonymous with safari and Africa, with its beautiful landscapes, breathtaking wildlife and awe-inspiring people for which the continent is justly celebrated. Proud of this long association, which sets it apart from its rivals, the company has recently launched a ready-to-wear safari collection. Classic in style and craftsmanship while modern in functionality and materials, this new line has been created to wonderfully enrich expeditions to this adored land.
One half of the company’s factory is devoted to the guns, the other to the burgeoning leather goods business. The West Midlands has been a centre of leather-making since time immemorial so it is fitting that Westley Richards should have moved into the business. It began with the manufacture of high-quality slips and cases to protect clients’ guns but is now expanding into other areas, offering a wide range of traditionally-tanned and exotic leather goods to adventurous travellers and fieldsports enthusiasts alike.
As Westley Richards moves into 2020 and beyond, the company has exciting plans to establish itself as the foremost manufacturer of the finest English-made leather goods, with the finesse and flair for which they are widely recognized. Walking through its factory today is a great privilege: with centuries of knowledge and experience in their hands, Westley Richards’ master gunmakers and leather artisans are bringing to life their clients’ next most prized possession.