Introducing Westley Richards

Westley Richards is one of the oldest surviving traditional gun and rifle makers in the world. Their name is an assurance of premium quality and uncompromising function. These days Westley Richards clothing and bags carry their name just as strongly as the guns and rifles which helped make their name.

With a rich history dating back to 1812, the company began in Birmingham, manufacturing cutlery and jewellery. Their pioneering spirit led them to diversify into making guns, and with armed conflicts taking place around the world at that time, there was always heavy demand. This obviously increased in the first half of the 20th century.

Relocated in 2008 to the current premises in Pritchett Street, which was completely re-designed and restored to become a state-of-the-art gun making facility. The decision to create an in-house leather workshop was a reaction to the realisation that to get the quality control over every aspect of the leather goods they wanted to sell, demanded they take control of the entire production process.

That is exactly what they did. Today, Westley Richards is the only gun maker in Britain that makes its leather goods in-house, alongside the guns and rifles being build for Arab princes, American tycoons, European magnates and British businessmen. One half of the company’s factory is devoted to the guns, the other to leather. Importantly, 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.

Choosing a Westley Richards weekend bag, gun slip or travel bag is a refined choice. The handmade lines on offer represent the best on the market and it comes at a price. But what price a lifetime of companionship with a heritage piece made to last decades of hard use? If ever the old adage ‘buy well, buy once’ could be applied to luggage and leather goods, it applies here.

Where Westley Richards products differ from those of any purely fashion orientated brand is the heritage the firm has as a gun maker and supplier to the adventure travel and safari industry. Every piece is made to satisfy that most discerning and demanding of travellers; the African hunter, whose kit must be subjected daily to the dust, dirt, thorns and rough treatment of international and cross-continental expeditions yet still look at home upon arrival in the lobby of a five-star hotel.

Their clothing lines are similarly robust and gentlemanly, as well as tailored to suit those of an outdoor or sporting disposition. Where style will not be substituted for practicality, there are few brands that can bridge the gap as seemingly effortlessly as Westley Richards.

Westley Richards Bags are available now exclusively at The Sporting Lodge