The business now known as F&A Hill Ltd was Founded in 1817 by the owners of Frederick Harrison & Co who were located at 7 Bow Churchyard, London. The company began trading as merchants and agents in fabric, saddlery and horse blankets. The earliest records show that in 1884 the business, F&A Hill, opened a bank account in the Poultry & Princess Street Branch of the Midland Bank in London.
It’s believed in the late 1880’s Freddie & Albert Hill expanded the range to include travel blankets and then to scarves & stoles for which the company and its ‘Hilltop’ brand name are now famous in many countries throughout the world.
Freddie Hill died Oct 31st 1909 and Albert Hill died 13th March 1931. It’s believed the business was then run by Family members Frederick Rowland Hill, Thomas Littleford Hill and Lillie Hill.
The Company offices were located in the City of London where they were ‘bombed out’ twice during the 2nd world war. Most of the company records were lost during this period so the precise history of the company has become a little obscure. Some early records suggest that the company was the instigator of the fringing technique which now distinguishes a travel rug from a blanket. In the early years of the business blankets were traditionally bound with soft leather or webbing.
The company relocated after the 2nd world war to Grays Inn Road, London for a while before moving to Lambs Conduit Street and began to establish itself with the home and overseas markets again.
On 16th July 1954, Fredrick, Thomas & Lille Hill transferred the business to a Limited Company. It was during the latter part of the 1950’s that Mrs Connie Rogers & Mr David Rogers became shareholders and owners. In the mid 1970’s part of the business was moved to Thetford in Norfolk with a showroom remaining at Lambs Conduit Street.
During the late 1970’s John Spencer visited Japan and introduced the Hilltop label, he became a shareholder in the company in the 1980’s. At this time the showroom moved to 80 Brewer Street, London where it remained until the business was relocated to Hawick, Scotland in 2008, where it remains today with Mark Haylock as Sales Director. Japan is now the strongest market for the Hilltop label and is known for its classic natural fibre scarves and stoles.