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Originally, it was this trough, filled with the fulling liquor, that was known as the 'stocks' and the cloth would be walked on by foot.However, with the advent of the water-powered fulling mill, this name transferred to the whole mechanism itself.
The second fulling was with the fuller's earth and the third with hot soapy water.
It is a non-plastic, fine clay, containing over half silica and it was from its use in the fulling process that it got its name.
After mixing water and the cleaning agent together, the cloth was pounded in this by fulling stocks or beaters.
Whilst the top bar was set, the lower one, set parallel to the upper one, was adjustable to suit the required width of the fulled cloth.
Fixed all along the bars every three or four inches were tenterhooks, L-shaped iron hooks, pointed at both ends.
Consequently, the presence of a field so named may help to identify the site of a former fulling mill or one that has changed its use over time.