Who are we …
Canterbury Bears was founded in 1979 by my father, British painter John Blackburn and almost 40 years later, my mother Maude and I head up our business. Together with a truly dedicated team we design and create beautiful hand-made English bears.
The company was originally created in response to a friend searching for a traditional bear for his grandmother, and he commissioned John to design and make one … the rest is history. Our unique bears continue to occupy a special place in the hearts of children and adults around the world. Bears are our passion, but other animals also add to the magic of what we do.
In 2016 John Blackburn was awarded an MBE for services to manufacturing and export in The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
Where are we …
All our creations are designed and made in our workshops, situated in a small village close to the historic Cathedral City of Canterbury in Kent. The unwavering ethos of our family business is that we are 100% designed and handmade in England.
In 1987 we were granted the privilege of using the City of Canterbury coat of arms as our logo; this ancient marque is registered by the Garter King of Arms and dates from the 11th Century.
Why our bears are so special …
We know that every bear occupies a special place in the heart of their owner. We ensure that each and every one of our bears, and other animal friends, is truly individual. Each is hand jointed, the joints manufactured in our workshop on a traditional Victorian press using sustainable English wood. We use English hand-blown glass eyes crafted in the Midlands. We source the best fabrics from all over the world including wool, tweed and tartans from the mills of Yorkshire and Scotland, kimono silks from Japan, and mohair from Germany. Our bears are filled with 100% pure recycled white polyester; 100% pure cotton fibre ; or uniquely can be filled with 100% wood wool.
Our makers love what they do and between us we have over 200 years of bear-making experience. When you buy from Canterbury Bears, we guarantee your purchase has been made with love by an experienced and dedicated team here in the heart of the English countryside. Our bears will last a life time and beyond.