The foundation stone of the Barker brand was laid in a humble cottage in the heart of England's shoe manufacturing industry in 1880, by enterprising Northamptonshire boot maker Arthur Barker. During the interwar years, Arthur's three sons joined the family business, taking the brand into new markets and territories. In 1947, a new factory was built in Earls Barton to expand production, including the production of women's shoe collections. Barker are one of twelve shoemakers in the region, alongside Church's, Grenson and Loake.
A newer factory and offices were built in 1986 in the centre of Earls Barton village. The new site is just a few hundred yards away from the original factory of 1880. And although modern methods of production have been introduced over the years, the same skills, traditions and craftsmanship are very much evident today. Albert Barker demonstrated that an insistence on traditional standard need not to be old-fashioned. His policies of top quality materials, craftsmanship and distinctive classic design are still carefully maintained today, with Barker craftspeople producing some 200,000 pairs of hand lasted sewn shoes each year. Recent collaborations include Jeffrey Campbell and Herring.