The Early Days UK Optical

Originally owned by UK Optical we have been in the ophthalmic lens business since 1947.

Our original site was one of UK Optical’s manufacturing facilities since 1947. The facility was built during the 2nd World War as a Munitions factory and given the codename “Crossbows”, albeit the war had ended by the time the factory was complete!

60s and 70s

1960s to the 1970s Time for Expansion

The next 20 plus years saw the company expand and evolve into different product ranges with the focus always placed on innovation for our customers.

In the 1960s we moved into Plus toric glass lenses, Semi-finished glass fused bifocal lenses and Metal Frames, whilst expanding our plastic spectacle frame production.

The 70s saw us move into the growing Bifocal production market and increasing our capacity for glass single vision lenses.




Formative Years Crossbows Embark on a Progressive Journey

Our reputation as an industry leader and innovator in progressive design began in the 1980s with the introduction of our progressive glass lens and mould production.

The 80s were a significant shift in the product direction for Crossbows moving into glass mould production, still a core product for us to this very day, and the use of progressive design. Our progressive designs having improved and evolved over time


Crossbows Optical Ltd Is Born

Crossbows Optical was formed in 1987

Crossbows was a result of a management buyout from UK Optical Ltd. The management team at that time having identified ways of improving the products and services for our clients

Early 2000s

Development In Progressive Technology

From 2000 to 2005

Crossbows consolidated our range of products and started concentrating mainly on manufacturing progressive moulds and developing progressive software


Purpose Built Facility for Crossbows

To maximise production efficiency and provide a modern R&D facility

In 2008 we moved to a new, purpose built factory. The factory incorporates the latest CNC mould manufacturing equipment and a fantastic open office environment for our R&D team’s creative juices to flow


The Launch Of CrossbowsRX

After a decade of development, Crossbows launch our renowned Freeform Software


New Management For 2020

New Directors to build upon a tradition of innovation

Crossbows is pleased to announce the appointment of a new management team for 2020. The appointments signal a new chapter in our rich history of innovation and growth as Patrick McCollum takes over at the helm and Dr. Richard McRoberts joins Patrick on the Board of Directors.