David Proudlove's
critique of the built environment of Stoke-on-Trent

 


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'On the Waterfront'
- page 3 -

 

Alongside Middleport Pottery is the large complex occupied by one of the few ceramics giants left in the Potteries, Steelite. 

Steelite occupy a site made up of the former Port Vale Wharf, Albion Pottery and Dale Hale Pottery, and play a huge role in the local economy with their influence in the international ceramics market. Little remains of the original sites and an area of car parking and functional buildings of little value dominate the waterfront. However, the potential remains to re-model and re-plan the site, and enhance the canalside environment.



As the canal enters Longport, we have the remnants of Longport Wharf. Once a busy and bustling mini-port, transporting raw materials and manufactured goods, just two Grade II Listed warehouses remain, and the site is used as a boatyard. One of the warehouses was badly damaged by fire a couple of years ago, and awaits repair.

Warehouses at Longport Wharf
Warehouses at Longport Wharf

 

View of Longport Wharf with Steelite in the distance
View of Longport Wharf with Steelite in the distance


Adjacent to Longport Wharf is what is left of Bottom Bridge Pottery (or New Bridge Works as it was also known). 

The Georgian Duke of Bridgewater Inn was formerly the master potterís house at Bottom Bridge Pottery, with the original inn located in what is now the Duke of Bridgewaterís garden. 

In 1840, Bottom Bridge Pottery was taken over by William Davenport, the areaís major manufacturer, and the master potterís house became redundant. The property sat vacant for almost twenty years, when the original Duke of Bridgewater was demolished, and the pub moved into its current home.

 

Duke of Bridgewater and Bottom Bridge Pottery
Duke of Bridgewater and Bottom Bridge Pottery

Duke of Bridgewater, 2001
Duke of Bridgewater, 2001

The Duke of Bridgewater is vacant again, and has been for almost a decade, despite proposals to convert the pub into a small hotel. Letís hope itís not another decade before this fine building finally opens its doors again.


On the opposite side of Station Street, on the corner of Canal Street, stands one of the cityís most important and historic public houses, the Packhorse.

 

The Packhorse, Longport: Stoke-on-Trentís answer to the Cavern?
The Packhorse, Longport: Stoke-on-Trentís answer to the Cavern?

 

The Packhorse Inn was built in the 1770s to cater for boatmen, caters and their horses. The inn had its own brewery and had extensive stabling to the rear, and also played host to the local coroner, who probably used it as quite often, locals met their maker in the canal.

 

 

Illustration of the Packhorse from Neville Malkinís A Grand Tour
Illustration of the Packhorse from Neville Malkin's A Grand Tour

 

 


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Related pages


The Dale Hall & Albany Potteries and Steelite.

Longport Wharf and Trubshaw Cross.

Longport Wharf - listed building details.

Duke of Bridgewater Inn - originally a master potters house.

Duke of Bridgewater - listed building details. 

The Packhorse - Neville Malkin's Grand Tour.

Packhorse & Turnpikes -The eighteenth century saw the development of the North Staffordshire pottery industry from a cottage industry to a major exporting industry. The connection was the packhorse road from the Fountain Place works of Enoch Wood in Burslem, though Longbridge (now Longport) and onto to Newcastle.