Arnold Bennett and The Potteries


Many of the locations in Clayhanger and other Bennett novels based in "The five towns" correspond to actual locations in and around the Potteries district of Staffordshire. 

Click for a list of the pople and locations in Bennett's 'Five Towns' novels 

contents: index page for Bennett


Aboukir Road: Nile Street, Burslem.

Bleakridge: Cobridge, once a relatively exclusive suburb, between Burslem and Hanley.

Blood Tub: Warrilow points out that 'more than one theatre in Burslem was affectionately known as the "Blood Tub" '. Accordingly, more than one original has been suggested. No doubt Bennett drew on several sources, including perhaps a 'fit up' in Moorland Road, and The Britannia (or Snape's) Theatre (see Tillier, p. 129). The site of Bennett's Blood Tub corresponds to that of the Wedgwood Theatre Royal, which stood in Wedgwood Place.

Bursley: Burslem.

Cauldon Bar Ironworks: the Shelton Bar (now Shelton) steelworks, which lies in a valley to the west of Hanley.

Clayhanger's printing works: Bennett's description of the Clayhanger house, shop and printing works may have been based on a building which still stands on the south side of Swan Square, Burslem, at the corner of Queen Street and Waterloo Road.

Cock Yard: Brick House Street, Burslem.

Dragon Hotel: the George Hotel on the corner of Nile Street and Waterloo Road.

Duck Inn, Duck Square: the Swan Inn, Swan Square, Burslem.

Hanbridge: Hanley.

Hillport: Porthill.

Knype: Stoke-on-Trent.

Knype and Mersey Canal: Trent and Mersey Canal, which flows to the west of Burslem.

Manor Farm: the Grange Farm (now a park) lay immediately to thesouth of Burslem.

Moorthorne Road: Moorland Road, Burslem.

Mow Cop: a hill to the north of the Potteries, site of the first English camp meeting.

National Schools: corresponds to the St John's Church of England School, Burslem.

Oak Street: Elm Street, Cobridge.

Oldcastle: Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Oldcastle Middle School: Orme's Boys' School. (The description of Edwin's walk home is based on the journey that Bennett used to make as a boy from this school in Newcastle-under-Lyme, across the valley between Porthill and Burslem.)

Pirehill Infirmary: the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, Hartshill.

Playground: the old playground lay opposite the junction of Wedgwood Place and Overhouse Street, Burslem.

St Luke's covered market: the first covered market in Burslem stood in the market place to the east of the town hall.

St Luke's Square: St John's Square, Burslem.

Shawport: Longport.

Sytch Pottery: corresponds to Samuel Alcock & Co's Hill Top Pottery, in Burslem, at the top of Sytch Bank. A Georgian building, now demolished. Bennett wrote to the Staffordshire Sentinel (19 March 1909) to protest about the boarding-up of the window.

Toft End: Sneyd Green, south east of Burslem.

Trafalgar Road: Waterloo Road, which runs between Burslem and Hanley.

Turnhill: Tunstall.

Wedgwood Street: Queen Street, Burslem.

Woodisun Bank: Bourne's Bank, Burslem.

contents: index page for Bennett