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Enoch Wood's Fountain Place Works - Burslem

Enoch Wood's Fountain Place Works - Burslem

to the left is the National Westminster Bank
to the right is Wood's Pottery Works
the road off to the right is Westport Road
the road in the centre is Packhorse Lane


Natwest Bank, Fountain Place, Burslem

Arguably the finest city bank buildingcan be found in Burslem, the Mother Town, on Fountain Place. Dating from the 1870s, and originally occupied by the District Bank, the Natwest Bank is a beautiful example of Tudor Gothic architecture at a human scale. Built in red brick, embellished with stone dressings, and finished with a Welsh slate roof, the building sits handsomely opposite St Johns Square, and is a great symbol of Burslem’s late nineteenth century prosperity.
It also fits perfectly with the Mother Town’s theme of architectural eclecticism and continuity.

"Bank Statements"

Wood's Works
Wood's Works
Following restoration and conversion into flats during 2000

The frontage range of a pot bank built in 1789, for the potter Enoch Wood.

Enoch Wood's Fountain Place Works


Packhorse Lane:

In 1710 there were around 500 people employed in pottery in the entire region. In Burslem alone, by 1760 the numbers had climbed to 150 manufactories employing 7,000 people, and a further 25 years on there were 15,000 workers across the whole of the Potteries.” 

During these early times pottery was carried to market on the shoulders of the potters, or on the backs of mules.   

The packhorse route followed a lane from Burslem to Newcastle via Bradwell. From Newcastle the freight was carried to Winsford in Cheshire, a town that developed because of its salt trade valued here for glaze.

By 1721 Winsford’s River Weaver was transformed into a principal watercourse allowing freight to be transported to the docks at Liverpool. But the 30 mile journey from Winsford to the Potteries still had to be negotiated by packhorse often to a cost of disastrous breakage.

Some of these problems were solved by turnpike roads. The first, in 1714, went from Newcastle to Winsford.  

The road from Burslem to Newcastle though still followed the route along Packhorse Lane. And Newcastle jealously guarded its main turnpike route so as to retain its established influence over the rapidly growing pottery towns. It held this power through its monopoly of the tolls.

Westport Road (previously Liverpool Road):

The demands of the potters for their own turnpikes were irresistible, and by 1763 they had their own turnpike roads one of which went from Burslem along Westport Road through Brownhills. 

This was then called Hill Street and later Liverpool Road. In bypassing Newcastle it became the preferred road from all the Six Towns through Burslem to Church Lawton.

This route made the Packhorse Lane from Burslem to Newcastle somewhat redundant.