|Shaw's - History of the Staffordshire Potteries - originally published in 1829|
Chapter 2 - The Potteries - Hanley & Shelton with their vicinity
next: Chapter 2 - Stoke, Penkhull and the vicinity
previous: Chapter 2 - Burslem and its vicinity
contents: index of Shaw's book
[these headings are not in the original - they are added for ease of reading]
|Hanley & Shelton in antiquity|
|Development of the towns|
|Waterloo and Woodwall|
|Prospect Place & Wm. Ridgway|
|Old Hall manufactory|
|Albion Street & Job Meigh|
|Coal mine damage|
|Hanley and Shelton - separate|
|Shelton Old Hall|
HANLEY & SHELTON are situated on the north-east of Newcastle, at the distance of about two miles and a half. They formerly were of little account in the topography of Staffordshire; for the only notice Erdeswick takes of Shelton is this; "Scelfitone was in the Conqueror's hands, 20th of his reign.'' — And the only conjectural notice of Hanley, is formed on the nearness of the name to that given, and the facts of being nigh to Bucknall, and property in the place having long been in the possession of the families mentioned: —
"Bucknall and Annesley are allotted to Ralph De Hooton, by deed, Jan. 28, 11th Richard II. — Ansedeley vulgariter Annesley and a part of Buckenhall — Annesley, a mile from the Dove (but more probably Trent.) Sir John Verdon, Knt. Lord of Ansley, Biddulph, and Bucknall. Annesley belonged to the family of Tol, (Talk) or Tock ; after them to tbe Bougheys and Mainwarings, of Whitmore. — Edward Mainwaring, Lord of Whkmore, has Nether Biddulph, Annesley, and a part of Buckenhall."
Hanley and Shelton were,
by Act of Parliament, united into one Market Town, in 1812, and they now form the largest in the Potteries, and probably in the county of Stafford. They are situate on the gentle declivity of a large hill, with a south western aspect; and viewed from Woolstanton Church yard, present a beautiful object for contemplation; the Buildings and Streets rising gradually above the
valley. In 1825, and 1828, Acts of Parliament were obtained to establish a regular Commission of
respectable Inhabitants, for the purposes of Lighting and Watching the Towns, and directing an internal Police; and great public benefit has resulted from these Regulations.
The situation of the Market-place is such, that only by a circuitous route do the coaches from Burslem to Stoke pass through it. An inconvenience only to be remedied by opening the projected new line of Road between Burslem and Lane End.
The Market is doubtless the largest in the district, and well supplied with every kind of produce, (except grain, the sale of which is discouraged, because of the Corn Market at Newcastle on Mondays,) and the Tolls, which now produce more than £700 annually, are appropriated for the improvement of the town.
Saturday is the principal, and Wednesday the second market day.
At the upper part is a fine Doric Column, of cast-iron, on a bold pedestal; beneath which is the main valve of the Water Works; and from which an ample supply of water for the use of the market, or other public purposes, is readily obtained. At the top of the column is a large Gas Lamp, of great utility in that situation.
The Market Hall is a neat structure, but is merely a species of Shed for Venders of Poultry, Eggs, and Butter, on the Market Days, and to cover the stalls during the time they are unemployed. In one corner is the watch-house, and another two very secure dungeons, or lock-ups. A room over this edifice, would be not only very extensive, but of great utility to the Inhabitants, who have not any public Room of adequate dimensions for general Meetings.
From the Market-Place, the Company of
Proprietors of the Navigation from the Trent to the Mersey, have a Rail
Road, on which, by waggons, they bring up all packages into the town, and return with Crates, and Casks of Porcelain and Pottery, to be forwarded to the places of consignment. This Rail Way terminates in the Vale Pleasant, near Etruria, where are several offices, a large WTharf, and Storehouses belonging to the Company, for the several purposes of materials for the manufacturers.
We have been informed that Hanley and Lane End are indebted for their Churches to the liberality of a Gentleman, whom it would be criminal to overlook, tho' he was scarcely connected with the manufactures of the district.
The National School is neat and commodious, devoid of ornament, and only adapted for utility; but the British School, is a superb edifice, fitted up in the. best manner possible, at considerable expence; and the upper Room is not exceeded in elegance and convenience by any Room for similar purposes in th« county.
In the vale below Waterloo and Woodwall, are Water Works, whence, from a copious spring, a very powerful Steam Engine forces up the water into the reservoir on the top of Windmill Hill, a most elevated spot; where the water filters, and is thence conveyed in cast-metal pipes to
supply not only Hanley and Shelton, but even Cobridge, Burslem, and. adjacent places, with a tolerable quantity of good water. These were established at the sole expence of a private person. John Smith, Esq. and doubtless, will
ultimately well compensate him for so public-spirited an undertaking.
On this property formerly was not the Peacock Coal, much softer then the cannel; it most vividly represents all the colours of the most
glowing feathers of a peacock's train, whence it borrows its name.
On the east, below Windmill Hill, is Prospect Place, the elegant residence of Wm. Ridgway, Esq. whence is dispensed with beneficence and urbanity, assistance and consolation to the afflicted of the neighbourhood. The prospect, is very delightful and extensive; and by the energies of the patriotic
proprietor, the whole of the vicinity has been converted from a rude and demoralized part of
Hanley, into a beautiful, cleanly, well ordered hamlet. The advantages will result to society in general, not only at present, but in periods after the present owner is gone to enjoy his endless reward.
A little above the Church, is the modest mansion of Joseph Mayer, Esq. well known as one of the best Linguists of the European Tongues, in the district; and deservedly esteemed very highly for his many public and private virtues. Preserving the noiseless tenor of his way, without ostentation or profusion, his bounty is dispensed among the deserving poor, and his aid readily afforded to every benevolent institution. Adjoining is the manufactory of Elijah Mayer and Son; (or in fact, of the son only, the father having died many years ago, which has long maintained a very high station in the scale of manufacture, for the excellence of the Queen's Ware and Brown Line Ware there fabricated.
But it is now notable for a species of Porcelain manufactured only here; and concerning whose properties the author has not yet obtained particular information. Mr. Mayer, the elder, was the son of Mr. M. of the High Carr, who was unfortunately overtaken by the tide in crossing the sands near Ulverston, and perished along with some others. Mr. M. was some time an extensive merchant in Holland, and settled in
Hanley a short time after his marriage. He was respected by all who knew him; and the benefits of his liberality yet flow to persons in the neighbourhood.
The Old Hall manufactory, (long the scene of the chief manufacture of Crouch ware, and White Stone ware Salt glaze, in Hanley, under different persons, the latter especially, of Mr. Whitehead, who erected the New Hall, in Shelton,) is now the upper part of the extenive manufactory of Job Meigh and Son.
Here are Flint Mills, and all the appendages necessary for a large establishment; and here may be seen the worthy relict of the late, and mother of the present proprietor, in an advanced age, rendering every help in her power, for promoting the regular processes and benefit of the concern. Her matronly beneficence is enjoyed by numbers, not only of her dependants, but of others rendered objects of compassion by misery or affliction.
C. Meigh, Esq. is esteemed for his firmness and decision of character, the
Arts have not a more liberal patron, for his means; nor the poor and defenceless a more firm protector.
At the top of Albion Street is Bank House, a very handsome residence, occupied by its proprietor, Job Meigh, Esq. who is for his philantrophy and liberality justly regarded as one of the worthies of the district, to whom the Inhabitants generally submit any important subjects of reference, in confidence of having strict impartial decision awarded to them.
Also is the gentlemen to whom, in 1823, His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex presented the Gold Medal of the Society of Arts, for Mr. Meigh's giving to the public a Glaze for Common Pottery, entirely free from the deleterious qualities of the usual lead glaze.
On the opposite side of the road is a very good house, with a handsome Portico,
belonging to Mr Wm. Parker; a merchant connected with the Continental Markets; and considered among the respectable Inhabitants, not engaged in the
manufactures of the district.
The Bethesda Chapel, belonging to the Connection of Methodists which separated from that body in 1797, must be noticed, not only because it is equal in elegance and dimensions to any place of Worship for Dissenters in the Kingdom; but for the liberality of its Trustees, honourable to their Christian profession, in readily permitting it to be used by other Christian Sects, whenever there are important occasions for soliciting extensive aids of public benevolence.
Connected with this Chapel, is a large Building for educating near One Thousand Children on the Sabbath day, by gratuitous Teachers; and supported by the liberality of the congregation, and some other donations.
It must also be stated, that in the town are eight other chapels, with which are Sunday Schools, for the various professors of Christianity.
In Vine Street, Shelton, Messrs. Bentley and Wear, eminent engravers, have a fine Gallery of Paintings, including some of considerable value, the productions of early Artists; but useful to the district as a Depot of the works of resident artists. To this exhibition persons are admitted on very moderate terms.
Near here is a proof how much a great part of Shelton is undermined by the collieries, which have been many years in operation; and seem likely to continue. The Coal Mines under all the Copyhold Lands within this Manor belong to the Duchy of Lancaster, and now yield a considerable revenue, being worked, extensively for the consumption of the Potteries, by the Lessee of the Crown, Lord Viscount Granville.
Very recently have many of the houses in Joiner's Square, or
Eastwood, sustained great injury by the colliery there; gome fell, others were taken down, and have been rebuilt; and a part of the Land, which formerly was excellent pasture Land, is now a mere tract of holes and hillocks.
We have mentioned Hanley and Shelton as one town; but it must be understood, that they are separate and district liberties, or villes, for purposes connected with the highways, &c. and only the inhabitants of each place transact that part of public business.
Etruria also is one part of the liberty of Shelton; as is likewise that part of Cobridge which belongs to the parish of Stoke-upon-Trent.
In 1800, the two liberties had in them thirty-four Manufactories, varying in size, for the different kinds of Pottery and Porcelain; but on the sites of some of these, dwelling houses are now erected; and there remain twenty-six, (thirteen in each liberty,) of which about twenty continue to receive that share of public patronage they endeavour to deserve.
The principal of these are known as
In Shelton, is the elegant mansion of R. Hicks, Esq. a gentleman who connects with sterling piety a most unbounded benevolence of disposition. Here the destitute find relief, the distressed find consolation, and the miserable, sympathy and protection. The Manufactory
adjoining produces excellent porcelain and pottery, of the various kinds; and is creditable to the parties Hicks, Meigh, & Johnson. It stands on the site of that where Mr. R. Baddeley first made the Blue printed ware; and which subjected him and his brother to the highest censure for extravagance, in
having a manufactory covered with tiles, instead of thatch; and for being the first who erected
four hovels behind, instead of only two.
At the top of Shelton, in a state of repair to be regretted by persons fond of the antiquities and literary character of the country, stands Shelton Old Hall, a venerable half-timbered mansion, built in the form of a long cross; the birth-place of the poet Elijah Fenton, and now the property of Sir Thomas Boughey, a descendent of the family of Fenton. Near this spot, is to be commenced, in the present year, the erection of a new and extremely Large Church, by Funds supplied by a grant under a recent Act of Parliament for supplying different populous districts with accommodation for religious worship according to the rites of the National Church.
Cauldon Place, the residence of J. Ridgway, Esq., is a regular, capacious and elegant structure; enjoying a very pleasing prospect, and
surrounded by plantations judiciously arranged to preserve every thing essential, and veil whatever would disturb the interesting landscape.
Near, is Shelton Hall, a spacious edifice, the
residence of W. Bishop, Esq., one of the directors of the British Gas Company; who have, in the lower part of the town, only a short distance from here, most extensive and commodious
Gas Works, for making the quantity required to supply the public lamps, many of the Shops, and some of the Manufactories, in
Burslem, Hanley, Shelton, Stoke, Fenton, and Lane End. As the charge for this accommodation is very moderate, for some time the proceeds did not pay interest for the capital expended; but now, the more the advantages of pure and good gas become known, the demand
proportionably increases, and there is great probability of the speculation proving alike advantageous to the public and its proprietors.
ETRURIA is a long street of about 120 houses; for whose advantage are erected, at the northern extremity a capacious School Room, on the British and Foreign School Plan; in the centre is another School Room, used also as a Preaching Room, for Methodists of the New Connection; and at the lower end is a neat Chapel, for the Wesleyan Methodists. —
The Manufactory is not only capacious, but well adapted for all requisite purposes of the manufacture. It possesses an extensive front wharf, besides two branch Canals for secure conveyance of the Materials to the interior. And a very powerful Steam Engine is employed to perform numerous important services calculated to diminish manual labour,
Etruria Hall the edifice on the Northern Bank eminence, was erected by the celebrated founder of Etruria. It has a truly elegant appearance, viewed from the opposite eminence at Basford Bank. The interior is very capacious, and the numerous apartments are well adapted for convenience and utility; but all bespeak the neatness and absence of ostentation, so constantly observed by its eminent proprietor.
The outbuildings are on a large scale; the gardens very extensive,: but the whole is now unoccupied, (tho' recently employed as a
Boarding School, for which purpose it is most excellently adapted;) as its worthy owner, the second Josiah Wedgwood, now resides at Mare Hall, a superb and almost princely mansion, for elegance and
capaciousness, distant from Etruria about seven miles.
next: Chapter 2 - Stoke, Penkhull and the vicinity
previous: Chapter 2 - Burslem and its vicinity
contents: index of Shaw's book