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Neville Malkin's "Grand Tour" of the Potteries

buildings South of the Potteries


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No 15 - Sir Oliver Lodge's Birthplace, Penkhull

The Views, Penkhull
The Views, Penkhull

photo:   Clive Shenton  May 2001
 

Sir Oliver Lodge, the celebrated scientist, was born on June 12 1851 at 'The Views' Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent. He was knighted and made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1902. Lodge's original work in physics includes investigations of lightning, the voltaic cell and electrolysis, and electromagnetic waves.

Pair of houses. Early 19th Century.

Painted brick with plain tiled roof. 2-storeyed, of one and two unit plan. The larger house has central doorway in flat roofed porch with round arched entrance, flanked by wide 16-pane sash windows with flat arched rendered heads on each floor, and an additional window over the doorway.

Central rear wing, and lower added or raised bay to the left with squared bay window. The smaller house has a doorway to the left beneath a wood canopy carried on moulded console brackets, and a canted bay window with slate roof and small upper panes to sashes. 16-pane sashes above.

Side wall stacks in both dwellings. Modillion eaves cornice across the whole facade.


The Institute of Physics
The Views, Penkhull
birthplace of
SIR OLIVER LODGE
1851 - 1940
distinguished scientist
and pioneer of
wireless telegraphy

 

The Views, Penkhull - Sir Oliver Lodge's Birthplace
The Views, Penkhull - Sir Oliver Lodge's Birthplace
pen drawing by Neville Malkin - May 1976

 

The Views, Penkhull
The Views, Penkhull
photo: Feb 2009

 


"The famous physicist and Spiritualist, Sir Oliver Lodge, who was noted for his investigations into electricity, light, magnetism and the nature of the ether, was born in this house at Penkhull on June 12th, 1851.

He was the eldest of seven boys. His father was a successful potters' merchant, and his mother, the youngest daughter of the Headmaster of Lucton School, Herefordshire; the Penkhull house was the first home of the young couple. One of young Oliver's earliest recollections was of the Crimean War and the peace celebrations at Stoke. While living at Penkhull he attended a local dame school, and in 1859 went to Newport Grammar School, Salop, where he was very unhappy. When he was 12, the family moved to a larger residence, Moreton House, Wolstanton, where, in an outbuilding, he was able to undertake his first experiments. In the same year, he left Newport and went to Combs School, Suffolk, but at 14 his schooling was cut short and he had to help in his father's business. He attended classes at the Wedgwood Institute, Burslem, and at 20 matriculated to London University. With help from his mother and aunt - his father disapproved - he went to study at the Royal College of Science and University College, and eventually graduated D.Sc. in 1877.

By 1875 his father had become wealthy and the family moved to Watlands Hall, Wolstanton, from where, on August 22nd, Oliver left for Newcastle to marry Mary Marshall, a local girl who had been a student at the Slade School of Art, London. He was appointed Professor of Physics at the newly-founded University College, Liverpool in 1881, and was the first Principal of Birmingham University from 1900 to 1919, receiving a knighthood in 1902. He achieved world fame and was showered with academic honours for his work in wireless communication. His experiments preceded many of Marconi's, and another series helped Einstein in his formulation of the theory of relativity. He joined the Society for Psychical Research in 1883 and was President from 1901-4.

In his book, "Raymond," an account of his attempt to communicate with his son who had been killed on the Western Front in 1915, he wrote, "I am as convinced of continuous existence on the other side of death as I am of existence here." And so, after a long life, one of the finest intellectuals that North Staffordshire has produced finally ended his days at Amesbury, Wiltshire, on August 22nd, 1940."


Neville Malkin 1
9th May 1976

 

 

Sir Oliver Lodge, right, is made a Freeman of Stoke-on-Trent in 1928
Sir Oliver Lodge, right, is made a Freeman of Stoke-on-Trent in 1928

 
The Views, Penkhull, in 1968. This was later the home of Sir Stanley Matthews
The Views, Penkhull, in 1968. This was later the home of Sir Stanley Matthews
- it is a listed building


Sir Oliver and Lady Lodge in March 1928
Sir Oliver and Lady Lodge in March 1928

 

Advert for Lodge spark plugs - at Peppers garage, Piccadilly, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Advert for Lodge spark plugs - at Peppers garage, Piccadilly, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

 


 

 

1881 Census entry for the Oliver Lodge household:-

Dwelling: 17 Parkhurst Rd
Census Place: Islington, London, Middlesex, England

Name

Marr | Age | Sex

  Birthplace Occupation
Oliver Joseph LODGE M 29 M  Head Penkhull, Staffordshire Dr Of Science Lndn Asst Prof Of Physics ... College Lndn Prof Bedford Clg Lndn
Mary F.A. LODGE M 30 F Wife Camberwell, Surrey  
Infant LODGE 1 m M Son Islington, Middlesex  
Emily GRAHAM  U 58 F Serv Wexford, Ireland Professional Nurse
Mary HART  U 27 F  Serv Shillingstone, Dorset Domestic Servant Cook
Sarah COLLETT  U 18 F  Serv Cambridge  Domestic Servant Housemaid

 

 


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