A walk around Dresden, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent
Dresden & the Longton Freehold Land Society



There is no information readily available on house property ownership until the land valuation carried out for the Inland Revenue in 1910 and the 1915 rate book for Stoke-on-Trent. 

Just over one third of the 769 houses on the estate in 1915 were owner-occupied and the rest were rented. However there was a clear division between the terrace houses, most of which had a rateable value of 6 to 9 per annum, which were overwhelmingly rented, and the large detached or semi-detached villas, most of which had a rateable value of 20 to 35, which were virtually all owner-occupied. The list below shows the number of owner-occupied and rented houses in each street in 1915.

Cocknage Road 9 3 12
Taylor Street 7 6 13
Queen Street 2 3 5
Albert Place  4 3 7
Carlisle Street 41 22 64*
Ricardo Street  30 37 67
Red Bank  7 12 19
Wise Street  12 46 58
Peel Street  34 57 91
Russell Street 13 79 92
Villiers Street 17 89 106
Cobden Street 16 73 89
Bridle Path  0 3 3
Belgrave Road 59 46 105
Lansdowne Street  3 25 28
Trentham Road 10 0 10
TOTAL  264 504 769

*one property, No 31 Carlisle Street, is not recorded as having an owner or an occupier.

The Edwards family:

The houses were generally owned in small blocks by local tradesmen. However one family, the Edwards family, were by far the largest property owners on the estate with a total holding of 87 houses, over 17% of the rented houses. Aaron Edwards was a pottery manufacturer, co-founder in 1858 of the firm of Cartwright and Edwards. 
In 1868-9 they built the Borough Pottery in Trentham Road, Longton, making use of machinery for nearly all the processes. Aaron Edwards served on the Longton Board of Guardians and was mayor of Longton in 1874, 1896-9, and 1907-8. 
He was created an alderman in 1875. He also represented Longton on Staffordshire County Council. He was a member of the Methodist New Connexion, and was associated with the Zion Chapel, Longton. 
He served on the board of several local building societies and borrowed money to make large purchases of property in the Longton area including on the Dresden estate. 

He lived in a large villa, No 9 Queen Street (now Mercer Street), Dresden, where he was recorded in the 1891 census as follows:


Marr | Age 

  Birthplace Occupation
Aaron Edwards Married 48  Head  Staffs, Longton Manufacturer of Earthenware, Ald. & Justice of the Peace for the Borough of Longton
Sarah Edwards Married 56 Wife  Staffs, Longton
George A Edwards  Single 26  Son  Staffs, Dresden
Agnes G Edwards Single 18 Dau  Staffs, Dresden
Martha Adams  Single 25 Srvnt  Staffs, Forsbrook General Servant 

Aaron Edwards died in his house at Queen Street on 8 July 1908. In 1915 64 of his houses in Dresden were in the possession of his executors and 17 in the ownership of his son, Charles J Edwards, who presumably inherited them from his father. 

Other owners:

Many of the other houses on the estate were owned by women who had inherited the houses from their husbands or fathers and were living on the rental income. Miss Mary Emony, who owned 12 houses in 1915, was typical of many others. She had inherited the houses from her father Samuel Emony, a wheelwright in business in Longton, who lived at 44 Carlisle Street, Dresden, in the 1880s. 

Another typical example was Robert Kent. He was a pottery manufacturer and lived in a villa at 12 Cocknage Road (now No 53) c. 1881-1915 and owned 5 terrace houses in Villiers Street, Dresden.

The 1900 Ordnance Survey map  shows the estate at the end of the 19th century by which time virtually all the building plots had been filled.