George Woolliscroft & Son (Ltd)


Location and period of operation:

G Woolliscroft





Manufacturer of roof, wall and floor tiles at the Patent Tile Works, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, England.
  • Around 1865 George Wooliscroft commenced the manufacturer of tiles at Chesterton in the nearby Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme.

  • About 1880 George purchased the Hanley Works from William Ridgway. About the same time he commenced making ridge and roofing tiles at Etruria.

  • In 1893 George Wooliscroft was joined by  Captain Blizzard as partner.

  • 1894 the business became a limited company. Captain Blizzard  became Chairman of the Board and manager of the works. George Wooliscroft retired from active work on the Board. 

  • George died in 1906. 

  • The Melville Street (Hanley) works continued in use producing tiles until c.2000 when the business was taken over by Pilkington Tiles and merged with Dorset tiles.





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George Wooliscroft & Son

letter head (pre 1894)



G Wooliscroft & Son Ltd

Makers tile at Kentish Town, London underground station


Woolliscroft supplied tiles to a number of the London underground stations

photos courtesy:  Roger van Goethem



George Wooliscroft, aged 81.

We regret to record the death of Mr. George Woolliscroft, one of the oldest pottery manufacturers in North Staffordshire, and the founder of the firm of George Woolliscroft & Son, Ltd., terra-cotta and tile manufacturers, Patent Tile Works, Hanley. 

Mr. Woolliscroft had been ill for some time, and it was known that his disease was incurable; yet he was patient under his sufferings, and almost to the end maintained an interest in the progress of the business he had himself commenced. He was able to get out until about a month prior to his death, which took place at his residence at Leek, on the evening of August 30. 
One of his last visits was to the company’s Chesterton works, in which he took especial interest, as he commenced the manufacture of tiles there. 

Mr. Woolliscroft was born at Fulford, on March 7, 1825 and was the son of a farmer. 
He received his early education locally, attending afterwards a school at Shooters Hill. It is interesting to note that he was not originally associated with the potting trade, but was apprenticed to a cabinet maker and upholsterer. He was associated with that trade for several years in various parts of the country, but returned to Staffordshire and engaged in various enterprises, the supply of timber for mining purposes being one of them. This led him to supplying timber for building purposes. His connection with builders suggested the supply of encaustic tiles for builders, and this was the means of his coming into business relations with the late Mr. William Ridgway, who was manufacturing tiles at Hanley. Mr. Woolliscroft bought tiles from Mr. Ridgway for some time, and eventually purchased the Hanley tile works themselves from him. About the same time he commenced making ridge and roofing tiles at Etruria.

These were the "small beginnings" from which the extensive and many-sided business now controlled by the limited company has been gradually evolved, mainly by the foresight and energy of the deceased. The company are now not only manufacturers of building tiles, but decorative tiles for all purposes, mosaics, and particularly of ecclesiastical faience. The latter has become one of the most important branches of the company’s business. They have carried out many beautiful schemes of church ornamentation in ceramic mosaics. A fine specimen of their work may be seen in the Church of the Blind, Hope-street, Liverpool, where it elicits almost as much admiration from strangers as the beautiful singing of the blind congregation for which the church is famous. 

The business grew rapidly, and in 1894 it was taken over by a private limited company, Mr. Woolliscroft becoming the chairman of the directors. He retired from active work on the Board, and was succeeded by Captain Blizzard, who had been his partner since 1893, and who became Chairman of the Board and manager of the works.

Mr. Woolliscroft, however, retained his financial interest in the business to the last, and was looked upon as a sort of advisory partner to the end. On the celebration of his eightieth birthday, last year, the directors, staff, and employees of the various works presented him with a finely executed portrait of himself and an illuminated congratulatory address. 

For the last eight years he has resided at Leek. He was at the time of his death churchwarden of All Saints Church, Leek, but otherwise took very little active part in public work. Mr. Woolliscroft had been a widower for twelve months, and leaves one son and two daughters. The deceased will long be remembered with respect by a large circle of private and business friends.

The Pottery Gazette - 1 October 1906 



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