William Ridgway (& Co)


Location and period of operation:

William Ridgway & Co





Manufacturer of earthenware the Bell Works, Albion Street and Church Works, Hanley, Stoke-upon-Trent, England


  • The brothers John Ridgway and William Ridgway were in partnership at the Cauldon Works from 1814-30. 

  • In 1830 the two brothers inherited the Bell Works from their uncle George, John kept the Cauldon Works and William moved to the Bell works.

  • The Church Works were owned by Joseph Mayer who, in about 1832, rented part of the works to William Ridgway.

  • William Ridgway was Joseph Mayer's cousin. Joseph Mayer had in his employ a 'clever modeller', Leonard James Abington, who was also a chemist, and around 1834 he placed him in partnership, thus making the '& Co' in William Ridgway & Co. 

  • When Joseph Mayer ceased potting in 1832 he then let the majority of his works to W. Ridgway & Co., retained an oven and other parts of the works, 


Formerly: John & William Ridgway [1814-30] 

Concurrently: William Ridgway, Son & Co [1841-48] 

Also see: The Ridgway family of potters




William Ridgway transfer plate in the Euphrates pattern

W. Ridgway

Euphrates is the pattern name 

marks without '& Co' indicates a date 1830-34

photos courtesy: Ruth Mackinnon  





relief moulded stoneware jug dated  October 1, 1835

published by
October 1, 1835

impressed mark 


The jug is decorated with relief moulded designs and figures, 
which are scenes from the Robert Burns poem about Tam O'Shanter.

similar style jugs were also made by William Ridgway, Son & Co 




jug in light blue stoneware by William Ridgway
with hand painted flowers and gilded accents


raised pad on the base of the jug 


the backstamp is on an applied pad of clay  
the mark displays an urn and anchor in relief along with 
W. Ridgway & Co. impressed along a ribbon banner at the bottom.







William Ridgway & Co plate in the Marmora pattern

Marmora, Greece - is a village on the island of Paros, South Aegean
it is famous for it marble quarries

- Wikipedia article

W R & Co

a printed mark with an urn and anchor
MARMORA is the pattern name 

the inclusion of '& Co' indicates 
a date 1834-54




a plate in the Flosculous pattern 

the pattern has several groups of idealised flowers radiating from a central rococo style scroll motif - the edge has four areas of cast-in raised flowers

the Collins Dictionary defines the word flosculous as "lowery; abounding in flowers" 

W R & Co






William Ridgway & Co plate in the Tyrolean pattern

Tyrolean was a series of Alpine scenes with mountains, 
buildings & figures and used on a wide range of wares.

W R & Co




Marks and Initials used on ware for identification:

W. R.


without '& Co' indicates 
a date 1830 - 34

W. R. & Co.


the inclusion of '& Co' indicates 
a date 1834-54


W. Ridgway


these marks without '& Co' indicates a date 1830-34

marks with W.R. & Co were produced in the 1834-1854 period



W. R.

W. R.

A number of patterns and printed marks were reissued at later periods by a subsequent company:- Ridgways at the Bedford Works.  

  • If the mark has the name 'Ridgways' (in the plural) then is is from the later 1879-1920 period. 




W R & Co

a printed mark with an urn and anchor
MARMORA is the pattern name 

the inclusion of '& Co' indicates 
a date 1834-54


The Bell works 
In 1830 the two brothers, John & William Ridgway, 
inherited the Bell Works from their uncle George.
John stayed at the Cauldon Works and William took the Bell Works.

- click for more -


The Church works 

- click for more -



Imported ware - passing off as William Ridgway & Co 


Although marked W R & Co - William Ridgway was not known for making this type of ware 
this a modern day import, probably from China
There was a company called ‘Staffordshire Figure Company Ltd’ who imported this type of ware around the 1990’s


the drawing of the mark on the back is very poor compared with a genuine Ridgway mark, 
the lettering is unclear and the wrong style - also the ‘O’ in ‘& Co’ should be smaller than the other letters, 
early Ridgway ware did not have ‘STAFFORDSHIRE’ in the mark - possibly the ’98’ is for 1998


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks