|Shaw's - History of the Staffordshire Potteries - originally published in 1829
Chapter 2 - The Potteries - Stoke, Penkhull and the vicinity
next: Chapter 2 - Lane End and the vicinity
previous: Chapter 2 - Hanley & Shelton with their vicinity
contents: index of Shaw's book
[these headings are not in the original - they are added for ease of reading]
|The Parish of Stoke-upon-Trent
|The Church of St. Peter
|Epitath to Wedgwood
|Sittings in Stoke Old Church
|Mainwaring - Rector
|Description of Stoke Church
|Adams of Bagnall
|Fenton Manor House
|Bourne & Baker
STOKE-UPON-TRENT was long the Parish Town of the district; but now is regarded solely by itself; and has its Market, and Town Hall, a neat structure, well adapted for public purposes; and under it are lock-up, and a place to hold the public Fire Engine.
The Parish of Stoke contains Hanley, Shelton, Penkhull, Fenton Vivian, Fenton Culvert, Longton, and Lane
End, Towns in the Potteries; with the Liberties of Clayton, Seabridge, Basford, Botteslow, Bucknall, Eaves, and Bagnall, appropriated chiefly to agriculture.
The Old Church, dedicated to St. Peter, a venerable and spacious stone edifice, of the later Saxon Style of architecture, and the mother Church of eight surrounding churches, in a circuit of several miles, is doomed to be taken down; and its materials, for many centuries (probably eight) devoted to the worship of the Triune God, may be appropriated to worthless purposes.
In the Church are some monuments to the memory of the Fentons, of Newcastle, maternal ancestors of Sir T. F. Boughey, Bart, and the following epitaph commemorates the virtues of the late Josiah Wedgwood, Esq.:
"Sacred to the Memory of
The following account of former sittings in Stoke Old Church, will preserve an evidence of the primitive distribution of seats in regard to rank, age, and worth, as well as the former separation of the men from the women in places of public worship.
"JOHN LICHFIELD AND COVENTRY.
"Eccleshall Castle, 26th April, A. D. 1634.
Some obscurity in the above document appears at the beginning, by
the position of the subsequent confirmations in 1664 and 1668, whether the list applies to the period of 1634, and afterwards
1668; or wholly to the latter : and some sentences are not clearly
expressed, which we have taken the liberty of filling up between brackets according to our judgment.
Whatever obscurity might exist, originally, or by copying, the article is sufficient, explicit for the purposes already stated, and which induced its insertion. By some it may be considered not uninteresting in furnishing a list of the nnmes of the ancient householders in the parish of Stoke; and in affording a partial means of judging of
the comparative state of the parish in regard to the population in the seventeenth and
Mr. Mainwaring, whose name appears, as Rector, in the beginning of the above instrument, is remarkable not only as an instance of longevity, but for the duration of his incumbency. The following has been handed to us as being an extract from the Parish Register, though it is evidently imperfect:
If Mr, Mainwaring was 59 years rector of Stoke, his age, at the time of his death, could not be less than 83 years. He was succeeded by the Rev. John Repton, who was likewise perpetual curate of Norton-in-the-Moors.—Pitt.
In the year 1815, a very handsome and commodious National School, for the education of 500 children of the poor in the Principles of the Established Church, was erected at this place, at an expense of nearly £1000. which sum was raised principally by voluntary contributions. It is situated at the east end of and adjoining the church-yard.
The Church now erected at Stoke, is of the Modern or Ornamented Gothic style of Architecture. The Architects and Builders, Messrs. Trubshaw and Johnson, of Haywood, in this County, commenced the erection in March, 1826, and it was completed in August, 1829.
The Corner Stones in the East, South, and North Angles at the Chancel End, were laid by the Very Rev. Dean of Lichfield, John Tomlinson, Esq. and the late Josiah Spode, Esq. on the 28th of June, 1826; and in each is an Earthenware Tablet, containing the following inscription, in Bas Relief:
in Shaw's book is the Latin inscription and a translation
The Rectory House, usually called Stoke Hall, is now in a course of alteration, by Messrs. Trubshaw and Johnson, to render it a very elegant and
commodious residence for the Minister of the Parish, and an ornament, instead of the curate's truly shabby house. We unintentionally omitted, in its proper place, the elegant, Rectory House recently built at Burslem; but hope this will supply the notice.
In Stoke proper, are only five houses, including the Hall; and of course only a few inhabitants strictly reside in Stoke. But the name is applied to the Town West of the Church. Stoke is in the liberty of Penkhull, on the high road from Lane End to Newcastle. Most, of the houses in it, are of comparatively recent ejection; and the opening of the New Road to the Black Lion, afforded opportunity for many dwelling houses to be erected on the line; while within the last three years, another range has been raised in the new road to Shelton. We have not been able to obtain information concerning any of the very early potters in Stoke. At the Honey-wall between Stoke and Penkhull, are a number of houses, pleasantly situated on an elevated tract, of land, possessing a fine view of the eastern side of the district.
The Trent and Mersey Canal passes near the Church Yard, along which are a range of Wharfs and Warehouses, for Canal Carriers; and the Canal Company have here one of their principal Offices, and extensive Sheds, &c. Prom Stoke to Lane End they have a Rail Road, on which their Waggons regularly convey materials and packages to the neighbourhood of Kenton, Lane Delph, and Lane End; and return with any Crates, &c. The Canal passes over the Trent at this place, the acqueduet being of three brick arches; and so very level with the adjoining land, as rarely to be noticed by persons passing along that way.
The Manufactories here are Eleven in number; belonging to these Gentlemen:—
Mr. Spode, Mr. Minton, Messrs. H. & R. Daniel, Mr. Adams, Mr. Boyle, Mr. Mayer, and Messrs. Ward and Forrister, But, in extent for the number, and in capital
employed, they greatly exceed the like number in any part, of the district. Three are void; but
they are the smallest in the place.
Along the new road are the Manufactories of T. Minton, Esq.
The largest is exclusively appropriated to the manufacture of various Pottery; of most excellent quality, for Blue Printing; and has obtained decided preference in many of the home markets.
The other manufactory has been appropriated to the Porcelain departments; and connected with it are a Steam Engine and Mill to grind the materials, and colours. The whole concern is of a regular plan for usefulness, and reduction of labour; and the various articles are entitled to the pre-eminence they have gained.
Messrs. Daniel's manufactory is wholly confined to Porcelain of the finest kind , (their Pottery being made at
the Shelton manufactory,) and their methods of ornamenting, are second to none in the district. The proprietors are highly respected for their
numerous excellencies of character, personal, and as public men.
Nigh to the Church Yard, is the Manufactory of Messrs. Z. Boyle & Son, for Porcelain and Pottery of very excellent quality. Their Residence is a large and handsome edifice on the opposite side of the high road, placed in a small paddock; but most injudiciously situated in the midst
of manufactories, whose smoke necessarily proves a continual source of annoyance.
In the centre of Stoke, covering an area of several acres, and adapted for the most commodious progression of the numerous processes, is the Manufactory of Josiah Spode, Esq., (the third of the name.) in extent not surpassed in Europe, and possessing the advantages of canal carriage to its very interior.
Here the power of a large Steam Engine, on the most improved principle of Boulton and Watt, is applied to grind the materials, and greatly reduce the manual labour of the slip makers.
The manufacture includes every variety of the finest kinds of Porcelain and Pottery, with all the ornaments and embellishments calculated to gratify the desires of the luxurious, and the taste of the connoisseur. The important material Feldspar, was first introduced into Porcelain, at this manufactory, by the father of the present proprietor, and the Porcelain was, in consequence allowed to be the finest in grain, and most durable in texture, of any in the district.
The Blue Printed has long enjoyed well merited preference, for the excellence of the Pottery, the great variety of elegant patterns, and the beauty of the shapes of the different articles. The late worthy proprietor, (of whom a brief account is given in a subsequent part,) was reckless of pains and expence to render all his productions deserving of general patronage, and he was so successful, that in comparatively
few years, be amassed an immense fortune, the reward of his endeavours to benefit the community at large.
PENKHULL is now the restricted name of the
high-land above Stoke, southwestward ; and here are a number of very convenient houses for the
working classes, of recent erection. The parish workhouse is on this elevated
spot; and will be inspected with pleasure by the philanthropist, for the cleanliness and comfort here afforded, to the aged and the infirm, the weak-minded and the destitute. In fact, all the
attentions of humanity are supplied to them.
Here died, in Nov. 1828, Mary Broad, at a truly patriarchal age; the first female ever employed in this district as a Transferrer of the impressions from copper plates to Pottery.—
A few very old houses remain in Penkhull; in one of which formerly they held the Copyhold Court for the Manor; and this still meets in
the Liberty of Penkhull. This suggests the opinion, that the present name
Manor of Newcastle, was allowed at first out of courtsey to the newly created Borough, which was taken out of Penkhull Liberty and Stoke Parish.
In one part of Penkhull, is the Mount; one of the best mansions in the district, a spacious and elegant square edifice, with suitable attatched offices, surrounded by extensive gardens and pleasure grounds, and enjoying a prospect almost unbounded, over the vicinity and the adjacent counties.
Its proprietor is Josiah Spode, Esq. the third of the name, and the inheritor of all the virtues of his predecessors. In the several relations of civil and domestic society, his character ranks very high amongst the most worthy of the gentlemen with which this part of the country is favoured.
Tho' possessed of vast property, his modesty and
affability remain unaffected by the elevation of his condition. With a large fund of good sense, liberality of disposition, and considerable knowledge of the world, his acquaintance with the claims of the lower classes upon his sympathy and benevolence, prevents any ostentatious parade from abashing the friendless suitor, and causing him to feel his degraded condition; while the wretched and houseless child of want, instead of being left
to pine in hopeless misery, frequently finds here a benefactor and protector. Long may the
district be benefited by his benevolence, and the parish of Stoke experience the advantages of his services.
Near to Stoke, over the Trent, on the south side of the high road, is the dilapidated mansion of the late Thomas Wheildon, Esq., at no very distant period, one of the most beautiful and interesting of the neighbourhood.
The spot, once the scene of
hospitality and domestic felicity, is now covered with briers and noisome weeds, and exposed to the rude blast of every pelting storm. The outbuildings are now partly destroyed, or transformed into small houses for the peasantry. At Fenton-Low are some cottages formed out of the old manufactory, and at this day
the property of his heirs.
On the north side opscsite the Trent, is the
mansion of W. Adams, Esq., of a very early and respectable family at Bagnall, long connected with the manufacture of the district. This gentleman joins with considerable experience, extensive
information relative to all departments of the Art; and his productions in Pottery and Porcelain are in deserved estimation.
The Manor House, Fenton, is an elegant and capacious mansion, placed on the summit of a very extensive lawn, and enjoying a delightful and extended prospect to the south and west. The gardens and pleasure grounds are large, and arranged with great taste and elegance.
There is a beautiful entrance Lodge at the western extremity of the estate, which latter is extremely valuable for its extent and agricultural produce, and the rich mines of coals, Potter's Marl, and Brick Clay, of excellent quality, spread all beneath its surface.
The proprietor is Philip Barnes Broade, Esq., a
young gentleman, whose promising talents have already secured for him, at the age of twenty-five, the appointment and
reappointment to the highest authority in the parish. (that of Churchwarden,) with that other gentleman of sterling worth, Josiah Spode, Esq. re-appointed the
FENTON has indeed been greatly enlarged in population during the present century; and since 1820 many new houses have been erected. Here on the south side is a neat Chapel, for the Wesleyan Methodists.
Near is a large Iron Foundry belonging to Messrs. Hancock;—and on the north side
and Mr. Felix Pratt's House and Manufactory, on the site where Mr. T. Heath made
dipped Pottery: and who is mentioned with proper respect for his
virtues, is in a subsequent part. The present proprietor is notable for affability and promptitude in alleviating the miseries of the distressed.
On the south side, nearer Lane End, are the two mansions of Ralph Bourne, and William Baker Esqs. The former is neat; but being only a kind of business-residence is without exterior decorations, the proprietor's home being at Hilderstone Hall, a few miles south-east of Fenton.
Mr. Baker's residence is spacious and commodious, surrounded with gardens and pleasure grounds, and enjoying a tolerably extensive prospect.
The public spirit and private virtues of these gentlemen, have been long known in the district; and are duly appreciated by all persons of discernment and worth. Ready for every good word and work, their benevolence has been exercised to discover objects of commisseration; and their liberality has been dispensed with most laudable extension and promptitude.
Almost adjoining are the two extensive Manufactories, and Mill, of Messrs. Bourne, Baker and Bourne; whose productions are in estimation in both the home and foreign markets.
One of these is on the site of that formerly the property of Mr. T Bacchus; but being mostly new buildings, the curious find some difficulty in ascertaining which, if any, of the present establishment, must be regarded as having resulted from Mr. Astbury's introduction of Flint and
Biddeford Clay, at Lane Delph.— It has often been a subject of regret to us, to find that very little if any notice had been taken of persons who had served their generation in an important manner, and of facts, which are
known to have occurred by the results yet remaining.
In Fenton Lane are several truly elegant Cottage Residences, for persons who have retired from the hurry of business, to enjoy in quiet the honourable reward of their assiduity and genius.
At the Toll gate is Heron Cottage, a superb tho' small edifice, the property of Charles Mason. Esq.
At Great Fenton are the spacious mansions of Thomas Allen and Henry Cartwright, Esqrs. —and the unoccupied mansion house, belonging to John Smith, Esq., the owner of very considerable property in Stoke Parish, but now resident at Elmhurst, near Lichfield.
At a short distance is Longton Hall, the seat of Richard Edensor Ileathcote, Esq., M. P. for Coventry. As great
alterations are being effected here, it cannot with propriety be particularized at present.
The number of old houses in LANE DELPH, shew it to have been long one seat of the manufacture.
There are now a large number of new houses, of a very convenient size and plan for the working classes. And within the last year, the enterprising spirit of a private person, Charles Mason, Esq., has established a regular Market, with Stalls and Shambles, to accommodate this part; which doubtless will be duly appreciated by all those for whose convenience the speculation was undertaken.
At the bottom of Ark Lane, nigh Mr. Pratt's, is a Chapel for the Calvinists; and in the New Road is one, commodious and handsome, (with a good school room connected, for the gratutious instruction of children on the Sabbath;) owned by the methodists of the New Connection, formed in 1797.
In Lane Delph also are entitled to notice, the House and Manufactory, of Thomas Carey, Esq.. also of S. Ginders, Esq,, and of J. Pratt, Esq.
The manufactory of Messrs. G. & C. Mason, for Patent Iron-stone China, is commodious. Here is a Steam Engine of some peculiarity in
its construction, by Holford, of Hanley; but we never could get from him, an explicit statement of the
nature of the improvement, certainly with a cylinder only the size of a six-horse power engine, this has always done the work of others rated as equal to sixteen horses. The front Warehouse is four stories high, is fire proof, and has the most beautiful facade of any in the district. The manufactory where Messrs. Barker pursued their avocation, is now converted into cottages and a tavern called the Dog and Partridge.
On the East is Fenton Park, where is a Colliery of great magnitude and value; in one part of which is a Steam Engine of about sixty horses power, on the best principle, and adapted to work four lifts of Pumps to raise water from the mines.
Almost close to this, is Broadfield Colliery, also extremely valuable for the extent and depth of strata of its several mines.
The spectator may enjoy from the eminence, at Fenton Park, a prospect, at once so rich and greatly diversified, as not to be equalled in this district, and scarcely possible to be excelled in any part of the kingdom. Words will not adequately describe its beauties; they must be contemplated, for the mind to have correct ideas of them.
The FOLEY has only a few Houses, and three Manufactories in it.
The Manufactory of Messrs. Elkins, Knight, & Bridgwood, is a new and very complete establishment; having in addition to the customary buildings a powerful Steam Engine and Flint Mill. The productions of this establishment are very superior in their quality, and have obtained celebrity in the markets. The proprietors are gentleman of the most respectable character as tradesmen and members of civil society.
Opposite are the House and Manufactory of C. Bourne, Esq., the former the best on this side, for excellence of construction, and elegance of appearance. Connected with it are spacious Gardens; and contigous is the manufactory.
At the southern extremity are the House and Factory of the late Mr. Myatt; one of the first persons who received the Wesleyan Methodist Preachers; and in whose parlour the late Rev. J. Wesley stood, while from the window he preached to a vast congregation, when last he passed thro' Staffordshire only a few months prior to his decease.
Golden Hill House is the residence of Jacob Marsh Esq., long esteemed highly for his numerous private virtues as a friend and parent; and for his integrity as a tradesman and master. — Descended from a family long engaged in the manufacture of the different kinds of Pottery, and of the first flint and salt glaze ware, he alone remains to perpetuate the name in his family, and convey to posterity a memento of one of those branches to whom the district owes its elevation.
His very compact and well arranged Manufactory is at the entrance into Lane End.
next: Chapter 2 - Lane End and the vicinity
previous: Chapter 2 - Hanley & Shelton with their vicinity
contents: index of Shaw's book