|Shaw's - History of the Staffordshire Potteries - originally published in 1829
Chapter 2 - The Potteries - Tunstall and its vicinity
next: Chapter 2 - Burslem & its vicinity
previous: Preliminary remarks
contents: index of Shaw's book
[these headings are not in the original - they are added for ease of reading]
TUNSTALL has risen, during the present century, from being a mere small street, of about
twenty houses in the highroad, and about forty more in the lanes leading to Chatterley and Red-Street, into a town of moderate size, for the accommodation of whose inhabitants, a Church is to be erected by Government, at the expence of several thousand pounds.
Mr. John Mear, Mr. T. Goodfellow, and Mr. Ralph Hall, have elegant Mansions connected with extensive manufactories. Of Mr. Hall, it may be justly stated, that his modesty and unaffected piety, are exceeded only by his philanthropy and assiduity in every good work for public or private benefit. There are other manufactories, of considerable extent, belonging to S. &
J. Rathbone, J. Boden, Bourne, Nixon, & Co. Breeze, & Co, and Burrows, & Co.
At the manufactory now owned by Mr.
Goodfellow, Mr. Enoch Booth first introduced that most important improvement in the manufacture of pottery, the fluid Glaze. Here also his son-in-law and successor Anthony Keeling, employed Enamellers, of the Porcelain, then commenced making under Mr. Champion's Patent, in copartnership with Samuel Hollins, J. & P. Warburton, and William Clowes. But very soon afterwards this was transferred to Shelton, under the firm of Hollins, Warburton, & Co.
Smith Child, Esq, has recently established a very commodious manufactory for Chemicals, at Clay Hills; near which are very extensive beds of excellent marl, employed in making Blue Tiles for Houses, Floor Quarries, and different kinds of Bricks, of superior quality for appearance and durability.
Each of the three denominations of Methodists has here a spacious Chapel, with which is connected a Sunday School; whose Libraries promote the moral improvement of the people. Here is also a very
repectable Literary Society, unassuming in character, but assiduous in research.
In 1815, by a public subscription was formed a spacious Market Place, which is now well attended by dealers of every kind; also was erected an elegant Court House ; with Lock-ups for Offenders. There are a large Windmill, and also a Steam Mill, for grinding grain. And at a short distance is Hostin Mill, for grinding Potters' Materials; concerning which, in 1826, several thousand pounds were expended in a Lawsuit, to determine in whether parish it is situated, Burslem or Wolstanton ; and the decision fixed it in the former.
Closely connected with Tunstall, and much like one of its extremities, tho' in Burslem parish, we find on the Burslem road,
HIGHGATE, and the FLASH; containing about fifty dwelling houses, chiefly for
the operative classes. Also,
BROWNHILLS. Here is one manufactory, belonging to Samuel Marsh & Co.; and another, moderately extensive, the property of John Wood, Esq., a gentleman of great worth for every manly feeling, who resides in an adjacent elegant Mansion ; of a moderate yet convenient size, placed in a well-arranged paddock and gardens, from which there are beautiful prospects, and a delightful command of the Turnpike roads to Longport and Wolstanton, also to Burslem and Tunstall. At this place occurred that most remarkable and fatal catastrophe, in 1797, of Dr. Oliver shooting the owner, father to the present proprietor, a truly pious and good man, and an affectionate head of his family.
On the road to Bosley, is GREEN FIELD (or SMITH-FIELD) containing several strata of excellent Coals and Marls, and some beautiful prospects. The very elegant and commodious Mansion, seen from the high road, has a truly picturesque appearance, in a pleasant hanging wood, fronted by a fine lawn.
NEW FIELD is stated (by Pitt, p. 393, but no reference is given to his authority,) as having been a part of the extensive Town Fields of Tunstall, about 1613. Certain it is, that a descendant of the William Badyley, who, in 10 Edw. IV. became seized of a messuage and land here, now has it in possession. This Gentleman is Smith Child, Esq. grandson of Admiral Smith Child; who, during the peace of 1763, erected here a large manufactory, and a very spacious and elegant Mansion, having extensive prospects over much of the potteries. The very valuable mines of coal with which this estate is enriched, were increased in value during the minority of its present possessor, by a sewer from the low level of the Canal being run up under them to drain them most effectively. In fact the whole of this property was greatly improved by the
very judicious management of J. H. Clive, Esq. one of the earliest and most successful introducers of ornamental engraving into the Blue printing department of Pottery.
The following are copies of two ancient and curious deeds connected with this place.
The Manufactory is now occupied by Joseph Heath & Co. The other manufactory, nigher Golden Hill, is occupied by James Beech and
Abraham Lownds. The latter gentleman will long be remembered in this neighbourhood as a friend of mankind, and one of the Founders and chief supporters of the Large Tunstall Sunday School.
GOLDEN HILL. This extremity of the district can have claim to its high appellation, only in
consequence of its valuable mines of Coals, Cannel. Ironstone, and Marl. In the sixteenth century, coarse Pottery, and more recently the brown, chequered, and Porto Bello wares have been made here. A few years ago, there was also a small establishment for the
manufacture of Cream Colour, and Porcelain; but it is now discontinued; and very recently the buildings have been converted into dwelling houses. Only the Coarse Pottery is now manufactured, in new buildings. There are
three taverns in this small place. A few years since, a number of new houses, also a Small Chapel and Sunday School, for the Wesleyan
Methodists, were added to this liberty.
On the West of this place is LATEBROOK, where is a large Furnace for reducing the iron ore found in the neighbourhood in considerable quantity. On the North, are Kidsgrove and Whitehill Collieries, very extensive and productive; the property of Thomas Kinnersley, Esq. of
At a short distance westward, are the two subterraneous Tunnels, the principal on the line of the Trent and Mersey Canal, under the Harecastle (Query Air-castle) Hill. The Old Tunnel, which commences near Kidsgrove, and terminates near Clay Hills, was a work of immense labour and expense, in consequence of unforeseen difficulties. Its length is two thousand eight hundred and eighty yards; its height twelve feet, and its width nine feet, at the depth of seventy to eighty yards beneath the surface of the hill thro' which it is excavated, and lined and arched with bricks.
The fall of Water, from this highest pond, to the northern extremity is three hundred and twenty six feet, by thirty five locks, and to the southern three hundred and sixteen feet by forty locks.
The new Tunnel is of larger dimensions than the other; and a towing path, with a strong guard rail is formed along one of its sides. This stupendous undertaking was calculated to occupy the labour of five years, during which several hundred men would be employed in the excavation of the earth, and the construction of the Tunnel, independent of the numbers employed in conveying materials, &c. Contracts were made for bricks in every direction. The expence was calculated at a guinea per inch the distance being about one mile and three quarters, or two thousand eight, hundred and eighty yards, which alone make one hundred and three thousand six hundred and eighty guineas; and including all the materials, at a quarter of a million sterling.
Shafts were sunk and steam engines erected for the raising of the earth, &c. at different points of the elevation the tunnel averaging about seventy yards in depth from the surface of the hill.
The Grand Trunk Canal was only begun in July 17th, 1766, and finished in 1777; yet such is the richness of the Company, and the business of the canal, that the money is no object compared to the
advantage to be gained. On the plan of one tunnel, if a boat arrived but a few minutes after another, which had entered the Tunnel, it had to tarry six hours, for its turn, in either direction. By the additional one the different directions has each its separate tunnel of progress, by which the business of the canal is
incalculably promoted in expedition. Such is the ingenuity and adventurous disposition of man. Not only will he effect his purposes on the surface of the ground; but will even dare to penetrate into its internal recesses, to carry forward his designs where they can possibly be completed.
The northern extremity of Golden Hill, is GREEN LANE, formerly only the direct road into the Potteries; and having its name from its fertile and pleasing appearance, to the persons who employed gangs of horses. At this farthest extremity of the district in this direction, is a small and very old manufactory of coarse black ware. The situation has considerable elevation, and consequently a peculiarly pleasing, and particularly extensive and diversified Landscape. Looking southward and eastward, almost the whole of this interesting and populous district is presented to the eye of the beholder; the towns, villages, mansions, churches, hills, dales and Canal, appear in every possible angle, and gratify while they interest the spectator.
The contrary way presents much of the richly cultivated water bason of the County of Chester; having in the distance the towering hills of Lancashire in front; those of Wales on one side, and those of Derbyshire on the other; while the interior of this microcosm is richly interspersed with sheets of water, fine enclosures, woods, and elegant mansions of persons of rank and opulence.
next: Chapter 2 - Burslem & its vicinity
previous: Preliminary remarks
contents: index of Shaw's book