The Big Works, Stoke-upon-Trent

See Thomas Wolfe biography

Big Works - (by 1781) On the north-east side of the Newcastle canal - opposite  Spode's pottery works. 
It seems to have originated in a pottery sold in 1781 by Elizabeth Webster to Thomas and rebuilt by him.

Bridge Bank Works - Wolfe added a works (the Bridge bank Works) on the opposite side of Church Street. These works were held by Smith & Jarvis at the beginning of the 19th century.  

In 1818 Thomas's widow Rachel let the two works to William Adams. The Adams family continued to work the old Wolfe factories until c.1862.
In the 1870's Wolfe Street (part of which is now Kingsway) was run through part of the Big Works.


Thomas Hargreaves Map of 1832
Thomas Hargreaves Map of 1832

NOTE: by the time of this map the Wolfe works were run by William Adams

Stoke-upon-Trent c.1819 - The view is along Church Street.
Stoke-upon-Trent c.1819 - The view is along Church Street.
To the immediate left is the Wheatsheaf Public House (a coaching inn).
Next the Wheatsheaf is Wolfe's "Big Works"
To the right of the picture is Wolfe's china factory - the Bridge Bank works

The railings in front of the works is the Newcastle Canal - the canal went underneath
Church Street and the Wheatsheaf Inn and then ran alongside Spode's and Wolfe's works.

picture: "Ten Generations of a Potting Family"

on the Newcastle Canal

The tunnels where the canal enters Stoke town c.1890

The tunnels where the canal enters Stoke town c.1890

This photo shows this location where the canal goes into two tunnels - one to the right into the Wolfe "Big Works" [at the time of this photo the works were operated by Adams] and one under Stoke town centre and onto the Trent and Mersey canal.

Above the tunnels is the flint mill -
to the left are the imposing industrial buildings of Minton, with a long three-story building, rising to four storeys in the centre

Jewitt's "Ceramic Art of Great Britain, 1800-1900". 
Godden, "Encyclopedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks" 

Questions/comments? email: Steve Birks

28 August 2005