The Potteries Bottle Oven : the huge, imposing, and towering brick-built, bottle-shaped structure, up to 70 feet high, essential on a potbank for the making of pottery.
Images of the remaining examples here>
Where are they located? here>
|Painting: "Bottle Ovens at Twyfords Etruria in 1950"|
“In the pottery district of North Staffordshire, chimneys may, at any time, be seen vomiting forth black smoke filling the streets and roads to such an extent as sometimes to impede vision beyond a distance of a few yards." The report for 1878 by the Medical Officer of the Local Government Board
Today (2019) there are fewer than 50 bottle-shaped structures. The oven at Hudson and Middleton's factory in Normacot Road, Longton, was the last one to be fired, in August 1978. None will ever be fired again. The Clean Air Act of 1956, and their delicate condition have put paid to that.
In total 30 potters' ovens remain standing. These were the ones specifically used for the firing of biscuit or glost pottery. 18 of those are within a 5 minutes walk of Gladstone Pottery Museum in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent
Throughout this website the term 'bottle oven' refers to a bottle-shaped structure, of various types and functions, used for firing pottery ware or its components. Bottle ovens can be classified into four main types. Within these four types are additional variations giving a total of twelve different types of oven. All are listed here>