Longton

LONGTON AREA

Longton is the southern-most town of the city of Stoke-on-Trent. In the early days Longton was two settlements - Longton to the west and Lane End to the east (the end of the lane leading to Meir.) The two were not formally united until 1848. Although the area was rich in sources of high quality coal and clay, development was limited by the Levensons, who owned the Trentham Priory lands. However, Sir John Edensor who bought Longton Manor in 1773 allowed development. 

The impetus for Longton's development also came from its location on the former Roman road at the junction with the road to Stone, which were turnpiked in 1759 and 1771 respectively. These improvements helped to overcome the town's isolation from the canal network. Potbanks developed along Sutherland Road and the parallel Uttoxeter Road. Notable were the Gladstone Works, (now a multi award winning museum) Aynsley and Sydney Works. Flint-grinding mills were also significant, while the collieries, iron works and tileries were outside the town to the west and north east.

Longton
Classic image of Wharf Street, now Bridgwood Street.
Just a stone's throw from Gladstone Pottery Museum
Photo by William Blake  Date: 1905
Photo courtesy Staffordshire Past Track here >


Bottle ovens still standing? Page down or click here>

BOTTLE OVENS LONG SINCE GONE


Longton
Photo: William Blake   Date: early 1900s

Longton Bottle Oven in Lockets Lane  Photo: Unknown source and date. Painting: Reginald Haggar 1970
Longton
Bottle Oven in Lockets Lane
Photo: Unknown source and date. Painting: Reginald Haggar 1970


Longton
Photo: unknown source  Date: unknown


Longton
Muffle Oven behind the Co-op building
Market Street from King Street
Photo: source unknown  Date: unknown

Longton
Bottle Oven, Goddard Street
Photo: source unknown   Date: about 1960

Blue Bell Works and Garfield Works, looking up Barlow Street, Longton. Scan: Print sold by Friends of City Museum and Art Gallery, Hanley  Date: Early 1970s
Longton
Blue Bell Works and Garfield Works
Looking up Barlow Street
Scan: Print sold by Friends of City Museum and Art Gallery, Hanley.
Date: Early 1970s

Longton
In Sutherland Road, looking up to Garfield Works and Bluebell Pottery, Barlow Street
Photo:  Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: 25th May 1975

Longton
Bluebell Works, Sampson Smith Pottery, Barker Street.
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date July 1970

Longton
Bluebell Works, Sampson Smith Pottery, Barker Street
Photo by Sid Meir, courtesy Ian Mood  Date: c1972

Longton
Barker Bros. Ltd., Barker Street
Photo: unknown source  Date: unknown

Longton
Barker Bros. Ltd.
Photo: unknown source  Date: unknown

Longton
Caroline China demolished 1983
Photo: Courtesy Gladstone Pottery Museum  Date: 1975

Longton
Updraught stack type bottle oven at Caroline China, Caroline Street
The crown damper on the left; A quarter damper on the right
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection  Date: 1975/6
Taken during the Bottle Oven Survey more here>

Longton
Updraught stack type bottle oven at Caroline China, Caroline Street
'Oss and bag with special trials saggar on the left.
Looking up the stack on the right
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection
Date: 1975/6 - taken during the Bottle Oven Survey more here>


Longton Updraught Hovel Ovens - Elektra Porcelain, Edensor Road, Longton Photos: Terry Woolliscroft   Date: Aug 1970 demolished 1975
Longton
Updraught Hovel Ovens - Elektra Porcelain, Edensor Road
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection
Date: Aug 1970 demolished 1975

Longton
John Street
Photo: Source unknown  Date: Unknown

Longton
John Street
Photo: source unknown  Date: unknown

Longton
Kingcross Street and Chancery Lane
Photo: Source unknown  Date: unknown

Longton
Location unknown
Photo: Source unknown  Date: unknown

Longton
Sampson Bridgewood, Anchor Works
Photo: source unknown Date: unknown 

Longton
Unknown location
Photo: source unknown  Date: unknown

Longton
Locketts Lane
Photo: Source unknown  Date: approx 1970


Longton
E. Brain and Co.Ltd. - Foley China Works
Photo: source unknown  Date: unknown

Longton
Photo: source unknown  Date: unknown


Longton
Kendrick Street
Photo: source unknown  Date: unknown

Longton
Radfords, New Market Works, and later High Street, Fenton
Photo: source unknown  Date: unknown

Longton
Rear of Wildblood Pot Bank, John Street, Normacot
Photo: Gladstone Pottery Museum collection  Date: 1945


Longton
Smithy Lane leading to Cyples Pottery
Photo: source unknown  Date: unknown

Longton
China and Earthenware Millers, King Street
Calcining kilns
 Photo source: Taken during 'Operation Bottle' bottle oven survey
Date:  Jan 1976


BOTTLE OVENS at GARFIELD WORKS   
Garfield Works, Barlow Street, off Uttoxeter Road, Longton. Note that there was a major street re-naming project in the 1950s. High Street was renamed to Uttoxeter Road and Upper Hill Street to Barlow Street.

Longton Towards Garfield Works from St James Churchyard, Uttoxeter Road Photo: Source unknown   Date: unknown
Longton
Towards Garfield Works from St James Churchyard, Uttoxeter Road
Photo: Source unknown   Date: unknown

Longton Bottle Ovens Garfield Works from St James Church Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: Sept 1972
Longton
Bottle Ovens Garfield Works from St James Church
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: Sept 1972


Longton Garfield Works - 1927 oven. Just off Uttoxeter Road, opposite St. James Church Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: early 1970s
Longton
Garfield Works - 1927 oven. Just off Uttoxeter Road, opposite St. James Church
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: early 1970s

Longton Bottle Ovens at Garfield Works, Uttoxeter Road, Longton, 1927 and 1939 ovens Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection  Date: early 1970s
Longton
Bottle Ovens at Garfield Works, Uttoxeter Road, Longton, 1927 and 1939 ovens
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection  Date: early 1970s

Longton Bottle Ovens at Garfield Works, Uttoxeter Road, Longton, 1927 and 1939 ovens Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection  Date: early 1970s
Longton
Bottle Ovens at Garfield Works, Uttoxeter Road, 1927 and 1939 ovens
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection  Date: early 1970s


Rescuing saggars from the 1939 Garfield Oven for display at Gladstone Pottery Museum, 1974   
Longton Rescuing saggars from the 1939 bottle oven at Garfield Works Longton, prior to demolition. Images of the oven full of empty saggars with Rodney Hampson (volunteer Gladstone Pottery Museum) starting to empty the oven  Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: Nov 1974
Longton
Rescuing saggars from the 1939 oven at Garfield Works, prior to demolition.
Images of the oven full of empty saggars
with Rodney Hampson (volunteer Gladstone) starting to empty the oven.
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: Nov 1974

Longton Rescuing about 1500 saggars from the 1939 bottle oven at Garfield Works Longton, prior to demolition. Volunteers empty the oven and take van-loads back to Gladstone Pottery Museum for display Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: Nov 1974
Longton
Rescuing about 1500 saggars from the 1939 bottle oven at Garfield Works,
prior to demolition.
Volunteers empty the oven and take van-loads back to Gladstone Pottery Museum for display
Paul Niblett (long serving volunteer) organised the work with the late Jim Kelly
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: Nov 1974


Demolition of the Garfield Works, Longton. May and June 1975   

Longton Demolition of the Garfield Works Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: May 1975
Longton
Demolition of the Garfield Works
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: May 1975

Longton Demolition of the Garfield Works - kids using the site as a playground and posing for the camera Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: May 1975
Longton
Demolition of the Garfield Works - kids using the site as a playground and posing for the camera
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: May 1975

Longton Demolition of the Garfield Works Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: June 1975
Longton
Demolition of the Garfield Works
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: June 1975

Longton Demolition of the Garfield Works Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: June 1975
Longton
Demolition of the Garfield Works
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: June 1975

Longton, Garfield Works. End of an era Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: June 1975
Longton, Garfield Works. End of an era
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: June 1975
More information about The Garfield Works can be found here> at thepotteries.org website


Longton bottle ovens - before and after   
Longton Along Sutherland Road, looking towards Park Hall pit heap.  Ridgway Potteries and Rosina China factory in the middle distance. Two updraught stack ovens Left pic taken June 1970.  Right pic taken August 1970 Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection.  Taken with a Kodak Instamatic 233
Longton
Along Sutherland Road, looking towards Park Hall pit heap.
Ridgway Potteries and Rosina China factory in the middle distance.
Two updraught stack ovens
Left pic taken June 1970.  Right pic taken August 1970
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection.  Taken with a Kodak Instamatic 233

Longton
Kendrick Steet
Left pic taken June 1970. Right pic taken December 1970
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection. Taken with a Kodak Instamatic 233


The rush to demolish   
In the 1970s there was a rush to demolish bottle ovens - a sort of competition arose between the 'big boys' in the industry to see who could modernise the fastest. In all the haste, lots of historical material was lost. Industry leaders were fixated on showing how good they were at transforming the area. Many small independent potbanks were swallowed up by the likes of Wedgwood and Royal Doulton who wanted to prove they were biggest and best.


Longton
Bottle Ovens by St James Church, Uttoxeter Road,
Photo:  source unknown  Date: 1950s?

St. James Church, Uttoxeter Road Longton, taken from Normacot Road
Longton
St. James Church, Uttoxeter Road Longton, taken from Normacot Road
Bottle oven in background was on the Garfield Works, latterly owned by Alfred Clough
Left pic taken August 1970 and right pic taken 20 May 1975 after cleaning
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection

Longton Taken from Normacot Road, towards Chelson Street with St. James Church to the left out of view Two bottle ovens quickly disappear. Not the one with the Cross in glazed bricks on the stack in deference to the church
Longton
Taken from Normacot Road, towards Chelson Street with St. James Church to the left out of view
New Chelsea Porcelain Co. Stanley Works.
Chelson Street was formerly Bagnall Street
Two bottle ovens quickly disappear. Note the one with the Cross in glazed bricks on the stack in deference to the church
Both pics taken in 1970 with just a few months between (exact dates not recorded)
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection

Longton
St. James church and bottle ovens
Photo: unknown source  Date: unknown

Longton
St. James church and bottle ovens
Photo:unknown source  Date: unknown

Longton
Same factory as above, photo taken from St. James Church yard towards Chelson Street
Photo: source unknown  Date: unknown


BOTTLE OVENS and KILNS STILL STANDING,  WITH THEIR CHIMNEYS


Normacot, Longton The Last Bottle Oven in The Potteries to be fired. 1978 Organised by Gladstone Pottery Museum at Hudson and Middleton factory, Normacot, Longton
Longton
Normacot, Longton - The Last Bottle Oven in the Potteries to be fired
Organised by Gladstone Pottery Museum at Hudson and Middleton factory, Normacot
Photo: Brian Colclough  Date: 1978


Gladstone Pottery Museum, Uttoxeter Road   
[23a,b,c,d,e] Location* : what3words.com/leaps.remit.study

Gladstone Works is now home to the most important group of bottle ovens remaining in the UK. Gladstone Pottery Museum was developed from the redundant Gladstone Works in 1971. This was a typical medium-sized, bone china potbank. The museum enjoyed its Royal opening on 24 April 1975. Over the years it has won many tourism awards, recently winning 22 awards in the last 5 years. Now owned and managed by Stoke-on-Trent city council.

4 bottle ovens
All updraught, hovel ovens. Average sized. Three with 8 firemouths, one with 9 firemouths
1 decorating enamel kiln. Unique. With 2 external firemouths.

More details here at the dedicated website> https://gladstonepotterymuseumstory.blogspot.com/


Longton
Gladstone Pottery No1 Oven
Photo: Glenn Airey   Date: May 2020


Longton
Gladstone Pottery muffle kiln


Longton
Gladstone Pottery - cobbled yard
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection  Date: 2008

Longton
Gladstone Works
Photo: Source britainfromabove.org   Date: 1937

Longton
Gladstone Works and Roslyn works, Uttoxeter Road
Photo: Philip Shallcross Collection  Date: April 2019



Roslyn Works, Uttoxter Road   
[23f,g] Location* : what3words.com/judge.shops.dimes

Roslyn Works is a classic Victorian pottery factory complete with bottle ovens in the yard. Owned by the city council. Not open to the public. Following designation of Roslyn as a Grade 2 listed building, conservation work began in 2008. This included repairs to the  two updraught stack bottle ovens, masonry walls, and roof. It has been converted into a 16-studio/workshop space and re-fitted as business accommodation. Contemporary building work formed the glass roof to the courtyard, along with glazed entrance screens and access improvements, including re-decoration and signage.

Longton
Roslyn Works Uttoxeter Road, next door to Gladstone
Photo: Courtesy of  'Potteries Bottle Kilns' page on Facebook  Date: 2015


Gladstone Pottery Museum and the Roslyn Works
Photo by Philip Shallcross,  April 2020



Enson Works, Chelson Street/Normacot Road   
[25a,b,c,d] Location* : what3words.com/silk.flank.comb

Mid late 19th Century potbank opened in 1882. It's a classic two-story potbank with 4 updraught stack bottle ovens. Abandoned in the 1970s. Opened in 2013 as CoRE, the Centre of Refurbishment Excellence - the result of a stunning £12m restoration. It combines the best of 130 years of Potteries heritage with cutting edge technology and design to create an exciting fusion of the old and the new. CoRE has won multiple architectural awards, including the prestigious RIBA Award for Best Sustainable Project and the LABC Award for Best Change of Use.
Longton
Enson Works - refurbished in 2012/13
Photos: Courtesy Core Website 

Longton
Core, Enson Works and small calcining oven on left of pic
Photo: Philip Shallcross Collection  Date: Aug 2019

Longton
Enson Works, Normacot Road
Photo: Philip Shallcross Collection  Date: Aug 2019


Phoenix Works, King Street   
[21a,b] Location* : what3words.com/desk.pushy.photos

Built in 1881 by Thomas Forester to satisfy the demand for Majolica Pottery Ware both at home and abroad. Foresters ceased production in 1959 and the site was purchased by the Milner family in 1961 for their pottery wholesale business.
Now run by Mark Milner - renovating the site as an enterprise centre. Originally 6 bottle ovens on site but only 2 big updraught skeleton ovens remain. One with 9 firemouths, the other with 10 firemouths. The ovens were recently cleaned as the start to renovation.
Go to www.thomasforester.com  Also try www.theglosthouse.co.uk

Longton
Phoenix Works, 500 King Street.
Photos: Courtesy www.phoenix-works.co.uk/

Longton
Phoenix Works, 500 King Street.
Wicket
Shows construction of this 'skeleton oven'
what3words.com/send.picked.shirt
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection  Date: 2018

Longton
Phoenix Works, 500 King Street
Wicket far left, and two firemouths
what3words.com/send.picked.shirt
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection  Date: 2018

Longton
Phoenix Works, 500 King Street
Wicket
what3words.com/send.picked.shirt
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection  Date: 2018

Longton
Phoenix Works, 500 King Street
Trial hole and bonts
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection  Date: 2018

Longton
Phoenix Works, 500 King Street
The blacksmith who made the bonts and other ironwork
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection  Date: 2018






Commerce Works, Commerce Street   
[22a,b] Location* : what3words.com/fumes.void.pines

Commerce Works, pottery. Formerly Chetham Pottery. Two updraught skeleton bottle ovens remain of the six originally on site. One firing chamber has 8 firemouths, the other a possible 9. Average size. Late 1800s. Acquired by Herbert James Aynsley in 1873. Some restoration in 2008.

Longton
Commerce Works, Commerce Street
Photo: Courtesy of  'Potteries Bottle Kilns' page on Facebook  Date: 2015

Longton
Bottle Ovens on fire in Commerce Street
Probable arson attack
Photo: Courtesy David Williams   Date: 04 Dec 2019

Longton
Commerce Works, formerly Chetham Pottery, Commerce Street
Photo: Andy Perkin, Potteries Heritage Society  Date: Dec 2019

Longton
Commerce Works, Commerce Street. Inside the ovens
Photos: Andy Perkin, Potteries Heritage Society  Date: Dec 2019



Kiln at Rear of 120 Uttoxeter Road   
[26a] Location* : what3words.com/almost.wider.maple

A relatively small calcining kiln. Thought to have been used for calcining both animal bone (for use in the pottery recipe for bone china) and flint (for use in the earthenware recipe). Surveyed in November 1975 as part of 'Operation Bottle' - the survey of the remaining bottle ovens and kilns in the Potteries. At the time of the survey the property was owned by W.J.Shenton and Son., manufacturers of 'Rustic Garden Furniture' and the kiln was used to burn off-cuts of timber. The kiln was originally owned by Shaws and was part of the 'Willow Pottery' which manufactured earthenware. Shaws went out of business in the mid 1960s. The kiln stands at about 34 ft high, with a maximum diameter at its base of about 9 ft.

Longton
Rear of 120 Uttoxeter Road
Calcining Kiln
Photo: from 'Operation Bottle' survey  Date: Nov 1975

Longton
Rear of 120 Uttoxeter Road
Calcining Kiln
Photo: from 'Operation Bottle' survey  Date: May 1976

Longton
Calcining kiln
Rear of  120 Uttoxeter Road
Photo: unknown source


Longton
Rear of 120 Uttoxeter Road
Calcining Kiln
Photo: Andy Perkin, Potteries Heritage Society  Date: Nov 2019



Minkstone Pottery, Warren Street/Normacot Road   
[27a] Location* : what3words.com/dance.middle.votes

Updraught skeleton bottle oven, used for both biscuit and glost bone china production. The firing chamber has 8 firemouths. The oven was originally surrounded in buildings - workshops - but now stands alone and deteriorating fast. Thought to have been built early 1940s. Last fired 1958. Surveyed in 1975 - was in good condition then.


Longton
Minkstone Products Ltd
Corner of Warren Street and Normacot Road, Normacot
Photo source:  'Operation Bottle'  Date: Nov 1975

Longton
 Minkstone Pottery
Corner of Warren Street and Normacot Road, Normacot
Photo:  Phil Rowley  Date: 2016

Longton
Minkstone Pottery
Photo: Andy Perkin, Potteries Heritage Society  Date: Nov 2019


Sutherland Works, East, Normacot Road   
[24a,b] Location* : what3words.com/unit.loads.agents

Two updraught stack, skeleton ovens. These two ovens are adjacent (to the east) to the last oven ever fired in the Potteries (at The Hudson and Middleton factory, see below)

Longton
Rear of Sutherland Works (East)
Photo courtesy Linden Cooke  Date: January 2003 

Longton
Sutherland Works
Photo: Andy Perkin, Potteries Heritage Society  Date: Dec 2019

Longton
Sutherland Works
Photo: Andy Perkin, Potteries Heritage Society  Date: Dec 2019

Longton
Sutherland Works
Photo: Andy Perkin, Potteries Heritage Society  Date: Dec 2019


Hudson and Middleton, Sutherland Works, Normacot Road   
[24c] Location* : what3words.com/issues.clear.myself

Sutherland Works. Bone china potbank. Site of the Last Bottle Oven Firing in 1978 more details about the firing here> https://lbof1978.blogspot.com/

Site of the Last Bottle Oven Firing - 1978 
The last bottle oven to be fired is in the centre of the image. 
Hudson and Middleton (Longton) Ltd.,
Sutherland Works, Normacot Road, Longton
Photo: Brian Colclough.
Taken from St. James Church tower, Uttoxeter Road, Longton

3 updraught bottle ovens, the oven fired in the last firing stands away from the 2 squatter-shaped ovens. Originally 6 bottle ovens on site.

The bottle oven used in the last firing was originally used for firing bone china biscuit pottery but for LBOF was used to fire glost earthenware so that finished pottery could be seen and sold. 8 firemouths. Number of saggars in the setting - 1174. Chosen for the LBOF for a number of reasons - It was in working order but when the 'fireman', Alfred Clough, was asked "can it be fired?" he paused. Then he declared "Yes ... Once!" It is close to the Gladstone Pottery Museum - about 250 yards away and it is relatively small and would consume no more than 12 tons of coal fuel. It is a good updraught bottle oven so was relatively easy to fire.





* what3words is an app which gives every 3x3 square metre of the globe a unique 3-word address. This simple and accurate way to describe an address has made it easy it easy to inform the location of Potteries bottle ovens and kilns. Many thanks go to Andy Perkin of the Potteries Heritage Society for researching and providing the what3words used here.