NATIONAL INDEX

LIST OF THE REMAINING BOTTLE OVENS AND KILNS in the UK    

A total of  98  bottle ovens and kilns, once used for the firing of ceramics or ceramic materials, are known to exist in some form in the UK.  We think that this is the complete list but there may be others - do please let us know if we have missed any. Email address below.

In addition  3  downdraught beehive pottery kilns (with their separate tall chimney) exist.

And  2  others have bottle shaped chimneys but had other functions, possibly used as either a lime kiln or a timber drying kiln.

Some are in excellent condition having been restored and well cared for. Some are open to the public as museums or gift shops. Some are used as workshops and offices. Some are simply monuments to the past. But others are deteriorating fast due to neglect or vandalism and have fallen into disrepair, and some have collapsed completely or have been demolished.

Those with at least something showing above ground are listed here.  

Many thanks go to Dr Peter Wakelin, writer, curator, and consultant on art, heritage and history, who originated this list of the known bottle ovens and kilns.

The list is regularly reviewed and readers are invited to send any information they may have about those in their own region. If you would like to get in touch with us please email us terry.woolliscroft [at] gmail.com

Below is a summary index, sorted by UK region. Additionally, the 50 bottle ovens and kilns in Stoke-on-Trent are sorted by location, North to South. The detailed index PDF (Version v9.1, 20 May 2020) is here>

NAME & Address

PLACE
REGION
QTY

Pulham Factory bottle kiln
Station RdBroxbourne, HertfordshireEast of England1





Bretby Brick and Stoneware
Ashby Rd
Bretby, Derbyshire
East Midlands
1
Hill Top Works
Woodhouse St
Swadlincote, Derbyshire
East Midlands
1
Greens Pottery, T.G. Green
John St
Church Gresley, Derbyshire
East Midlands
4
Mason Cash
Pool St
Church Gresley, Derbyshire
East Midlands
1
Sharpe's Pottery
West St
Swadlincote, Derbyshire
East Midlands
1
Sharpe's Pottery
West St
Swadlincote, Derbyshire
East Midlands
1
Sharpe's Pottery
West St
Swadlincote, Derbyshire
East Midlands
1
Peak Pottery (now Bottle Kiln Café)
High Lane West
West Hallam, Derbyshire
East Midlands
1
Escolme Pottery
High St
Woodville, Derbyshire
East Midlands
1
Rawdon Pottery
Moira Rd
Woodville, Derbyshire
East Midlands
1





Walmer Road Kiln
Walmer Rd
Kensington, London
Greater London
1
Fulham Pottery
New Kings Rd
Fulham, London
Greater London
1





Walker's Pottery (east kiln)
Milkwell Lane
Corbridge, Northumberland
North East
1
Walker's Pottery (west kiln)
Milkwell Lane
Corbridge, Northumberland
North East
1





Wetheriggs Pottery
Clifton
Cumbria
North West
1





Buchan's Portobello (Waverley) Pottery
25 Bridge St, Portobello
Edinburgh
Scotland
2





Marks Tey Brick and Tile Works
Church Lane, Marks Tey
Colchester, Essex
South East
1
Farnham Pottery
Pottery Lane, Wrecclesham
Farnham, Surrey
South East
1
Nettlebed Brick Kiln
Kiln Close
Nettlebed, Oxfordshire
South East
1
Bottle Kiln
Shipton under Wychwood
Oxfordshire
South East
1





Litchdon Pottery  (Brannam's)
Litchdon St
Barnstaple, Devon
South West
2
Bovey Tracey Pottery
Pottery Rd
Bovey Tracey, Devon
South West
3
Somerset Brick and Tile Museum
East Quay, Bridgwater Dock
Bridgewater, Somerset
South West
1
Donyatt Potteries
Whitney Bottom
Donyatt, Somerset
South West
0
Dunster Kiln
Dunster Park
Dunster, Somerset
South West
1
The Potteries
Bristol Rd
Luckington, Wiltshire
South West
1

Applewoods Factory, Liverton Art Pottery
Liverton
Teignbridge, Devon
South West
1
Winchcombe Pottery
Becketts Lane, Greet
Cheltenham, Glouc
South West
1
Sibley Pottery
Sandford Rd, Sibley
Wareham, Dorset
South West
1





Nantgarw China Works
Tyla Gwyn, Nantgarw
RCT, nr Cardiff
Wales
2
Nantgarw China Works
Tyla Gwyn, Nantgarw
RCT, nr Cardiff
Wales
1
Ewenny Pottery  (Relocated to St Fagan's Museum )
Cardiff
Wales
1
Medieval pottery kiln  (c1450 - 1525)

Newport Town Hall
Newport, Pembrokeshire
Wales
1
Broseley Pipe Works
King St, Broseley
Broseley, Shropshire
West Midlands
1
Coalport China Works
Coalport High St
Coalport, Shropshire
West Midlands
3
Pomona Pottery (Relocated to Brampton Museum)
Newcastle, Staffs
West Midlands
2





Moorland Pottery
Moorland Road, Burslem
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Acme Marls
Bournes Bank, Burslem
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
3
Furlong Mills
Furlong Lane, Burslem
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
2
Price and Kensington
Top Bridge Works, Longport
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Middleport Pottery
Port St, Middleport
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Middleport Mill
Milvale St, Burslem
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Oliver's Mill (1x Single & 1x Double chamber)
Newport Lane, Burslem
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
2
Moorcroft
Sandbach Rd, Cobridge
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Falcon Pottery, Weatherbys, updraught
Town Rd, Hanley
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Falcon Pottery, Weatherbys, muffle
Town Rd, Hanley
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Dudson's
Hanover Street, Hanley
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Smithfield Pottery
Warner St, Hanley
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Johnson Brothers Trent Pottery
Eastwood Rd, Hanley
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
2
Joiners Sq Works, Allied Insulators
Lichfield St, Hanley
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Etruria Bone Mill, Shirley's
Lower Bedford St, Etruria
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Cliffe Vale Pottery, Twyfords
Shelton New Rd, Stoke
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
2
Spode Works
Church St, Stoke
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Dolby Mill
Lyton St, Stoke
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Falcon Works Stoke
Sturgess Street, Stoke
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
2
Fountain Works, James Kent
Fountain Street, Fenton
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
3
Heron Cross Pottery
Chilton Street, Fenton
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Phoenix Works, Albion
King St, Longton
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
2
Commerce Works
Commerce St, Longton
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
2
Gladstone Pottery
Uttoxeter Rd, Longton
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
4
Gladstone Pottery
Uttoxeter Rd, Longton
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Gladstone & Roslyn Works
Uttoxeter Rd, Longton
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
2
Sutherland Works (last oven to be fired)
Normacot Rd, Longton
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Sutherland Works
Normacot Rd, Longton
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
2
Enson Works
Chelson St, Longton
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
4
Rear of 120 Uttoxeter Road
Uttoxeter Road, Longton
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1
Minkstone Works
Warren Street, Longton
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs
West Midlands
1

Swinton Pottery (Rockingham Works)
Blackamoor Rd, Swinton
Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Yorkshire
1
TOTAL
98

ALSO
*Downdraught Beehive Pottery Kilns with a separate, free-standing, tall chimney
-- Henry Watson Pottery, Wattisfield, Suffolk.  Details here
-- Errington Reay Pottery, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland.  Still in production. Details here>
-- Soil Hill Pottery (Isaac Button) Coal Lane, Halifax, West Yorkshire. Demolished

*Kilns having a bottle-shaped chimney, not for pottery firing, but function not securely identified
-- Chapel Street Kiln, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire  Probably a lime kiln 
-- "Bottle Kiln", The Deal Ground, Norwich, Norfolk  Possibly a timber drying kiln

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Many thanks go to Dr. Iain Hambling, Official Historian and Archivist of T.G. Green & Co Ltd, for his help updating and correcting the details of the kilns in Derbyshire and Pembrokeshire. Many thanks also go to Thomas Hayman for his help updating and correcting the details of the Soil Hill Pottery in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Mr Hayman notes that the Soil Hill Pottery has been demolished prior to rebuilding. (April 2020)




SOME OF THOSE STILL STANDING  in the UK    

Pulham Factory, Station Road, Broxbourne, Herts

Pulham's were a nationally important landscape design firm and manufacturers of terracotta garden ornaments, based in Broxbourne from 1845-1939. This simple updraught kiln was restored in 1986 by the local council. Originally six brick kilns stood on the site. After Pulhams closed in 1939 the site gradually declined, and in 1967 most of the factory buildings were demolished to make way for the new railway station car park.

More here> https://lowewoodmuseum.com/2016/10/31/conserving-the-former-pulham-factory-site-in-broxbourne/

Pulham Factory kiln
Broxbourne, Herts
Photo: courtesy Lowewood Museum


Green's Pottery. T.G. Green, Church Gresley, Derbyshire

T.G. Green & Co Ltd originally operated from the village of Church Gresley, South Derbyshire, between 1864 and 2007. More famous for their blue and white striped 'Cornish Kitchen Ware' produced from the early 1920s the pottery produced many hundreds of patterns from Yellow wares, Victorian transfer prints, colourful hand painted Art Nouveau & vibrant enamelled Art Deco patterns, wartime utility pottery, retro designs and many well known brewery wares, employing up to 1,000 local staff at the height of production. Now, the pottery site lies in ruins, the land under private ownership. Cornishware is still manufactured and sold through the new T.G.Green & Co Ltd. >>  http://www.gresleypottery.uk/


T G Green - After the fire in 1904


Sharpe’s Pottery, West Street, Swadlincote, Derbyshire

First established by local farmer Thomas Sharpe in 1821. Originally the site manufactured domestic pottery, much of which was exported to America. During the 1850s, for public health reasons, there was an ‘explosion’ in the sanitaryware market and the local clay was ideal for the production of such products. This, together with the patenting of the successful ‘rim flush’ toilet, led to the factory concentrating on sanitaryware, ceasing production of domestic ware in 1900. The factory flourished until the 1950s. The Clean Air Act of 1956 halted the used of the coal fired bottle ovens. Sharpe’s factory had never modernised and could not survive the change, finally closing in 1967. Now a  museum. https://www.sharpespotterymuseum.org.uk/



Sharpes Pottery - footprint of a demolished oven
Photo: courtesy Dr. Iain Hambling  Date: April 2020


Peak Pottery. Bottle Kiln Cafe, West Hallam, Derbyshire

Probably an updraught skeleton-type bottle oven . Seven firemouths. No firing chamber remains. Now a gift shop. This site was originally an estate sawmill making pit-props for the Newdigate Estate coal mines. In the mid 19th Century additional buildings were erected to house a small brick works using materials from a nearby clay pit. The bricks were fired in beehive kilns. Two bottle shaped kilns were built by the ‘West Hallam Art & Earthenware Company’ in the 1920s. The pottery failed in 1933. One kiln was demolished in the 1950s causing local concern and the present outer kiln shell was registered as a listed building. The Stone family purchased the derelict site in 1983. Charles Stone and his sons designed and built the present complex, of which only the kiln shell is an original building. The business has been run by the Stone family ever since.    https://bottlekiln.co.uk/







Rawdon Pottery, Moira Road, Woodville, Derbyshire

"Bottle kiln. Late C18 and C19. Red brick. Circular in plan, this large bottle kiln is tall and broad in outline with a brick coped top. A single entrance with segment head, and to the right the remnants of an external flue. A free standing, and particularly large example of a bottle kiln." Text courtesy Historic England

Rawdon Pottery
Photo: courtesy Dr. Iain Hambling  Date: April 2020


Walmer Road Kiln, Kensington, London

Once known as 'the potteries', Notting Hill's clay deposits meant it was perfect for making bricks and tiles. The only reminder of this today (apart from the street name 'Pottery Lane') is a rare nineteenth-century bottle kiln where the pottery products were baked, which can be found on Walmer Road. The kiln is the sole surviving kiln relating to the potteries established during the 1830s between Clarendon Road and Latimer Road. Avondale Park is thought to be located on the site of the 19th century clay pits associated with the works. The kiln was rebuilt in 1879 by Charles Adams. It was restored and partially altered in the late 20th century. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/potteries-and-piggeries-bottle-kiln

Walmer Road Kiln
Photo: courtesy Kensington Society


Fulham Pottery, London

Fulham Pottery was founded in Fulham, London by John Dwight in 1672, at the junction of New King's Road and Burlington Road, Fulham, not far from Putney Bridge. Today, all that remains of the original pottery is one large downdraught kiln which is Grade II listed.  https://keepthingslocal.com/item/fulham-pottery-kiln/  >>

https://knowyourlondon.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/fulham-pottery/

Eight firemouths and bags feed the firing chamber. Flames and products of combustion are drawn down through the firing chamber to flues extending from underneath the floor to within the wall beside the firing chamber to vent into the
bottle shaped chimney above the structure.

Fulham Pottery, London
Downdraught kiln
Photo: unknown source  Date: unknown

Walkers Pottery, Corbridge, Northumberland

Walkers Pottery. Two bottle ovens, early 1800s. Walker's Pottery operated until 1914 producing pipes, bricks and tiles and pottery for agricultural use. It is one of the few remaining examples of a Tyne Valley rural pottery.
https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/education/educational-images/walkers-pottery-corbridge-7425

https://co-curate.ncl.ac.uk/bottle-kilns-corbridge/

http://www.richardmurphyarchitects.com/viewItem.php?id=7426


Walkers Pottery
Photo: Courtesy Mr John Hogg. Date: 27 March 2007
Source Historic England Archive ref 239944


Wetheriggs Pottery, Clifton, Cumbria

Opened in the mid 19th century providing farm and housewares for local consumption, later the business diversified into craft pottery, and, towards the end of the 20th century became focused as a visitor attraction, and in nature conservation work. The pottery closed in 2008. The 'beehive' kiln remains, as does a blunger for preparing clay.  Scheduled as a monument in 1973. https://www.cumbria-industries.org.uk/a-z-of-industries/pottery/wetheriggs-country-pottery/

Here is a short documentary film about Wetheriggs Pottery made for TV in the early 1990's.



Wetheriggs placing

The kiln is one of the oldest parts of Wetheriggs dating back to 1860. This video gives you a brief look at the kiln and some of the pottery once made at Wetheriggs. Many of the original features including the kiln, the engine room and a lot of the machinery is still on the site all in their original state and most is on show to the public. (July 2010)


The original steam engine, nicknamed Josephine, is still housed on site. Back in the 19th and 20th century, the steam engine was used to power the working of the pottery including the potters' wheels and the blunger. (July 2010)



Examples of Wetheriggs pottery 1970s


Buchan's Portobello (Waverley) Pottery, Edinburgh, Scotland

"These two kilns in Portobello have been restored and repaired, to preserve the legacy of the Scottish pottery industry. They were part of the pottery of A.W. Buchan & Co and built in 1906 and 1909."


Portobello kilns
Bridge Street, Portobello, Edinburgh
Photo courtesy:  M J Richardson  Date: 2016

##  http://www.portobelloheritagetrust.co.uk/kiln_celebration.html
##  https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/portobello-bottle-kilns
##  https://canmore.org.uk/gallery/976578



Farnham Pottery, Surrey

Established in 1873 by local potter Absalom Harris, Farnham Pottery operated for over 130 years and was run by five successive generations of the Harris family. Many well-known local potters learnt their craft at the pottery which is one of the best-preserved examples of a Victorian country pottery in England.  https://www.thefarnhampottery.co.uk/



Farnham Pottery
Photo: courtesy: Farnham Building Preservation Trust  Date: 2008

Farnham Pottery kiln
 One of the best-preserved examples of a Victorian country pottery in England
Photo courtesy: Farnham Town Council


Nettlebed Brick Kiln, Oxfordshire

"This brick kiln was built in the late 17th or early 18th century. It is said to be the only estate kiln remaining of its period and of a local design. Nettlebed was known for producing tiles and then bricks from the medieval period until the 20th century." In 1927 the kiln was converted to burn lime and was used for this until 1938. It then fell into disrepair but in 1975 it was restored with the support of local people and Oxfordshire County Council.  https://www.chilternsaonb.org/ccbmaps/1321/137/nettlebed-brick-kiln.html

Nettlebed Brick Kiln
Photo: courtesy Mr Rolf Richardson  Date: 1999
 Source: Historic England Archive

Bovey Tracey Pottery, Pottery Road, Bovey Tracey, Devon

This is a scheduled monument and includes three muffle kilns which formed part of Bovey Tracey Pottery situated to the south east of the town in the valley of the River Bovey. The kilns survive aligned north to south and adjacent to one another, the southernmost is freestanding the other two are conjoined. The two kilns to the north were built by a local Newton Abbot firm of engineers and the similar single kiln was built by Thomas Willet & Co. Ltd. of Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

The firemouths are situated on either side of the rectangular base, upon which is built a pair of rectangular firing chambers. The flues run from the each firebox under the floor and up either side of the chamber wall.

The pottery was originally founded in around 1750 when it was leased from and partly controlled by Lord Courtenay, the earl of Devon. The muffle kilns date to the period of expansion in around 1850 to 1900 following the foundation of the Bovey Tracey Pottery Company. The pottery was visited by Wedgwood in the 1860s, experienced an influx of workers from Staffordshire, and employed up to 200 people in its heyday.

It produced transfer printed earthenwares which were supplied to the Admiralty and also exported, stonewares, bricks, tiles and sanitary wares. There were once up to 16 kilns, five of which were muffle kilns. Following a protracted strike in 1957 the pottery was finally closed and all but the three surviving kilns were demolished by 1958.

Three muffle bottle kilns at the Bovey Tracey Pottery
Photo: courtesy T J Wright  Date: 2003

Bovey Tracey Pottery, Devon
Three muffle kilns, scheduled monument
Photo: courtesy D. Dawson


Applewoods Factory, Liverton, Devon

All that remains of the Liverton Art Pottery is this bottle kiln which now stands within a modern residential development.

The Liverton bottle kiln
Photo credit:  Derek Harper  Date: 2006

Winchcome Pottery, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Winchcombe Pottery, near Winchcombe, is a craft pottery founded in 1926 by Michael Cardew. The bottle kiln was last fired in 1954 and used coal and wood as fuel over a 2 day firing with hundreds of pots made from the local clay. Originally the kiln was inside the old workshop building with only the top of the chimney sticking out of the roof.

Winchcombe kiln
Photo courtesy: Oliver Kent  Date: 2018

## https://www.hamishjacksonpottery.com/blog/2018/5/30/winchcombe-pottery-kiln-restoration-project
## https://drojkent.wordpress.com/2018/04/04/laser-scanning-the-old-winchcombe-pottery-kiln/
## https://blog.tinsmiths.co.uk/04/15/a-lot-of-bottle-winchcombe-pottery/



Nantgarw China Works, Tyla Gwyn, Cardiff, Wales

Nantgarw China Works is the only surviving early 19th century porcelain works in the United Kingdom. In the years 1813-1814 and again in the period 1817-1820 the finest porcelain in the world was produced here in Wales by William Billingsley, one of the most remarkable porcelain painters and manufacturers of his time.  >> http://nantgarwchinaworksmuseum.co.uk/

Nantgarw China Works
Photo: unknown source Date: unknown

Broseley Pipe Works, Broseley, Shropshire

The Broseley Tobacco Pipeworks were abandoned in 1957 closing the door on 350 years of traditional pipe making skills. The site remained abandoned for many years until it was re-opened in 1996 as a part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums. The museum is based in the small town of Broseley in the Ironbridge Gorge within a World Heritage Site, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

Kiln at Broseley Tobacco Pipe Works
Four firemouths
Photo credit: Sarah Charlesworth  Date: 2011


Coalport China Works, Ironbridge, Shropshire

Built in 1796 alongside the Shropshire Canal, Coalport China Works occupied this factory until it’s closure in 1926. For more than a century, the works were among the most successful of their kind in the world. In its heyday, Coalport won many gold medals and prizes for its work at international exhibitions, including the 1851 Great Exhibition held in the Crystal Palace, Hyde Park.  https://www.ironbridge.org.uk/explore/coalport-china-museum/

Kiln at Coalport China Works
Photo: source unknown  Date: unknown


Pomona Pottery, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs

More herehttps://bottleoven.blogspot.com/p/newcastle.html

Bases of two ovens, rebuilt and relocated at The Brampton Museum, Newcastle, Staffs. A biscuit earthenware oven probably built between 1724 and 1744 for Samuel Bell , and a smaller porcelain oven thought to have been constructed for William Steers no later than 1746/ 47. Both were excavated in 1969-71 and relocated to the Brampton by 1975.

Remnants of the two ovens of the Pomona Pottery
Relocated to Brampton Museum, Newcastle-under-Lyme
Photo: source unknown


The Staffordshire Potteries

Huge brick-built bottle ovens and kilns, integral to a pottery factory and essential in pottery manufacture, were once the dominant feature of the Potteries landscape. At their peak, around 2,000 existed in the City of Stoke-on-Trent. Today (in 2020) just 47 remain standing complete with their bottle shaped chimney. Three more exist in a collapsed state.  The 'jewel in the crown' of the North Staffordshire pottery industry is the group of five  now preserved as a museum at Gladstone Pottery Museum. Two more bottle ovens have been saved next door to the museum at the Roslyn Works.  More about Gladstone here>
What's left in Stoke?  Details on this page>

Painting by Reginald G Haggar

Gladstone Pottery Museum
Photo: Glenn Airey   Date: May 2020

Swinton Pottery, Swinton, Rotherham, South Yorkshire

Rockingham Works.  At the site, parts of the original factory including the "Waterloo Kiln" remain. Bottle kiln built in 1815.
https://www.kilnhurstheritage.co.uk/the-towns-history/the-potteries/

Waterloo Kiln, Rockingham Works
Photo courtesy: Dearne Valley Partnership


Soil Hill Pottery, Halifax

Bottle oven, chimney and building. 1900. A Grade II Listed. (Demolished by current owners prior to rebuilding. Update: April 2020)

Brick with Welsh slate roof. Long building running east-west with chimney adjacent to east end at the top of the hill slope. Within the western part is a downdraught kiln with internal radial walls and six segment- arched fire holes around the perimeter. Four flues from beneath the kiln floor run up the hill to the square chimney. Two of these heat the drying shed adjacent to the kiln and two a parallel pent-roofed shed where clay slurry was dried before forming. The method of firing and ventilation and the use of waste heat to dry slurry represent an important innovation in earthenware manufacture.

Pottery built by Isaac Button Snr on site of an earlier pottery worked by the
Catherall family and continued in use by Isaac Button Jnr until 1964. Here are four silent films about Isaac Button and Soil Hill:






The story of Isaac Button who was the last true English Country Potters:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=FiVFliKq63A

Also see >> https://nick-myurbex.blogspot.com/2010/11/soil-hill-old-pottery-aka-soil-hill.html





DOWNDRAUGHT BEEHIVE POTTERY KILNS

Henry Watson Pottery, Wattisfield, Suffolk


Downdraught kiln with separate chimney
Photo: courtesy Henry Watson Pottery

This kiln was built in 1940/41 and was used until 1963. A major fire destroyed the entire factory and a new factory was built installing electric kilns, the company then no longer required a kiln of this nature. The domed  crown roof of the firing chamber was built using no support with just a few rounds of brick being laid every few days.

The kiln was used initially as part of the war effort and fired land drain pipes throughout the Second World War. These pipes were subsequently purchased by the War Ministry and prisoners of war in the area dug these land drain pipes into the ground to improve the efficiency of crop yields. It was a coal-fired kiln and it burnt 5 tons of coal at each firing. This was either hauled from Elmswell railway station or brought from the coal mine by road.

https://www.henrywatson.com/UK/our-story/the-downdraft-kiln.html



Errington Reay, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland

Located near the banks of the Tyne, 1 Mile from Vindolanda Roman Fort. Mid way between Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Carlisle.

Errington Reay is a well-known brand of pottery established in 1878. The factory is unique in being the last commercial pottery in Britain licensed to produce salt-glazed products.
Errington Reay, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland 
View of the factory and the kiln 
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection  Date: July 2013



Errington Reay, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland 
The beehive downdraught kiln
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection  Date: July 2013
This is not a bottle oven but a downdraught beehive kiln. Built in 1932, to replace two smaller kilns.



http://www.erringtonreay.co.uk
http://www.erringtonreay.co.uk/shop/salt-glazed/

Ian Round comments "... originally built in 1932 it replaced two smaller kilns. The original build had a continuous bag wall and twelve stoke holes these were changed in the 1960s. The bag wall was moved to cover the fire holes and two large opposing fire boxes were built, fed from underneath by 9' augers from hoppers. The stokers ... have (because this kiln is still in operation) large fans to provide primary air that is forced through the fire basket. ... I think the stokers were more commonly used with coal fired boilers but other clay works used them. The [firing] cycle, when in full production, is weekly. Start to pull down the door and open the 'quarls' on the roof and around the fires [on] Saturday and cool till Monday. [Then] knock out, clean and sort, Monday morning. Set the kiln and repair fireboxes if required Monday afternoon and [on] Tuesday 'smoke' [create small fires in the kiln to drive off moisture in the brickwork and in the pottery inside] the kiln Tuesday night. Light the second fire Wednesday morning On Thursday after lunch the kiln should be around 1250C and so salt, reduce for 5-10 mins depending on the clay and close off. 100kg of salt.  Very many thanks go to Ian Round for explaining in more detail how the kiln is used. July 2019

Additional comments from Ian Round, April 2020, originally posted to Facebook  ...  " The photo shows the still-working coal fired Beehive Salt glaze Kiln at Bardon Mill. It was rebuilt in 2000 to identically copy the previous Beehive that had been built in 1932 on the site where two stood sharing the chimney. Prior to that stood four small kilns.

The bricks used in reconstruction were from various works. Burn Fireclay based a Stobswood supplying the fire bricks that formed the internal cupola roof this required complex triple tapers, those and other more complex shapes were obtained very shortly before they closed. The fire clay squares, soaps and some bullhead tapers came from Steetley Brick and the bricks for the outer shell were seconds from Throckley brick works. 

The brick paving around the kiln dates back to at  least 1932 and was laid using bricks from previous kilns on the site. Some bricks have frogs and branding and some are without but if you look closely you will see a thumb mark in corner. This mark could occur when they were pressed from the mould but Errington Reay adopted this as the mark for their bricks. Bricks were only a steppingstone to their goal of producing salt glazed pipes for the expanding market created by the need for building and toilet conversions of dwellings and sewer pipes in the cities either side of them.

The main building is a former fulling mill that suffered from a fire by suspected arsonist named Harvey in 1875. The Erringtons and Reay were previously employed in a clay works in Haltwhistle before they took on the lease of the property that contained the shell of the mill, from the Blackett Estate. They sunk a clay drift mine near the burn beside the works. The grinding and processing of the clay first used the existing water wheel that survived the fire before the purchase on a steam engine to power the machinery and it latterly converted to electric power. The extruders are from Farmer Brothers of Derbyshire. Coal for the kilns and engines was readily available locally. "


WHEN IS A BOTTLE KILN NOT A BOTTLE KILN?     

The Chapel Street Kiln, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire.  Not a potter's kiln but probably a lime kiln with a bottle shaped chimney. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1342053
"Bottle Kiln. Probably mid to late C19 rebuilding. Beehive structure with flat stone supported by bricks on top of vent. Tarred rubble. Two flue pipes and side entrance to north. Marked as limekiln on county series OS map." A Grade II Listed Building.

"Bottle kiln"
Chapel Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Photo courtesy: Mrs Sarah L McKenna  Date: 2004
Source: Historic England Archive


"Bottle Kiln", The Deal Ground, Norwich. Not a potter's kiln but possibly a timber drying kiln with a bottle shaped chimney. At Grig Ref: NGR TG24750748  https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1268401
"The kiln has a bottle-shaped profile and the porchway has a semi-circular tunnel-vaulted ceiling and a metal top-hung sliding door. There are 4 circular open vent holes and 3 rectangular vents. INTERIOR: The kiln has a cavity-wall construction for ventilation." A Grade II Listed Building.

"Bottle kiln" (can you see it?)
The Deal Ground, Norwich
Photo: courtesy Google  Date: 2020 

Bottle kiln
The Deal Ground, Norwich
Photo courtesy: Norwich City Council




A REMNANT OF INTEREST     

Worcester
Grainger's 'Royal China Works' porcelain factory, Lowesmoor - remnants of the original bottle oven reassembled within a metalwork frame showing the size and location of the oven. More here>

Remnant of a bottle oven hovel
originally of Grainger's Porcelain factory
Lowesmoor and St. Martin's Quarter, Worcester
Photo courtesy of Iain Hambling  Date Sept 2019

Remnant of a bottle oven hovel
originally of Grainger's Porcelain factory
Lowesmoor and St. Martin's Quarter, Worcester
Photo courtesy of Iain Hambling  Date Sept 2019



OTHERS OF INTEREST but LONG SINCE GONE    

Leeds Pottery, Jack Lane, Hunslet

Bottle ovens, Leeds Pottery (Creamware) circa 1890. After a chequered business history the company moved to Stoke. The ovens stood in Jack Lane, Hunslet, Leeds, close to where the old Leek Street flats were and near Morrisons in Hunslet. (There's a Pottery Road and a Pottery Fields Estate there just off the M621.)

Leeds Pottery about 1890
Photo:  courtesy of Michael Carrington
and the Old Photos of Leeds Facebook Group.



E. Johns & Co, Armitage, Rugeley, Staffordshire

Now the site of Armitage Shanks, sanitaryware manufactures.

Armitage, Rugeley
Staff of E. Johns & Co. pictured outside the Sanitary Works 1900



Mosaic in the floor of the factory offices




LINKS to OTHER UK SITES     

Poole Pottery
https://www.pooleimages.co.uk/the-1950s





ELSEWHERE in the WORLD     

Irish Stoneware & Fireclays Ltd., Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan

From the RTÉ documentary series exploring the craft traditions of Ireland. https://hands.ie/  "Hands: Clay Pipe Works." Narrated by Diarmaid Ó Muirithe. Filmed in 1983. Features a coal-fired beehive kiln.





Carley's Bridge Potteries, Enniscorthy, Co.Wexford

From the RTÉ documentary series exploring the craft traditions of Ireland. https://hands.ie/ The film features master-potter Paddy Murphy digging the clay, and throwing & firing earthenware in a coal-fired beehive kiln. Made in 1980.




Goodwin Baggot Pottery Works - East Liverpool, Ohio, USA

The Goodwin-Baggot Pottery Works began production in 1843 contributing to the industry that earned East Liverpool, Ohio, the title "Ceramic Capital of America." http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM406F_Goodwin_Baggot_Pottery_Works__East_Liverpool_OH

Goodwin Baggot Pottery Works, Ohio USA
Photo: source unknown


Also, other ovens and kilns worldwide

Click here > http://www.waymarking.com/cat/details.aspx?f=1&guid=5017875d-f524-45a7-84e6-6e9f69b0a659&gid=3