Discover the world of pottery at Gladstone Pottery Museum Stoke on Trent has become synonymous with pottery and the Gladstone Pottery Museum tells the tale of this part of England and its artistic pedigree.
Where is Gladstone Pottery Museum located?
The museum is situated in Staffordshire, in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.
What is the history of Gladstone Pottery Museum to the present day?
In 1787 a pottery factory opened on site for the first time. It was owned by the Shelley family, which manufactured earthenware and decorated plates and dishes made in Etruria by Josiah Wedgwood. William Ward, who divided it into two pot banks, bought the site in 1789: the Park Place Works subsequently called the Roslyn works, and the Wards Pot Bank, which was sold to John Hendley Sheridan in 1818. Sheridan had leased the site to Thomas Cooper in the 1850s who hired 41 adults and 26 children to produce parian and china figures.
By 1876, after the politician William Ewart Gladstone, the Wards site had passed into the possession of R Hobson and Co, and was called Gladstone. The factory opened as a museum in 1974, with the buildings saved from demolition in 1970 when the pottery was demolished (some ten years after the last fire of its bottle ovens). Ownership of Stoke-on-Trent City Council passed in the 1990s.
By operating as a working pottery the museum showed its contribution to industrial heritage. For financial reasons, however, production had to be curtailed and now the museum is less of a "working" museum than it was.
What is there to see and do at Gladstone Pottery Museum?
This is the last complete Victorian pottery factory in the country and it has been beautifully preserved to be a living legacy on this area's amazing creative heritage. You'll discover how bone china tableware was made in the original workshops and glimpse the giant bottle kilns of the former Gladstone China Works, which opened its doors in 1780 and fired its ovens for the last time in 1960. After all that browsing, there's a lovely little tea room to enjoy which overlooks the pretty cobbled yard and is open seven days a week selling sandwiches and afternoon tea.