Friday, January 20, 2017

Burleigh Ware and the Resurgence of The Potteries in England's Stoke-on-Trent

 Burleigh Ware Wash Basin and Pitcher in Willow,  Circa 1930 
England's Burleigh Ware currently offers a collection of new, and extremely pretty pottery, including the following patterns:
...and utterly charming tea sets:

It exists today in part due to significant intervention of the The Prince's Regeneration Trust.

Wrote researchers in this Oxford University Press paper:
[T]he adverse consequences of the UK’s over-exposure to the financial sector (and heavy consumerism) revived the debate on a regional and industrial re-balancing of the economy, with suggestions for a greater emphasis upon sustainable manufacturing activity... 
We [look at this issue] through a detailed case study of the North Staffordshire ceramics industrial district.... 
Home to one of the oldest and last remaining UK industrial districts, the city of Stoke-on-Trent (in North Staffordshire) is synonymous with the production of ceramics... 
[F]ollowing the recession of the early 1980s, the district witnessed the... moves by some manufacturers (during the 1990s) to ‘global outsourcing’ of production... 
Recently there have been signs the ‘tide has begun to turn’... 
[One factor is that] consumers are (generally) averse to purchasing expensive wares manufactured in the Far East (especially China)... For instance, it was widely observed Royal Doulton’s demise as an independent company was partially due to the outsourcing of its product ranges to Indonesia, tainting its image... [W]ares sourced from the Far East were... of an inferior quality... One (Tableware) Managing Director noted..., “they often look the same and they sometimes feel the same [as Staffordshire wares], but they’re not the same.”. The ‘Made in England (and/or Staffordshire)’ back-stamp has therefore, for many district firms, become an increasingly important differentiator...
Since 2009 (the nadir of the Great Recession), exports for the whole UK ceramics industry have grown by 5%. In the district’s most synonymous sector—Table and Giftware—exports have risen by 30% over the same period (UK Trade Info, 2014). Moreover, gross value-added product—a proxy for profitability—across this sub-sector rose from £125 million (in 2009) to £165 million (in 2012) at basic prices (Office of National Statistics, 2013). 
- Tomlinson, P. R. and Branston, J. R., 2014. Turning the tide: Prospects for an industrial renaissance in the North Staffordshire Ceramics Industrial District. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 7 (3), pp. 489-507. <>

c. 1970s Burleigh Ware Small Pitcher in Calico

At Burleigh Pottery, our skilled team of craftspeople have been producing Burleighware at The Middleport Pottery since 1889. It takes 25 pairs of hands to create a single piece of Burleigh pottery, and each pot is meticulously hand-finished. Creating something good, something that lasts, something that is above fashion and trends, something timeless, can’t be hurried. 
- Burleigh Pottery <>


  1. Another lovely pattern from a Stoke-on-Trent pottery, Furnivals, is 'Blue Quail'.

  2. It's wonderful to lean more about pottery still made in England. I was especially drawn to the tea sets - they would make nice gifts.