Bristol Potters and Potteries

Research by Reg Jackson

Bristol Potteries - P

Research by Reg Jackson

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Pipe Lane Pottery

Pipe Lane, Temple Back, Temple parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

1817-1831 John Duffett I.
1831-1842 Susannah Duffett and John Duffett II, trading as S. Duffett & Son.
1843-1854 Charles Duffett.
1856-1873 William Hutchings I, trading as William Hutchings & Company.
1873-1878 William Hutchings I and William Hutchings II, trading as William Hutchings & Son.
1878-1882 William Hutchings II.
1883-1906 William Hutchings II and George Hutchings, trading as W. & G. Hutchings or William Hutchings & Company.

The pottery closed.

John Duffett I had been running the 124 Temple Street Pottery since 1805 when he started the Pipe Lane Pottery in 1817 and transferred all his business there in 1821.  John Duffett I died in June 1831 and in his will he specified that his firm should be carried on by his wife Susannah and his son John Duffett II, the profits to be split two-thirds and one-third respectively and, in the event of Susannah’s death, the firm was to be run by John alone.

The directories show that the firm traded as S. Duffett and Son until 1842, by which time John was in prison and presumably Susannah had given up the business (she was still alive in 1851 and living with her son, Charles Duffett I).  John Duffett II later moved to Cranham in Gloucestershire, where he continued to work as a potter.

The Pipe Lane Pottery then came into the ownership of Charles Duffett I, who was John Duffett I’s younger son, and from 1843 to 1854 the directories listed the firm as ‘Charles Duffett (late S. Duffett & Son)’.

By 1856 the pottery had been taken over by William Hutchings I, the directories listing the firm as ‘Wm. Hutchings (late Duffett)’, and operating both the Pipe Lane and Barton Hill Potteries.  In 1861 William Hutchings I was employing 20 men and 11 boys, presumably divided between his two potteries.  He gave up the Barton Hill Pottery in about 1863, setting up a brick and tile works in St Philip’s Marsh but continuing to run the Pipe Lane Pottery. The Pipe Lane Pottery was advertised to let in April 1873 although it continued to be run by William Hutchings I who, in the same year, entered into partnership with his son, William Hutchings II.

William Hutchings I died in April 1878 and in October of that year his son, William, advertised that ‘the red ware pottery trade will be continued by the deceased’s son Mr William Hutchings, at Temple Back’ [i.e. at the Pipe Lane Pottery].  In 1883 William Hutchings II entered into partnership with George Hutchings, who was probably his brother, the firm trading as W. & G. Hutchings or William Hutchings and Company.

The Hutchings brothers were tenants and the buildings and land were advertised for sale on 5 October 1901, when ‘The Pottery’ was described as having two kilns, a moulding loft, a drying shed, store rooms, various sheds and buildings, and a small office at the entrance.  To the rear was a piece of land used for clay storage.  The Hutchings were paying an annual rent of £45 on the pottery and £12.10s on the piece of land.  Following the sale the Hutchings brothers must have retained the tenancy as the pottery continued to operate.

The Pipe Lane Pottery last appeared in the directories in 1906 and must have closed after that date, William Hutchings II becoming a red ware pottery agent.

Wares produced

Red earthenwares, including flower pots, garden pots, chimney pots and fancy pots.
Stoneware is referred to between 1881 and 1882 but was probably a mistake.

Finds of pottery waste and kiln material

Jackson, R. 1994. Archaeological evaluation of Quay Point, Temple Meads, Bristol. Bristol and Region Archaeological Services unpublished report no. BA/C077.

An evaluation trench was excavated across the site of the pottery during redevelopment work at Quay Point.  No pottery buildings were found and it was assumed that they must have been removed prior to the construction of railway yards in the 20th century.  A stone-built well contained groups of late 19th-century red ware vessels, wasters and kiln furniture which almost certainly came from the pottery.
The upper fill of the well (context 331) produced storage jars, garden urns, flower pots of various sizes, jugs, jars, lids of various shapes and sizes, art wares, shallow dishes, a tray, pancheons with applied horizontal handles on their rims, collanders, a chicken waterer and roof tiles.  Kiln furniture included supports with the remains of vessel rims adhering to glaze runs. Two vessels contained deposits of red and green powder which may have been pigments used in the pottery.
The lower fill of the well (context 332) produced storage jars, pancheons, shallow trays, lids, a chicken waterer, flower pots of various sizes, roof tiles, and garden urns decorated with rouletting and applied motifs in relief in the form of bunches of grapes and vine leaves.
Drawings of four of the complete vessels are illustrated in Appendix 4 of the report and Plate 15 is a photograph of 18 vessels from the well.
A trench close to the pottery also produced large quantities of red earthenware wasters including pancheons with horizontal handles applied to their rims or with looped handles, storage jars, storage vessels and pancheons with ledge rims for seating lids, jugs, bowls, flower pots of various sizes, and a sugar loaf mould.  It seems very likely that these wasters came from the Pipe Lane Pottery.

Jackson, R. 2000. Two groups of post-medieval pottery kiln waste from Temple Quay, Bristol. Bristol and Avon Archaeology 17, 111-117.

This is a report on the red earthenware waste found on the site of the Pipe Lane Pottery during the archaeological evaluation in 1994.  Twenty-one vessels are illustrated and the significance of the find is described.