Bristol Potters and Potteries

Research by Reg Jackson

Bristol Potteries - T

Research by Reg Jackson

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Temple Back Pottery 1

(known as the Temple Pottery and the Temple Stoneware Pottery)
Temple Back (originally known as Commercial Road), Temple parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

c1801-1803 Richard Skidmore.
1803-1818 Edward Patience.
1818-1847 Jonathan Flood.
From 1821 to 1826 he was in partnership with John Bright I, trading as Flood & Company.
1848-1851 Charles Webb.
1851-1859 Mrs Leah Webb.
1859-1873 William Hutchings I.
1873-1888 James George Hawley.
1888-1901 George Henry Hawley and James Alfred Hawley, trading as Hawley & Company and Hawley Brothers.

The pottery closed.

Richard Skidmore was a bricklayer and potmaker and in 1801 he was listed as a ‘potmaker for glass houses’, which suggests he was making crucibles for use in glass furnaces.  In 1792 he was located in Thomas Street but by 1801 his address was given as Temple Back.  It is not clear whether he was operating the Temple Back Pottery 1 although it may be more than coincidental that he stopped being listed in the directories in 1803, the same year that Edward Patience started taking apprentices as a potter or stone potter in Temple Back.

Edward Patience may have originally been in partnership with Samuel and Thomas Gough, as their partnership as stoneware manufacturers was dissolved in 1805.  From 1806 to 1807 he was trading as Edward Patience and Company, but from 1808 to 1818 he appears to have been working alone as a brown stone potter at Temple Back.  He seems to have got into financial difficulties as in February 1818 his stock in trade was advertised for auction ‘under distress for rent’ and included ‘all the extensive and valuable stock in trade, materials of two large-size burning kilns, numerous manufacturing implements, some articles of household furniture; and other effects of Mr Edward Patience, stone potter, at his manufactory, Temple Backs’.  In March two further advertisements appeared concerning the auction of ‘an extensive variety of brown stone, and other ware, numerous fire bricks, an assortment of clay and other articles’ and a ‘large quantity of spirit, spruce and ginger beer, soda water, pickling, preserve and other jars; assortment of different kinds of earthenware and numerous other effects’.

The pottery was taken over by Jonathan Flood who was listed as a red ware potter at Temple Back from 1818.  By 1821 he had entered into a partnership with John Bright I and the firm traded as Flood and Company until 1826.  In 1821 the pottery was advertised for sale when it was described as ‘a pottery and warehouse … now in the occupation of Messrs Flood and Bright, stone ware potters. These premises have a frontage, next the Commerical Road, of about 30 feet, and extend 170 feet in depth’.

In 1827 Flood exported earthenware to Jamaica and he continued trading on his own after John Bright I left the partnership.  Between 1828 and 1834 he also ran the St Philip’s Pottery 5 and produced bricks and tiles from premises on St Philip’s Marsh.

He was probably the Jonathan Flood who died aged 73 and was buried at Temple church in February 1847.  The pottery was then taken over by Charles Webb who had married Jonathan Flood’s daughter, Leah, in October 1835.  At that time Webb was described as a chemist.  Charles Webb ran the pottery until 1851, producing red ware, water and draining pipes and chimney pots.  He died in 1851 and the pottery was subsequently run by his widow, Leah, who advertised: ‘Flood’s red ware pottery, and draining pipe manufactory, Temple Back, Bristol. Leah Webb (widow of the late Mr Charles Webb) begs respectfully to inform her patrons and friends, and the public generally, that she will continue to carry on, at the above named premises, the business formerly and for many years conducted by her father, the late Mr Jonathan Flood, and since his death by herself and her deceased husband, with so much success; and she hopes, by the same prompt attention which has hitherto been paid by her to all departments of the business, to obtain future favours as liberally as heretofore’.

In 1851 she was a red ware manufacturer employing 12 men and between 1855 and 1858 she exported red ware, brown stone ware and clay pipes to St John’s, Newfoundland.  The pottery was advertised for sale in August 1859: ‘To redware potters. To be disposed of, the business of a redware potter, situated on Temple Backs, which has been carried on for the last half century by the late Mr Jonathan Flood, and since his decease by his daughter, Mrs Webb.  The trade is in full work; the stock and plant to be taken at a valuation, and a lease of the premises will be granted. Apply to Mrs Webb, Redware Pottery, Temple Back’.

The pottery was purchased by William Hutchings I who ran it together with the Barton Hill Pottery and the Pipe Lane Pottery.  In 1861 Hutchings was employing 20 men and 11 boys, though presumably spread across his three potteries. He was listed as a red ware, garden and chimney pot manufacturer and between 1861 and 1863 he exported red ware to Guernsey, Jersey and Barbados.

The Temple Back Pottery 1 was advertised to let in April 1873 and it had been taken over by James George Hawley by the end of that year when he advertised for ‘a man to glaze and set kilns, etc., also a haulier. Man used to pottery work indispensable. J.G. Hawley, Temple Pottery, Temple Backs’ and also ‘an experienced man to glaze, etc.’.

Between 1875 and 1888 Hawley was listed as a stoneware manufacturer although it is clear that he also produced red wares as in 1875 he advertised a large quantity of chimney pots in all sizes and a stock of flower pots and stands.  Details of his products are given in the following description of his exhibits in the 1884 Industrial and Fine Arts Exhibition:
‘Hawley, Temple Back, Bristol. At Stand 104 … Mr Hawley exhibits from his pottery, Temple Back, a well-arranged and complete selection of stoneware for all purposes. Amongst it is a small collection of stone rustic ware, fired at a great heat in order to guarantee its resisting the effects of severe weather and constant exposure.  This advantage will be appreciated by those requiring boxes for window sills, jardinieres, vases, etc. Mr Hawley is now devoting special attention to these articles, which he is for the first time introducing to the public. But amongst the general selection of stoneware referred to are specimens suitable for brewers, wine and spirit merchants, dry-salters, wholesale chemists, grocers, oilmen, jam and pickle manufacturers, and numerous articles for domestic purposes including filters, fancy vases, decanters, claret jugs and water bottles. On this stand also Messrs Hawley and Son exhibit pipes from 24 inches long down to two inches, including fancy cutty pipes, plain and coloured in majolica, and enamelled colours, and many other descriptions made for exporting’.

‘J.G.Hawley, Temple Stone Ware Pottery, Temple Back. At Stand 88 Mr Hawley illustrates the different processes of forming shapes, etc. A thrower with an attendant to ‘wedge’ the clay for him is at work at a potter’s wheel, and the ease and skill with which the lump of clay is shaped as the wheel revolves appears to greatly interest throngs of spectators. At the same stand Messrs Hawley and Son, tobacco pipe manufacturers, have workmen engaged in the process of pipe making, and these divide with the thrower the interest of many visitors curious as to the potter’s art’.

James George Hawley died in April 1888 and the firm was then run by his sons, George Henry Hawley and James Alfred Hawley, trading as Hawley and Company and Hawley Brothers.  They carried on the same trade as their father, producing stonewares and clay tobacco pipes.  Part of their premises was advertised to be sold or let in August 1889 when it was described as: ‘extensive freehold warehouses, premises, and yards, known as Harris’s Yard, Temple Backs. The property comprises a warehouse situated at the entrance to Harris’s Yard, with frontage and cart entrance to Temple Backs, now and for some time past in the occupation of Messrs J.G. Hawley and Sons Potteries, at the annual rent of £25’.

The pottery was last recorded in 1901 and probably closed in that year, as in the 1901 census George Henry Hawley was recorded as a commercial traveller and James Alfred Hawley as a wholesale cutler and electroplate factor.

Wares produced

Under Richard Skidmore the pottery produced crucibles for glasshouses.
Edward Patience was a stoneware potter.
Jonathan Flood was a red ware potter and water pipe manufacturer, although there are references to him producing stoneware.
The Webbs produced red earthenwares, including chimney pots and garden pots.
The Hawley family were red ware and stoneware manufacturers.

Temple Back Pottery 2

Temple Back (originally known as Commercial Road), Temple parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

1806-1810 Roger Yabbicom and Henry Yabbicom I.
1810-1842 Henry Yabbicom I.
1843-1862 Henry Yabbicom II.

The pottery closed

From 1806 the directories listed Roger Yabbicom and Henry Yabbicom I, trading as Yabbicom and Son, as operating both the St Philip’s Pottery 3 and their new pottery in Temple Back.  Roger Yabbicom died in March 1810 and the Temple Back Pottery 2 was then carried on by Henry Yabbicom I, producing sugar, chimney and garden pots.

The pottery was insured with the Sun Insurance in 1821 when it was described as ‘Henry Yabbicom of Bristol, potter. On his set of pot works in one building in the parish of Temple … stone and tiled (a stove therein) £800, stock and utensils therein only £100. Stable, counting houses and warehouse all adjoining near £100’.

The St Philip’s Pottery 3 closed in 1842 on Edward Yabbicom’s death, with Henry Yabbicom II, the son of Henry Yabbicom I, taking over the Temple Back Pottery 2 and concentrating production there.  He was described in the directories as a manufacturer of brown stone ware, improved water pipes, pantiles, firebricks and chimney pots.

In February 1861 it was probably Yabbicom’s pottery that was advertised for sale described as: ‘most eligible land, with the erections thereon, at Temple Backs … for very many years past and now occupied as a pottery, with a frontage of 250 feet, and 56 feet in depth, and immediately contiguous to the termini of the Great Western, Midland and Bristol and Exeter Railways …’.  The pottery does not seem to have sold as in February 1862 Yabbicom was advertising: ‘To millwrights and others. To be sold, very cheap, two large crushing mills’ and in March of the same year ‘To spirit, oil and colour merchants, earthenware dealers, and others. To be sold, at a very great reduction in price, the consequence of the owner declining the business, a quantity of stoneware goods, glazed inside and out with the new improved glaze; also a quantity of red ware chimney and garden pots and stands. Apply Mr Yabbicom, Pottery, Temple Backs’.

The pottery closed in 1862 and does not appear to have operated again after that date.

Wares produced

Stonewares, improved water pipes, red ware chimney pots, garden pots, stands, pantiles and fire bricks.

Temple Gate Pottery

(known as Powell’s Pottery)
Temple Gate, Temple parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

1830-1854 William Powell.
From 1816 to 1830 he was in partnership with Thomas Powell.
From 1831 to 1832 he was in partnership with John Powell.
From 1833 he ran the pottery alone.
1854-1906 William Augustus Frederick Powell and Septimus Powell, trading as William Powell & Sons.

The pottery closed and the business was amalgamated with Price, Sons & Co. in 1907 (see the St Thomas Street Pottery 2).

From 1816 to 1830 William Powell had run the St Thomas Street Pottery 1 in partnership with Thomas Powell, who was probably his brother.  In 1830 they closed that pottery and moved their business to new premises at Temple Gate where they had established a ‘brown stone pottery and Stourbridge glass warehouse’ and advertised that ‘William and Thomas Powell beg to inform their friends and the public, that they have removed their stoneware pottery from Thomas Street, to their premises at Temple Gate …’.  Thomas Powell left the partnership and in 1831 and 1832 the firm traded as William and John Powell, John being William’s brother. They were described as ‘brown stone potters, patentees and manufacturers of stone ware sugar moulds’.  Between 1831 and 1832 they exported stoneware, including bottles, to Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Belfast, Dublin, Newry, Guernsey, Jersey, New York, Madeira and Jamaica.

In 1833 William Powell was running the pottery alone and the directories described his business as ‘brown stone ware, glass bottle and patent sugar mould manufacturer, inventor and sole manufacturer of the improved stoneware which is glazed inside and out with a glaze warranted to resist acids, and will not absorb’.  Between 1833 and 1854 William Powell was exporting stoneware to Ireland, the Channel Islands, Madeira, Portugal, the West Indies, the United States of America, Canada, India and Australia.

William Powell seems to have run the business with a firm hand as in May 1839 he was charged with a violent assault on a young lad who worked for him who had been accused of stealing money.  He was ‘taken into the counting house, where Mr Powell was sitting. He denied the accusation whereupon Mr Powell snatched up a stick and struck him several times, inflicting a severe wound in his head, the effects of which kept him in bed for four days.  Mr Powell was fined 20s and costs’.

William died in March 1854 and in his will he specified that the pottery should be run by his sons, Septimus Powell as general manager and William Augustus Frederick Powell as superintendent of the stoneware pottery, the firm trading as William Powell and Sons.

In 1865 an insurance policy was taken out on the Temple Gate Pottery which described it as ‘Pottery buildings all communicating £1,750. Shed, warehouses, clay mills, crushing mill and steam engine and boiler house all communicating £50. Lodge £50. Stable £50. Basket shop £200. And on fire engine house and loft £50.  A policy taken out in the same year on the contents of the pottery mentions ‘stock, utensils and fixtures in the buildings all communicating used as a shed, warehouses, clay mills, crushing mill and steam engine and boiler house £100. The steam engine and the machinery, worked thereby in the last named buildings £400, stock and utensils in stable £60’.

In the census returns William A.F. Powell was described as a ‘glass manufacturer’, which was the other part of the family business, whereas Septimus Powell was described in 1861 as a stoneware manufacturer employing 50 men and 20 boys, in 1871 as a master potter, employing 40 men and 20 boys, and in 1881 as a stoneware potter employing 40 men, 14 girls and 3 boys.

In 1901 the following advertisement appeared: ‘William Powell and Sons. Improved-glazed spirit jars. Inventors and original manufacturers of the Bristol stoneware, spirit, treacle and vinegar jars (wicker & plain), drip pans, barrels, stoneware ale, porter and giner beer bottles. Improved water filters, jugs, pans, pickerling and preserve jars and an especial registered air tight pot. Wm. Powell and Sons have introduced a new and effective way of marking. Name and trade mark, etc., on jars in colour’.

William A.F. Powell died in February 1906 leaving effects valued at an enormous £168,842.14s.3d.  Following his death William Powell and Sons amalgamated with Price, Sons and Company in 1907, the firm becoming Price, Powell and Company.  The Temple Gate Pottery closed in 1906 and the new firm operated from Price’s premises at the St Thomas Street Pottery 2.

On 21 December 1907 a charity called ‘The Church Lands’ proposed the granting of a building lease on the pottery recently occupied by W. Powell and Sons, and described as ‘a piece of land containing 4,540 square yards … with buildings thereon, situate between Pile Street and Redcliff Mead Lane, at Temple Gate’.

Wares produced


Finds of waste pottery and kiln material

David Dawson reported the finding of two stoneware sugar moulds in 1978 during redevelopment of the site of the Temple Gate Pottery. The moulds were identical and were 520mm high and 215mm in diameter at the mouth.  They were made of the typical Bristol grey stoneware fabric, have a dark brown ferruginous salt glaze and had the clear impressed mark ‘W. & T. POWELL – PATENTEES – BRISTOL’.
(BRSMG accession no. Q1845).

Temple Street Pottery

(known as Mary Orchard’s Pottery)
Temple Street, Temple parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

c1696-c1721 Mary Orchard.

The first reference to Mary Orchard in connection with pottery production was on 15 May 1696 when she exported 123 pieces of earthenware to Dublin.  After that she was regularly exporting ‘English earthenware’ (presumably tin-glazed earthenware) to Cork, Dublin, Madeira, Nevis, Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua, Montserrat, Carolina, Boston and Newfoundland.

Mary Orchard took her first apprentice with her ‘co-partners’ in May 1698 and took a further nine apprentices in her own right between 1702 and 1720.  In the apprenticeship records she was described variously as a potmaker, mugmaker, gallypotmaker or potter and her apprentices were to be taught the art of gallypotmaking, potmaking, mugmaking and glass or white glass making.  The work of glass and white glass making probably refers to the production of ‘frit’ for glazing the wares.

In March 1701 Mary Orchard leased a property for ten years in Temple Street on which she could build ‘one or more pothouse or pothouses’ from John Knight of New Sarum in Wiltshire and William Andrews, a merchant of Bristol, and described as ‘All that messuage or tenement of him the said John Knight scituate lyeing and being in Temple Streete in the parish of Temple … Together with all the garden stable pothouse and warehouse thereto belonging thereon lately erected and built And alsoe all and singular roomes kitchens halls parlours chambers sollars shopps lofts lights pavements wayes water easements … And alsoe liberty for them the said William Andrews and — Orchard … to erect in some part of the said garden one or more pothouse or pothouses …’.

Mary Orchard made her will in April 1721 but lived for almost another ten years, her burial being recorded at St Mary Redcliffe church in December 1730.  She was still exporting earthenware in December 1721 but in the Port Book studied for 1726 no exports were recorded in her name.  It is assumed she had given up the Temple Street Pottery sometime between 1721 and 1726.

Wares produced

Tin-glazed earthenwares.

124 Temple Street Pottery

Temple Street, Temple parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

1797-1798 Joseph Gadd and Charles Price I.
1798-1804 Charles Price I and Joseph Read, trading as Price & Read.
1805-1820 John Duffett I.
1821-1836 John Milsom (from 1823-1825 he was in partnership with Edward Melsom, trading as Milsom & Melsom).
1836-1858 Edward Melsom and Francis Melsom I.
1858-1861 Edward Melsom.
1861-1867 Francis Melsom II.

The pottery closed.

Joseph Gadd and Charles Price I moved from the Counterslip Pottery to the 124 Temple Street Pottery in 1797.  Gadd died in April 1798 and by 1799 Charles Price I formed a partnership with Joseph Read, the firm being listed in the directories from 1799, trading as Price and Read, brown stone potters.  Joseph Read died in December 1803 and, although Charles Price I carried on the business alone, the firm traded as Price and Read until 1817.  In 1804 Charles Price I moved from the 124 Temple Street Pottery to the premises next door at the 123 (or 125) Temple Street Pottery.

John Duffett I, a red ware potter, then took over the 124 Temple Street Pottery and by 1817 he was also operating the Pipe Lane Pottery on Temple Back.  In 1820 John Duffett I moved all his business to the Pipe Lane Pottery and the 124 Temple Street Pottery was taken over by John Milsom.  In 1823 he entered into a partnership with Edward Melsom, the firm trading as Milsom and Melsom, stone ware potters and patent water pipe manufacturers.  A survey of Temple parish in 1823 lists 124 Temple Street as being occupied by Edward Melsom as a dwelling house, stoneware shop and manufactory.

In November 1825 the partnership between Milsom and Melsom, brown stone potters, was dissolved and John Milsom carried on operating the 124 Temple Street Pottery alone until 1836 when he moved his business to the Redcliff Street Pottery 3.

The 124 Temple Street Pottery was purchased for £410 by Edward and Francis Melsom I in March 1836 when it was described as the ‘messuage together with the potters kiln and other erections and buildings thereon then in the tenure of John Melsom, stone potter’.  They had previously been operating the St Philip’s Pottery 4.  In 1851 Francis Melsom II was described as a ‘master potter, employing 8 men’ and they were listed in the directories as being ‘stoneware and patent water pipe manufacturers’.

Francis Melsom II died in December 1858 and Edward Melsom carried on the business alone being described in the 1861 census as a ‘stoneware manufacturer employing 9 men and 7 boys’ and in the directories as a ‘white glazed and patent stone ware potter and patent water pipe manufacturer’.

In 1861 the pottery was taken over by Francis Melsom II, the son of Francis Melsom I and he continued the business until 1867 when the pottery closed.

Wares produced

Under Charles Price and Joseph Read: stonewares.
Under John Duffett: red earthenwares.
Under John Milsom and subsequent proprietors: stonewares, including patent water pipes and, under Edward and Francis Melsom I and II, ‘white glazed’ wares.

125 (or 123) Temple Street Pottery

(documents give the address variously as 123 or 125 Temple Street)
Temple parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

c1781-1804 James Alsop I.
1805-1817 Charles Price I, trading as Price and Read.
1818-1822 Charles Price I.
1822-1844 Charles Price I and Charles Price II, trading as Charles Price and Son.
1845-1849 Charles Price I, Charles Price II and Joseph Read Price, trading as Charles Price and Sons.
1849-1863 Charles Price II and Joseph Read Price.
1864-1869 Joseph Read Price, Charles Price III and Samuel Newell Price and Alfred Newell Price, trading as Joseph and Charles Price and Brothers.

The pottery is not mentioned after 1869 and production was transferred to the St Thomas Street Pottery 2.

It is not known when James Alsop I established the pottery, but he was listed in the directories as a potter or brown stone potter in Temple Street from 1781.  However he had been paying rates on a property in Temple Street from at least 1776 so it is possible that the pottery had been operating from that date.  In 1804 Alsop moved to the St Thomas Street Pottery 1 and his pottery in Temple Street was taken over by Charles Price I, who had previously been working next door at the 124 Temple Street Pottery.  The firm traded as Price and Read although Joseph Read had died in 1803.

The Price family took over the St Thomas Street Pottery 2 in 1809, but they continued to use the 125 (or 123) Temple Street Pottery until 1869.  For the full history of Price’s potteries see under the St Thomas Street Pottery 2.

Wares produced

Stoneware vessels of all kinds, including patent water pipes.

131 Temple Street Pottery

Temple Street, Temple parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

c1775-1779 Thomas Fletcher.
c1781-1811 John Hope.
1812-1822 John Hope and John Bright I, trading as Hope and Bright.
1822-1830 John Bright I.
1831-1840 John Bright I and Joseph Bright I, trading as J. and J. Bright.
1840-1848 Joseph Bright I.
1848-1852 Jane and Ann Bright.
1853 Jane Bright, trading as Bright & Company.
1853-1863 Charles Price II and Joseph Read Price.
1864-1869 Joseph Read Price, Charles Price III and Samuel Newell Price and Alfred Newell Price, trading as Joseph and Charles Price and Brothers.

The pottery is not mentioned after 1869 and production was transferred to the St Thomas Street Pottery 2.

The pottery was established by Thomas Fletcher in about 1775 when he was listed in Sketchley’s directory as a potter with an earthenwarehouse at 131 Temple Street.  He was paying rates on his property in Temple Street until March 1779, but subsequently the rates were being paid by his widow, Sarah.  Sarah Fletcher was granted a licence to marry the potter, John Hope in December 1780 and it is assumed that Hope acquired the pottery through this marriage.

John Hope was paying rates on the pottery by 1781 and by 1783 was listed in the directories as a potter in Temple Street.  Over the following years he was variously described as a stoneware potter and a patent water pipe manufacturer.  In May 1811 John Hope insured his property in Temple Street which consisted of ‘his dwelling house … not exceeding £100 … contents therein … not exceeding £200. Pottery adjoining but not communicating, a brick wall between, not exceeding £400’.

In 1811 John Hope entered into partnership with John Bright I, the firm trading as Hope and Bright.  John Hope died in 1822 and in April 1823 notice was given ‘that the partnership … between John Hope and John Bright, of Temple Street, carrying on the trade of potters, stoneware and patent water pipe manufacturers, under the firm of Hope and Bright was dissolved and determined from the 31st day of December now last past [1822] … Mrs Hope returns her sincere thanks for the favours received by her deceased husband; and informs her friends and the public that the business will be carried on in future, in all its branches, by his late copartner, John Bright’.

Between 1810 and 1831 Hope and Company, Hope and Bright and J. Bright exported stoneware (including garden pots and earthen pipes, stone pots and bottles) to Guernsey, Jersey, Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Oporto, Lisbon, Grenada, Barbados, Jamaica, St Vincent, Antigua, St Thomas, Demerara, Newfoundland, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York.

From 1831 John Bright I entered into a partnership with his brother, Joseph Bright I, the firm trading as J. and J. Bright.  They were listed in the directories as stoneware and patent water pipe manufacturers, and between 1831 and 1840 they exported stoneware to Dublin, Guernsey, Jersey, Quebec, Newfoundland, Barbados, Jamaica and Antigua.

In October 1840 Joseph Bright I advertised that the partnership with his brother had ended and he also advertised that ‘the original stoneware pottery and patent water pipe manufactory, opposite Temple church, Temple Street … in returning thanks for favours received whilst in partnership with his brother, Mr John Bright, begs to inform his friends and the public, that he intends continuing in the business of a stoneware potter in all its branches on his own account and respectfully solicits continuance of their patronage and support. 131 Temple Street’.

In April 1843 the pottery was advertised for sale, when it was described as ‘All those truly desirable and extensive freehold premises, situate in Temple Street … comprising a capital shop, with dwelling house and offices, and having a frontage towards the street of forty feet or thereabouts and extending in depth backwards about one hundred and eighty feet, with an excellent hauling-way thereto, and for about one hundred feet running behind the adjoining premises, where the width is about sixty feet. Together with the warehouse and lofts, four large brick kilns, sheds, drying rooms, workshops, and every other conveniences for carrying on the brown stone manufactory to a great extent; the whole now in the occupation of Mr J. Bright, brown stone ware manufacturer, by whom and his predecessors the said manufactory has been lucratively carried on upon the said premises for a long period of time’.

Joseph Bright I died in February 1848 and the pottery was taken over by his daughters, Jane and Ann Bright, and they carried on the business together until 1852.  They were described as stoneware and patent water pipe manufacturers and later as improved glazed stoneware, closet-pan, eject and water pipe manufacturers.  In 1851 Jane was described as a stoneware manufacturer, employing 6 men, 3 boys and 1 clerk, while Ann was listed as having no occupation.  This suggests that Jane was probably the working partner.  In 1852 Jane and Ann Bright exported 3,500 pieces of red and stoneware to Adelaide in Australia.

Ann left the partnership in 1852 and Jane carried on alone until 1853 when the pottery was taken over by the Price family.  This comprised Charles Price II and Joseph Read Price and, later Joseph Read Price, Charles Price III, Samuel Newell Price and Alfred Newell Price.

In October 1853 Charles and Joseph Read Price advertised that they were ‘manufacturers of the improved stone ware, having purchased the premises, with the entire stock-in-trade, fixtures and plant of the late firm of Messrs J. Bright & Co., 131 Temple Street, beg to inform their friends and those of the late firm that they are enabled, by the addition and enlargement of their works, to meet most effectively the demand for the home trade, and increased requirements for exportation …’.

In 1869 Charles Price II died and the Price family closed the 131 Temple Street Pottery and concentrated their production at the St Thomas Street Pottery 2.

Wares produced

Stoneware vessels of all kinds, including patent water pipes and, later, closet-pans.

Tower Harratz Pottery

Located on the site of Tower Harratz on the medieval Port Wall, Temple Back, Temple parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

c1695-1698 Richard Champneys.

In December 1694 Richard Champneys, a Bristol merchant, leased ‘all those ruinous and decayed storehouses, housings and buildings near and adjoining to Tower Harris in the parish of Temple between Templeback and Templemeades and reaching from the round tower which tower is not to be granted there downe to the river with the materials thereon and all appurtenances thereto belonging …’.

In September 1695 there was a reference to ‘the workehouse by the said Richard Champneys lately built intended for pottmaking’ adjoining Tower Harratz.  However by the first half of 1698 a rate book listed ‘Richard Champnyes for the pothouse void’ which indicates that the pottery was no longer being used.

This is the earliest recorded pottery in Bristol to have manufactured stoneware.  It is not known which master potter was working there.

Wares produced


Finds of waste pottery and kiln material

Stoneware waste has been found in the vicinity of Tower Harratz and this was reported on in full in:
Jackson, R. 2003. Late 17th-century stoneware waste from the Tower Harratz Pottery, Bristol. Journal of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology 37/2, 217-220.
The large number of stoneware wasters belonged entirely to vessels termed in contemporary documents as ‘gorges’, that is, globular-bodied, single-handled drinking vessels with elongated necks decorated by combing.  A colour wash which fires to a dark brown had been applied over the top of the vessel rims and externally but there was limited evidence for successful salt-glazing, the external surfaces of the sherds having a dull appearance.  Six sherds are illustrated.
The kiln furniture was limited to fragments of round saggars having four large knife-cut apertures in their sides and small cuts in their rims.  Two sherds of saggars are illustrated.
(HER no. 463; BRSMG accession no. 45/1994).

Tucker Street Pottery

Temple parish

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

1734-1738 Paul Townsend.

The pottery closed.

Paul Townsend became a free gallypotmaker in July 1731 and by 1734 he had established and built his own ‘mugg-kiln’ in Tucker Street.  He took an apprentice as a potter in 1736 but by December 1738 he had been forced to close his pottery.  In February 1739 he petitioned the city council saying that ‘he had erected a mugg-kiln in Tucker Street … and therein expended the sum of one hundred and thirty pounds and carried on his trade there till the 19th day of December last when he was ordered to stop further working at the said kiln to which he had submitted although to his great detriment and prayed such relief in the prem’es as to the House shall deem meet …’.  He was subsequently granted £50 compensation.

By 1740 Paul Townsend had established the St Philip’s Pottery 1.

Wares produced

Paul Townsend was generally referred to as a gallypotmaker so it seems likely that the pottery was producing tin-glazed earthenware.

Two Mile Hill Pottery

(known as the Albert Pottery)
Two Mile Hill, St George.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

1870 Possibly Ann Phipps.

There is a single reference to this pottery when it was advertised to let on 19 February 1870: ‘To be let, with immediate possession, Albert Pottery, Two Mile Hill, St George, near Bristol. For terms and particulars, apply to Mrs Ann Phipps, on the premises’.

Ann Phipps was the wife of Aaron Phipps, a master builder, who, in 1861, was employing 4 men and 4 boys.  Aaron died in August 1863.  The 1871 census recorded Ann Phipps as having no occupation and she was visiting Church Road, St George.  In 1881 she was a retired publican of 22 Two Mile Hill, St George.

Wares produced