Crown Pottery

Posted on: July 5th, 2016 by webfooted

Cloud’s Hill Avenue, St George.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

1870-1885 John Ellis II.
1885-1887 Arthur Ellis.
1888-1904 Crown Pottery Company.

The pottery closed.

John Ellis II had been the managing director of the Bristol Victoria Pottery Company and on leaving that concern he founded the Crown Pottery which opened in December 1870.  The Bristol Times and Mirror recorded the opening: ‘Mr John Ellis, formerly the enterprising managing director of the Victoria Pottery, St Philip’s, has just completed a new and very extensive establishment at St George’s and the inaugural dinner was held yesterday evening.  The meal was served in the spacious sale and sorting rooms … and upwards of 120 employees and friends of the proprietor were present … Mr David Johnson then presented to Mr Ellis, on behalf of the employees at the Redcross Street works [the Redcross Street Pottery] and the new pottery, a very handsome timepiece’.

In 1881 John Ellis II was described as a master potter, employing 19 men and boys, and living at Plummers Hill, St George.

He died in March 1885 and the pottery was taken over by his son, Arthur Ellis.  Unfortunately Arthur died in March the following year and in June 1886 the Crown Pottery was advertised for sale in the Western Daily Press: ‘In consequence of the death of the late proprietor, the executor of the estate is prepared to sell this very desirable and compact business which has been carried on so successfully for some years past, and was in full work until very recently. The business presents an admirable opportunity for investment of a moderate capital, and can be continued at once as a going concern’.

In August 1886    the Crown Pottery was advertised in the Bristol Mercury for sale by auction and it was described as ‘all that close of freehold land, containing 2 acres (more or less), and situate at St George’s, with the various buildings erected thereon; consisting of a commodious dwelling house, counting house, capital warehouses, kilns, workshops, etc. The valuable machinery and plant, including a 20 horse-power steam engine and boiler, and the goodwill of the business will be included in the sale. The pottery is situate within easy distance of Bristol, but being just outside the city boundary the taxes are low. A never failing stream of pure water runs through the premises.  The late Mr Ellis carried on a lucrative business for many years on the above premises, and as the same are in full working order, a capital opportunity is now afforded to any gentleman desirous of embarking in the pottery trade’.

The pottery was acquired by Thomas Bertram Johnston, trading as Pountney and Company, who was also running the Water Lane Pottery and the Bristol Victoria Pottery.  The Crown Pottery Company was listed in the directories until 1904 although it is possible that it had closed by 27 July 1901 when a J.H. Crawley  stated that he was intending to use the pottery as a soap boiling manufactory.

Wares produced

Earthenwares – possibly transfer-printed earthenwares.

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