St Philip’s Pottery 1

Posted on: August 9th, 2016 by webfooted

Back Lane/Avon Street, St Philip and Jacob parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

1740-1768 Paul Townsend.
By 1760 he claimed to be incapable of carrying on his trade and from then the pottery may have been run by his son, John Townsend.

The pottery closed.

Paul Townsend became a free gallypotmaker in July 1731 and in 1734 he established and built his ‘mugg-kiln’ in Tucker Street.  The Common Council of Bristol forced him to close that pottery down in December 1738 and he received £50 in compensation.

With that he set up the St Philip’s Pottery 1 in about 1740, its location being given in the rate books as Back Lane, Unity Street and Jacob Street, all being in the Avon Street area.  The property was described as ‘void’ in the poor rate book of September to March 1740 but it was occupied from March 1740 onwards.  Townsend was described as a potter when he took three apprentices between 1741 and 1753, but as a gallypotmaker in the poll books of 1739 and 1754.

In 1760 Townsend petitioned the Mayor and Common Council of Bristol for the post of Exchange Keeper as he was ‘a stone potter, a free burgess of near 60 years of age, now rendered incapable of getting a sufficient competency in his trade’.  However, he was not elected to the post.

Paul Townsend continued paying rates on the pottery until March 1762, after which date the rates were paid by his son, John Townsend, also a potter, and it seems likely that John was then running the pottery.

In August 1768 the St Philip’s Pottery 1 was advertised to be let or sold and was described as ‘a commodious pot-house situate in Avon Street, St Philip and Jacob.  Lately in the occupation of Paul and John Townsend, who erected a new kiln built of Stourbridge bricks, also a large workhouse and other convenient buildings at a considerable expense … N.B. – a purchaser will be preferred, to whom the working materials and utensils (which are almost new) will be sold very reasonably’.

There is no record of the pottery operating after 1768.

Wares produced

Probably tin-glazed earthenwares initially as Townsend was described as a gallypotmaker in 1739 and 1754, although Paul Townsend described himself as a ‘stone potter’ in 1760, suggesting he was producing stonewares.

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