(known as the Horticultural Potteries)
Summary of operating dates and proprietors
|William Maule, trading as William Maule & Sons.
|Alexander James Maule and William Alexander Maule, trading as William Maule & Sons.
|Alexander James Maule, trading as William Maule & Sons.
The pottery appears to have closed, as after 1884 the firm were described only as ‘nurserymen’.
William Maule had been working as a nurseryman from at least 1815 and as a nurseryman, seedsman and florist from at least 1847, trading as William Maule and Sons, the sons being William Alexander Maule and Alexander James Maule. In 1851 William Maule was described as a nurseryman, owning 45 acres and employing 28 men and 9 boys.
By 1854 the business had been expanded to include ‘horticultural potteries’. William Maule died in February 1858 and the firm was carried on by his sons, although they retained the trading name of William Maule & Sons. In 1861 they employed 50 men, 2 women and 20 boys in the nursery and pottery and in March 1862 they advertised for ‘an industrious, intelligent man, competent to work and superintend for garden pots only, and if he can undertake a part in mould making and working the same for ornamental goods he would be preferred’.
Some idea of the types of wares they produced can be seen from the following reports of their exhibits at the Bath and West of England Show in June 1864:
‘Messrs Maule and Sons, of the Horticultural Potteries, Stapleton Road, erected a handsome terra cotta fountain on a very large scale, and of a new and striking design. It will be named the Prince of Wales Fountain. It will stand in a basin 21 feet in diameter, and rising from the base are several pieces of statuary, representing figures supporting a second basin eight feet in diameter. On the surface of this other figures support the tazza, or receptacle for the superstructure, consisting of a third group of figures, scattering the water from a height of fifteen feet, first descending to the tazza, then into the second basin, and again into the lower one. The fountain will be surrounded by ten elegant trees of the coniform tribe, twenty-five feet in height, and we understand that they will be removed from the grounds of Messrs Maule by a new principle, which enables the contributor to keep them in the yard, standing in frames, in which they can be readily returned to the ground from which they were transplanted’.
‘Dog, full-sized Newfoundland, eagle, shell pedestal and boy figures, woman bracket, suspension architectural basket and hangings, square pedestal, sun dial, round fluted pedestal, circle for raised flower bed, boy with shell on his head for trailing plants, boys for water jet, large sized wicker basket and stand, large Italian bell-shaped vase with handles … large leaf vase, Grecian vase with handles … octagon pot and stand, Italian basket, tulip vase, tree stump pots, rose pot and stand, tall stump orchid pot with knot holes, large tatza and stand, tank aquariums sizes, urn or scent jar for halls and conservatories, garden flower pots, seed pans, stands, etc, large fountains …’.
William Alexander Maule died in December 1874 and the pottery was then run by his brother until his death in May 1884. Although the firm was carried on, probably by their sister Louisa Maule, and still traded as William Maule & Sons, the horticultural pottery side of the business was not mentioned after 1884 and it seems likely that the pottery had closed. The firm appears to have ceased trading as a nursery in about 1889.