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Bennett's and the Potteries

Locations in Bennett's novels

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The Tiger Public House

In Market Place on the opposite side of the road than than the Town Hall, is The Leopard, one of the oldest inns in Burslem, often mentioned by Bennett as The Tiger Public House.


Bennett's Tiger Public House, Market Place, Bursley
Bennett's Tiger Public House, Market Place, Bursley

(The Leopard Public House, Market Place, Burslem)

In Bennett's writings:

In the middle of Bursley, in the market-place, stands the Town Hall. Opposite is the Tiger Hotel - famous for its barmaid.


"The Tiger was very conveniently close to the Wedgwood Institution. The Tiger had a 'yard', one of those long, shapeless expanses of the planet, partly paved with uneven cobbles and partly unsophisticated planet, without which no provincial hotel can call itself respectable. We came into it from the hinterland through a wooden doorway in a brick wall. Far off I could see one light burning.

We were in the centre of Bursley, the gold angel of its Town Hall rose handsomely over the roof of the hotel in the diffused moonlight, but we might have been in the purlieus of some dubious establishment on the confines of a great seaport, where anything may happen."

Bennett: The death of Simon Fuge - The grim smile of the Five Towns

"Then where shall you go?" "We shall put up at the Tiger," said George, impressively.
"The Tiger?" gasped Mary. George had meant to stagger, and he had staggered.

"The Tiger," he iterated. "With Georgie?" "With Georgie."

"But what will uncle say? I shouldn't be surprised if uncle has never been in the Tiger in his life. You know his views--" "I don't care twopence for your uncle," said George, again implicitly blaming Mary for the peculiarities of her uncle's character. "Something's got to be done, and I'm going to do it.

........ And as, nearly opposite that celebrated hotel, the Tiger, he was about to cross over to the eastern porch of the Town Hall, he saw a golden-haired man approaching him with a perambulator. And the sight made him pause involuntarily. It was a strange sight. Then he recognized his nephew-in-law. And he blanched, partly from excessive astonishment, but partly from fear.

"How do, uncle?" said George, nonchalantly, as though he had parted from him on the previous evening. "Just hang on to this pram a sec., will you?" And, pushing the perambulator towards Samuel Peel, J.P., George swiftly fled, and, for the perfection of his uncle-in-law's amazement, disappeared into the Tiger."

Bennett: The Tiger and the baby



Actual location / building:

Public House. Late 18th Century but re-fronted c. 1830

Leopard Inn, number 21 Market Place, Burslem

Now a listed building.

Burslem's Leopard held in 1765 the first meeting between Josiah Wedgwood and Thomas Bentley, Erasmus Darwin and the engineer James Brindley  which culminated in the cutting of the Trent and Mersey Canal.   

"On Friday last I dined with Mr. Brindley, the Duke of Bridgewater's engineer, after which we had a meeting at the Leopard on the subject of a Navigation from Hull.... to Burslem" 

Josiah Wedgwood,11th March 1765.


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