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Bennett and the Potteries


next: Bursley - Bennett's Burslem
contents: index page for Arnold Bennett

see also: Bennett's life in the Potteries

Locations in Bennett's Novels

Many of the locations in Clayhanger and other Bennett novels based in "The five towns" correspond to actual locations in and around the Potteries district of North Staffordshire, especially in Burslem - which is the focus of many of his novels.

Some of these locations and buildings are set out below.

Towns and villages:

Bleakridge: Cobridge, once a relatively exclusive suburb, between Burslem and Hanley. Bennett lived in Cobridge with his parents.
Bursley Burslem - the 'Mother Town' of the Potteries, most of Bennett's 'Five Towns' novels are set in Burslem. [ on Bennett's Burslem]
Hanbridge: Hanley - the 'Chicago' of the Potteries. Bennett was born in Hanley in 1867.
[ on Bennett's Hanley]
Hillport: Porthill
Knype: The town of Stoke-upon-Trent (not to be confused with the city of Stoke-on-Trent, of which Stoke is one of the six towns).
[ on Bennett's Stoke]
Longshaw: Longton  [ on Bennett's Longton]
Mow Cop: A hill to the north of the Potteries, on the Staffordshire / Cheshire border. The site of the early Primitive Methodist camp meetings.
Oldcastle: Newcastle-under-Lyme (the "seventh" town)
Shawport: Longport
Toft End: Sneyd Green, south east of Burslem
Turnhill: Tunstall [ on Bennett's Tunstall]
 Fenton:  Read the reason Bennett gives for 'forgetting' Fenton []



John Baines' Shop
At the bottom of St. John's Square


Blood Tub:
A wooden theatre - the site of
Bennett's Blood Tub corresponds to that of the Wedgwood Theatre Royal, which stood in Wedgwood Place.
  Cauldon Bar Ironworks:
he Shelton Bar iron and steelworks, which was in Etruria valley to the west of Hanley
Clayhanger's printing works:
Bennett's description of the Clayhanger house, shop and printing works may have been based on a building which still stands on the south side of Swan Square, Burslem, at the corner of Queen Street and Waterloo Road.
Conservative Club:
The actual building is 'The Big House' top of Swan Square.
Critchlow's Chemist Shop:
At the bottom of St. John's Square
Dragon Hotel:
The George Hotel on the corner of Nile Street and Waterloo Road.
Duck Inn:
he Swan Inn, Swan Square, Burslem.
St. Luke's Church:
orresponds St John the Baptist Church, Burslem.
Oldcastle Middle School:
Orme's Boys' School in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Pirehill Infirmary:
The North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, Hartshill.
Povey's Confectioners Shop:
Daniel Povey's Confectioners Shop in Queen's Street, Burslem.
Burslem's former meat market in Market Place.
  St Luke's covered market:
he first covered market in Burslem stood in the market place to the east of the town hall.
  Sytch Pottery:
Corresponds to Samuel Alcock & Co's Hill Top Pottery, in Burslem, at the top of Sytch Bank. A Georgian building, now demolished. Bennett wrote to the Staffordshire Sentinel (19 March 1909) to protest about the boarding-up of the window.
The Tiger:
The Leopard public house in Market Street, Burslem - it was opposite the Town Hall.
Town Hall:
Built in 1854 Burslem's second town hall was in Market Place, next to the 'Shambles' meat market.
The School of Art:
Queen's Street, Burslem

Streets & Locations:

Aboukir Road: Nile Street, Burslem
Bugg's Gutter: Clayhanger Street, Burslem
Cock Yard: Brickhouse Street, Burslem
Duck Square: Swan Square, Burslem.
Knype and Mersey Canal: Trent and Mersey Canal, which flows to the west of Burslem
Manor Farm: The Grange Farm (now a park) lay immediately to the south of Burslem
Moorthorne Road: Moorland Road, Burslem
Oak Street: Elm Street, Cobridge
Playground: The old playground lay opposite the junction of Wedgwood Place and Overhouse Street, Burslem
St Luke's Square: St John's Square, Burslem.
Wedgwood Street: Queen Street, Burslem
Woodisun Bank: Bourne's Bank, Burslem.

For further guidance consult Studies in the sources of Arnold Bennett's novels by Louis Tillier (Didier, Paris 1949), and Arnold Bennett and Stoke-on-Trent by E. J. D. Warrilow (Etruscan Publications, 1966).

Plan of Bennett's Bursley
Plan of Bennett's Bursley
from 1957 City of Stoke-on-Trent Official Handbook

1 Clayhangers Printing Works 10 Blood Tub (Theatre) 19 Buggs Gutter
2 Town Hall 11 Tiger (Inn) 20 Sytch Chapel
3 The Shambles 12 Daniel Povey's Confectioners Shop 21 Sytch Pottery
4 Duck Inn 13 Chapel Alley 22 Primitive Methodist Chapel
5 Dragon Inn 14 Carpenter Square 23 Acre Passage
6 John Baines' Shop 15 Duck Bank Chapel & Sunday School 24 Conservative Club
7 Critchlow's Chemist Shop 16 Borough Dining Rooms 25 Playground
8 Hanover Vaults 17 School of Art 26 Buck Row
9 Bursley Railway Station 18 Cock Yard  


Burslem in 1898
Burslem in 1898
many of the features and streets in Bennett's novels can be identified
by comparing the map with the location plan

next: Bursley - Bennett's Burslem
contents: index page for Arnold Bennett

see also: Bennett's life in the Potteries