Stoke-on-Trent Local History

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Longton - Gazetteers and Directories


Pigot & Co's 1828/9 Directory of Staffordshire
Pigot & Co's 1841 Directory of Staffordshire
William White, Sheffield. "1851, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire"  
Wilson's 1870-2 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales
Bartholomew's 1887 Gazetteer of the British Isles
1893 advertising and trade journal - A descriptive account of The Potteries (illustrated)
1898 Cassell's 'Gazetteer of Great Britain & Ireland'
1907 Staffordshire Sentinel 'Business Reference Guide to The Potteries, Newcastle & District'


Pigot & Co's 1828/9 Directory of Staffordshire

"LANE END, a populous and thriving market-town, and with LONGTON, forms an extensive township, situated five miles south-east of Newcastle,, at the southern extremity of the Potteries, and has risen in a few years by the almost magical influence of a prosperous manufacture to a respectable degree of opulence.
The church is similar to that of Hanley, but does not appear to so much advantage, being in a comparatively low situation; it was rebuilt about the year 1795, and is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of trustees. The original chapel was principally built and endowed at the charge of the late J. Bourne, Esq. and was consecrated in 1764; it is a chapel of ease to Stoke. There are also places of worship for the Methodists and other dissenters, and one catholic chapel. An English charity school adjoins the church-yard, which, according to and inscription, was built and endowed in 1760, of which Mr. Bourne is said to have been the founder. Here is also a national school and mechanics' institute. From the great increase of the population here, the commissioners for building churches have considered this place eligible for the erection of a new one, and the ground is taken for that purpose.  
The canal from Manchester and Liverpool to London passes within two miles of this town, and a small rivulet runs through it, upon which are several flint mills. 
The market-days are Wednesday and Saturday, the latter is the principle, and is well supplied with provisions of all kinds. The fairs are February 14th, May 29th, July 22nd and November 1st, for woollen cloth, hardware and pedlary.
By the parliamentary returns for 1821, the township of Lane End and Longton contained 7,100 inhabitants, but a census taken by the Rev. Mr. Temple, in 1826, the population had increased to 8,500 persons.
LOWER LANE and LANE DELPH may be considered as suburbs to Lane End, possessing nothing remarkably distinct from that place."

Pigot & Co's 1841 Directory of Staffordshire

"LANE END and LONGTON are two townships, forming a populous and thriving market town, in the parish of Stoke; situate at the southern extremity of the Potteries, four miles south east from Newcastle, on the road between that town and Uttoxeter. This place has risen to opulence and importance, within a comparatively few years, by the prosperous manufactures which distinguish this district. The Trent and Mersey canal passes about two miles westward from the town; and through it runs a small stream, on which are several mils grinding flint. The chapel is a brick edifice, rebuilt about the year 1795, and subsequently enlarged; the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of certain trustees.

An additional church was erected a few years since. There are places of worship for the several denominations of Methodists, and for Baptists, independents and Roman Catholics. In a free school founded by John Bourne, Esq., in 1760, forty children of both sexes are instructed; and there is another conducted upon the national plan. The markets are held on Wednesday and Saturday; the latter is the principal, and is well supplied with provisions of all kinds."

William White, Sheffield. "1851, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire"  

"Longton and Lane-End are two townships, or liberties, forming one flourishing market town now commonly called Longton, and situated at the southern extremity of the Potteries, five miles SE of Newcastle-under-Lyme, and six miles SSE of Burslem. 

This rapidly improving town is extensively engaged in the china and earthenware manufacture, and is pleasantly situated in the bosom and on the sides of the valley of a small rivulet. It is crossed by the North Staffordshire Railway, which has a station, carried on arches over the lower part of the town, constructed in 1848. The town is in the parish and parliamentary borough of Stoke-upon-Trent. Including its southern suburbs in Blurton and Normicott, it has now about 16,000 inhabitants. 

The population of Longton in 1841 was 10,393, and Lane-End, 1,952, so that the chief part of the town is in the manor of Longton, although, until about ten years ago, the town was popularly called Lane-End. The Duke of Sutherland and John E Heathcote, Esq, own a great part of the land in both liberties, and the latter is lord of the manor, and owner of Longton Hall, now occupied by Charles Harvey, Esq.

The town has risen from the rank of an humble village to its present consequence during the last 80 years. It has now many good streets, inns, and well stocked shops, and its market is held every Saturday."

Wilson's 1870-2 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales

LONGTON, a town, a chapelry, and a sub-district in Stoke-upon-Trent district, Stafford. The town stands on the North Staffordshire railway, 5 miles SE of Newcastle-under-Lyne; is regarded as conterminate with the conjoint township of Lane-End and Longton; was formerly, as a town, called Lane-End; is situated in the southernmost part of the pottery region; was, in the last century, an obscure village; and has risen to be one of the most populous and flourishing of the seats of the pottery manufacture. It has a post office ‡ under Stoke-upon-Trent, and stations with telegraph on both the Crewe and Uttoxeter and the Stoke and Silverdale branches of the North Staffordshire railway; it contains a large number of excellent houses and shops; it is well supplied with water; and it has a handsome new town hall, a court-house, a spacious covered market, three churches, six dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, an athenĉum, a mechanics' institute, and a number of public schools. The court-house is a well built edifice; includes a police office; and is used for petty sessions, and for the meetings of the local police commissioners. The covered market was recently erected at great expense; is very conveniently arranged; and cost nearly £2,000 for merely its internal fittings. St. James' church is the church of Longton rectory; was built in 1833; is a stone edifice in the pointed style; and has a tower. The other two churches are those of the chapelries of Lane-End and Edensor. The Roman Catholic chapel was rebuilt in 1869, at a cost of £7,000. A nursery school and mission church was erected in 1866, at Mount Pleasant, the highest and most airy part of the town; and is an ornamental structure in the pointed style. A scheme was commenced in 1865 for that school and mission church, for other national schools, for the building of baths, for the obtaining of a public recreation ground, and for the reseating of St. James' church; and was estimated to require £6,000. A railway to Bucknall was authorized in 1866. A weekly market is held on Saturday; another market, for vegetables and fruit, is held, in summer, on Wednesday; and fairs are held on Shrove-Tuesday, Easter-Tuesday, Whit-Tuesday, and Martinmas-Tuesday. The manufacture of earthenware and porcelain, in all departments, is largely carried on; malting and brewing also are prominent; and considerable trade is done in connexion with neighbouring collieries and ironstone mines. The manor, with Longton Hall, belongs to J. E. Heathcote, Esq. Longton Hall is a chief residence. Foley House, in which John Wesley often preached, is still standing. Real property of the town in 1860, £38,371; of which £400 were in mines, and £220 in ironworks. Pop. in 1851,15,149; in 1861,16,690. Houses, 3,277.-The chapelry was constituted in 1839. Pop. in 1861,12,706. Houses, 2,514. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, not reported.* Patron, Mrs. Clarke. -The sub-district comprises Longton town and Botteslow township. Pop., 16,857. Houses, 3,308.

Bartholomew's 1887 Gazetteer of the British Isles

Longton.-- mun. bor. and market town, Stoke upon Trent par., Staffordshire, at S. extremity of the Potteries, 2½ miles SE. and within the parl. limits of Stoke upon Trent, and 152 miles NW. of London by rail, 786 ac., pop. 18,620; P.O., T.O., 2 Banks. Market-day, Saturday. Before the rise of the industrial activity of the "Potteries," Longton was an inconsiderable hamlet; it is now a large and prosperous town. During the years 1883-84, Acts of Parliament were obtained, which greatly extended the municipal area by embracing the districts of Dresden, East Vale, and Florence. The people are mostly engaged in the mfr. of china and earthenware, but not a few work in the neighbouring collieries and ironstone mines. Malting, brewing, and brickmaking are the other employments.

1893 advertising and trade journal - A descriptive account of The Potteries (illustrated)

"Although one of the smallest of six chief towns of the Potteries, to which our introductory remarks especially allude, Longton is still a borough of considerable industrial and commercial importance, and boasts a population that would, in many less concentrated parts of the country, raise it to the first rank among towns. As it is, all who take an interest in the great pottery industries, will always remember that it was at Longton Hall that the earliest attempts to manufacture porcelain in this country were made. As early as 1756, a manufactory of English porcelain was established here, and ware of great lightness and beauty was produced, fully equaling that for which Chelsea was famous. It will thus be seen that Longton deserves to rank with Burslem as one of the historic towns of the Potteries. Longton, which is situated in the extreme south of the district, is connected by the Stoke and Derby branch of the North Staffordshire Railway with the great trunk lines of England, and so enjoys excellent facilities for transport purposes. An Act of Parliament was passed in 1839 for lighting, watching and improving the town, and under the powers thus given Longton was well supplied both with gas and water. A charter of Incorporation was obtained April 3rd, 1865, and during the year 1883 and 1884, the Corporation obtained Acts of Parliament, extending the Municipal area so as to include the outlying districts of Dresden, East Vale, Florence and Normacott. Under its Charter of Incorporation, Longton is governed by a Mayor, nine aldermen and thirty Councillors.

Chief among the Municipal buildings of the town is the Town Hall and covered Market, which is situated near the railway station. The building, which is a very handsome structure, faced with stone and ornamented with suitable devices, was opened in 1863. The Corporation has also a court house and police station in Commerce Street; while the Public Baths, erected by the authorities in 1881, at a cost of £10,500, are among the handsomest buildings in the town, as well as the most popular. The Queen's Theatre, which is situated in Commerce Street, is a fine brick building, erected in 1888, at a cost of about £8,000, and redecorated and upholstered in 1890 at a further cost of £4,000. It is now one of the best in Staffordshire, and is visited by all the best dramatic companies on tour. There is in the town a flourishing Mechanics' Institute, while the Free Library Act has been recently adopted, and arrangements are being speedily made for establishing a library suitable to the requirements of the town.

As in all the towns in the Pottery district, special attention is devoted to education in Longton. At the head of the educational establishments of the town stands the Longton Endowed School, which was erected in 1885 in Trentham Road. This admirable institution is supported chiefly by funds arising from Bourne's charity and the Dillhorn endowment. The school will accommodate 200 boys, who receive both a classical and commercial education. A thoroughly competent teaching staff is employed, the head-master being Mr. E. Haigh, M.A., B.Sc. A School Board, of nine members, was founded 30th January, 1871, and there are five elementary schools in connection with it in various parts of the district. There are also national and secular schools, all conducted upon the most improved principles.

As we stated in opening these brief remarks, Longton has from a very early date enjoyed a large amount of celebrity among the Pottery towns for the excellence of its productions in this important branch of industrial activity. But although the manufacture of china and earthenware forms the staple industry, it is by no means the only one associated with town. There are in the vicinity a considerable number of collieries and ironstone mines, which give employment to a large number of hands; and there are also breweries, maltings, and brick-making factories, all in the most flourishing condition. Beyond these, many find profitable occupation in the minor craft, while, as the following pages will show, all the usual branches of commerce are followed with great enterprise in the district. If one of the smallest, Longton is still, for its size, one of the most prosperous towns in the Pottery district, and one, too, that is capable of great development in the near future."

1898 Cassell's 'Gazetteer of Great Britain & Ireland'

"Longton, mun. bor. and mkt. to. (s), pa. of and 3 S.E. from Stoke-upon-Trent, N.W. Staffs,; ac. 1,948. The mun. bor. (dating from 1865) was extended in 1883-84. The town lies wholly within the parl. bor. of Stoke-upon-Trent.

L. is situated at the extreme south of the Potteries, and it is due to the industrial development of this district that L. has grown from a small vil. into a large and thriving town. The town embraces the eccl. pas. of St. James the Less, St. John the Baptist and St. Paul, Edensor. The church of St. James the Less (1833) is in Perp. style. St. John the Baptist's Church (1763-64), enlarged 1828, is partly in E. Eng. style. The other places of worship include a Roman Catholic church and Baptist, Wesleyan, Primitive and Free Methodist, Methodist New Connexion, Congregational, and Unitarian chapels.

The town hall (1863) is a handsome structure with a covered market in the lower portion; one of the wings is occupied by the Free Library (established 1892), and here also is the L. Athenaeum and Mechanics' Institute. The Corporation Baths date from 1881, and the Queen's Theatre from 1888. There is a cottage hospital, and an endowed school for boys, built 1885. 

Most of the inhabitants are engaged in the manufacture of china and earthenware, but a large number find employment in the neighbouring collieries and ironstone mines; and brewing, malting, and brick-making are also carried on.

L. Hall is a spacious edifice of red brick and stone in modern Classical stle, surrounded by a large and well-timbered park."

1907 Staffordshire Sentinel 'Business Reference Guide to The Potteries, Newcastle & District'

Longton, which was formerly known as Lane End, lies on the southern extremity of the Potteries, and enjoys this advantage over the sister towns, that it is in immediate touch on the east, south, and west with pretty, open country, the main arteries leading to Trentham, Stone, Uttoxeter, and Leek.

Up to 1865 the town was governed by Commissioners, and when in the year mentioned the borough was incorporated it embraced Longton and Edensor. In 1883, the district of East Vale (which is in the ecclesiastical parish of Caverswall) was joined to the borough, followed in 1884 by the annexation of Florence and Dresden, which are separate rating areas. The present borough comprises 1,934- acres, and the estimated population is about 37,000.

Longton is frequently referred to as the world's centre of the cheap china trade. The better class of ware is also largely manufactured in the town, as well as earthenware, and the pits of the Florence Coal and Iron Company, Ltd., in which the Duke of Sutherland holds the controlling interest, form the chief colliery undertaking.

The North Stafford Railway Company has two stations in the borough, and the main-line service is in direct communication with Derby and Crewe. The Potteries Electric Traction Company has termini on three of the principal roads connecting with the country districts, and an extension of the system to the Meir and Blythe Bridge was sanctioned some years ago.

There are seven ecclesiastical parishes in the town. The Parish Church, dedicated to St. James, was erected in 1833. Among the Rectors was the late Dr. Benjamin Vale, whose residence was sacked at the time of the Pottery riots. St. John's Church, built in 1792-5, is still called in ecclesiastical deeds the church of Lane End. There are other Anglican churches at Edensor, Dresden, Normacot, and Sandford Hill, and the Roman Catholics have an imposing edifice which is styled the cathedral of the diocese. Dr. Ilsley, the present Bishop of Birmingham, was at one time priest-in-charge. The Nonconformist communions are largely represented, and the Wesleyan Methodist, New Connexion, Primitive Methodist, and Congregational bodies possess commodious places of worship.

Day schools are affiliated with the Parish Church, and the churches of Edensor, Dresden, and Normacot, in addition to which there are seven Council schools, and one erected by the Roman Catholics. In the higher branches of educational work, Longton is also excellently equipped. The High School, now carried on by the local authority, was formerly called the Endowed School, and was mainly supported by the Dilhorne Charity. It is a recognised secondary school, with a large attendance of boy and girl students, and is doing excellent work. Some years ago the school was co-ordinated with the Sutherland Technical Institute and School of Science and Art. This building was secured mainly through the efforts of Aid. Aaron Edwards, J.P., who inaugurated the movement to commemorate his four years' Mayoralty, and who raised nearly £8,000 towards the cost. The foundation stone was laid in January, 1898, by the King, when Prince of Wales; the site was given by the Duke of Sutherland.

Thanks to the foresight and the keen local patriotism of its leading inhabitants, Longton has become equipped with many other valuable municipal assets. By personal generosity and active work, the late Mr. John Aynsley secured for the town a splendid pleasure ground, known as the Queen's Park, the site of which was given by the late Duke of Sutherland. It is one of the prettiest recreation grounds in the kingdom, and each Whitsuntide it is the scene of attractive fetes promoted by the Town Council for the pleasure of the people and the relief of the rates.

The Cottage Hospital, situate at Normacot, is another admirable institution, acquired through the instrumentality of the late Mr. Aynsley and the late Rev Adam Clarke.

The Town Council possess a capital gas undertaking which for some years has paid from £2,000 to £2,500 out of the profits to the borough fund; also an electricity station, Town Hall and  extensive covered market, a fine set of public and private baths, a splendidly-equipped Public Library, a refuse destructor, cemetery, &c, -while a sewage disposal scheme to cost about £30,000 is being carried out. The water supply of the town is from the reservoirs of the Potteries Waterworks Company.

The A company of the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment was raised in Longton, and has a small armoury and drill hall which was once a theatre. The present Thespian temple is called Queen's Theatre, a popular and attractive place of amusement which is visited weekly by travelling companies.

The town is well supplied with shop property, -and the Town authorities have recently purchased a site near the Town Hall for a new post office.

Longton is within the Stoke Poor Law Union, and is policed by the Staffordshire County  Constabulary. There is a borough magistracy.

The English China Manufacturers' Association is the chief trade institution.

The chief fair during the year occurs at Shrovetide, when a  large aggregation of " wakes" attractions is pitched on an open space near the railway station known as the fair ground.


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