A descriptive account of The
1893 advertising and trade journal.
Mother of the Potteries:
To Burslem belongs the proud title of the "mother of the potteries." As early as the 17th century this town was noted above all others for the production of the best classes of pottery made in this country. Here, too, was born the greatest exponent of the potters' art whom the world has known - Josiah Wedgwood - who was born at Burslem in July, 1730; and was apprenticed at the Churchyard Works in this town. It will thus be seen that Burslem is, so to speak, the aristocratic town of the pottery district; and if, now, others have passed it in the matter of population, none can claim so long and uninterrupted a connection with the industry as this old borough. In the Doomsday Survey - for even in that early date Burslem was a place of some importance - the town appears, as "Burwardeslyn;" and frequent mention is made of it in ancient documents during the Middle Ages.
The town has been for many years a municipal borough; and it is largely due to its Mayor and Corporation, backed up by the public-spirited burgesses, that the borough is one of the cleanest, best built and healthiest devoted to industrial interests in the country. The streets have been lighted by gas, from works situated at Longport, ever since the introduction of that method of illumination; while there is a copious supply of excellent water by the North Staffordshire Potteries Water Works Company. The town is, too, admirably drained by a modern system of sewage, completed in December, 1879, under the supervision of Mr. E. M. Richards, C.E. These works cost the borough £30,450, and are among the most effective in the Midlands. The streets in the town are all wide and well paved, and there are many excellent specimens of modern architecture, bearing abundant testimony to the good taste of the authorities - a taste displayed throughout the pottery district, as we have stated in our introductory remarks.
Parish of Burslem:
Burslem was formed into a separate parish from that of Stoke (which formerly comprised nearly the whole district) by an Act of Parliament passed in 1807. The parish thus formed embraces the township of Burslem, the hamlet of Sneyd, and the ville of Rushton. It is divided into four ecclesiastical districts - St. John the Baptist; St. Paul, Longport; Christ Church, Cobridge; and Holy Trinity, Sneyd.
The Parish Church of St. John
The Parish Church of St. John is a somewhat imposing structure of brick, consisting of a chancel, nave, aisles, and massive embattled western town, in the perpendicular style, containing six bells cast in 1827. The tower is of an ancient date, but the rest of the edifice was completely rebuilt in 1717, and lengthened and new roofed in 1788. In 1878, again, the Church underwent a substantial and thorough restoration at a cost of £2,000. A new organ was also substituted for one built in 1792. The chancel contains a beautiful stained glass window, presented by Henry Parker, Esq., of Burslem.
St. Paul's, Longport, is now a parish for ecclesiastical purposes, having been formed from that of Burslem in 1845. The Church, which stands midway between Burslem and Longport, was erected in 1828-30 at a cost of no less than £14,000, and was consecrated January 19th, 1831. This is one of the finest churches in the potteries. The structure, which is very extensive, is a Hollington stone, in the perpendicular style. It comprises a shallow chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, and an embattled western tower 115 feet high, with pinnacles. The organ, which cost originally £1,000, has since been considerably improved. The Church has several very beautifully stained glass windows, erected to the memory of prominent people connected with the town. One, erected in 1871, is a memorial to the late Mr. Davenport, and another is in memory of the Rev. C. O'Neill, a late vicar. The pulpit is particularly noteworthy. It was erected to commemorate the mission held in the parish by the Rev. W. H. Hay Aitken, in 1885. It is built of alabaster and oak, and has upon the pedestal seven carved figures under canopies, the whole resting upon alabaster columns. The Church, as a whole, forms a splendid monument to the piety and liberality of its congregation, past and present.
Christ Church, Cobridge, became an ecclesiastical parish in 1845. The Church, which was erected in 1839, and enlarged in 1842, is a plain edifice of brick, with stone pinnacles and dressings, built in a modern form of the Early English style. It consists of a small chancel, nave, and an embattled western tower, with pinnacles; all the windows are beautifully stained. There are 600 sittings, of which 360 are free.
Interior of Holy Trinity
Holy Trinity, Sneyd: The last of the four district Churches included in the parish of Burslem is Holy Trinity, Sneyd. This was erected in 1852 at a cost of over £5,000. It is a stone structure in the decorated style, built from designs by Mr. T. G. Robinson. It consists of a chancel, nave, aisles, and a fine tower, with spire. The chief attraction in the interior is the beautiful mural painting of "The Resurrection," over the chancel arch. It is the work of Mr. F. Rhead, of Stoke, and was uncovered in August, 1891. The Church contains 600 sittings.
The Catholic Church, dedicated to St. Peter, and situated at Cobridge, was founded in 1780. The Wesleyan Chapel, in Liverpool Road, was erected in 1879, at a cost of £1,000. It is an attractive building of red brick with stone dressings, and decorations of terra cotta, the work of local factories. The Chapel will seat 200 people; while the school and class rooms attached with accommodate 150.
Other denominations: The Clowes Primitive Methodist Memorial Chapel, opened August 24th, 1879, is of red brick, with stone facings, and has sittings for 500 persons. The Wycliffe Congregational Hall, Furlong Parade, is a spacious building of red brick in the Gothic style. It was erected in 1885, and is used as a Sunday School and Mission Hall.