Master Potters in Georgian Burslem (1714-1837)
Josiah Wedgwood's Brickhouse (or Bell) works
The Brick House - attached to the works
The success of Josiah Wedgwood's experiments with cream-coloured ware soon brought an increase in demand for his products and in the autumn of 1762 he moved from the Ivy House Works to the larger Brickhouse works in Lower Street (now Queen St.) which he rented from the Adams family.
On 25th January 1764 he married his 3rd cousin, Sarah, daughter and heiress of Richard Wedgwood of Spen Green. Their first three children, Susannah, John and Richard, were born at the Brickhouse before the family moved to Etruria Hall in 1769.
Josiah carried on his experiments at the works in Burslem and this is where he perfected Black Etruscan ware between 1766 and 1769. The experiments were not confined to the production of new ware. Equally important was his introduction of a bell to summon his workforce to labour with the result that the works also came to be known as the Bell Works.
He opened his new factory at Etruria in 1769 but carried on production at Burslem until 1773.
The two illustrations showing the Brickhouse above and the works below were drawn from memory by Aaron Wedgwood in 1860. Part of the works can be found on the 1851 ordnance survey map behind the Independent Chapel. (this is currently on the corner of the present Brickhouse Lane and Queen St.)
The Brickhouse or Bell works
on Queen Street
questions/comments/contributions? email: Steve Birks