Josiah Spode II (1754-1827) and The Mount Estate (Penkhull)



 The new house "The Mount"


In 1802 at an auction held in the Marquis of Granby public house, Josiah Spode bought 17 acres of land (lot 2) north of the village of Penkhull. Lot 2 was then occupied by an old farmhouse called "Tittensor's House". This was demolished and a new mansion house called "The Mount" was erected on the site c.1803-4. 

The house was described by John Ward c.1840 as follows:

'Of the mansions within the Township of Penkhull, (we may say, indeed, within the compass of the Borough,) "THE MOUNT," erected by the late Josiah Spode, Esq., bears acknowledged pre-eminence. It stands near the village, and is surrounded by plantations and a highly-ornamental domain. The house is an oblong building of stone, with a semi-circular entrance on the west front; an elegant and lofty dome, which lights the staircase, gives an exterior air of grandeur to the structure."

Even today, the house is an imposing structure built to impress upon all visitors the commercial success, wealth and status of its owner. It is built mainly of brick with stone used to emphasise its architectural features. 

There were two parts to the original house. The larger structure, rectangular in shape, two stories high, contained the principal reception roams and master bedrooms. The front elevation is symmetrical, of 7 bays, dominated by a big bow in the middle of ashlar with attached giant Roman Doric columns. It faces south west, i.e. away from Spode's pottery factory and the town of Stoke-upon-Trent towards the estates of Clayton Lodge and Trentham Hall. 

The rear elevation is of a simpler design, also of 7 bays, with a slightly projecting central section which originally contained the rear entrance. Internally, two halls lead from the main entrance to the principal staircase which has an iron handrail, balusters, and trellis panels, all light by a circular skylight. 

The smaller rectangular structure on the north-west side of the main house is the service wing which contains a separate staircase for the servants. In keeping with its service functions very little stone was used in the construction of this part of the house. The elevations and plans from the 1875 auction catalogue show the house as it first appeared when it was built in c.1803-4. 

Unfortunately there is no information on either the architect or the builder employed in the construction of the house.


The Mount in 1875
The Mount in 1875

The illustration above is taken from the auction catalogue for the sale of the house in 1875. It shows the main elevation from the direction of Clayton. The family block is prominently featured while the service wing (on the left of the picture) is obscured by trees and shrubs.



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