Biltons Ltd

Biltons Ltd (1912 Ltd)

Biltons Tableware Ltd

Biltons Tableware (1998)  Ltd 


Location and period of operation:

Biltons Ltd




Biltons Ltd (1912 Ltd)




Biltons Tableware Ltd




Biltons Tableware (1998) Ltd





Earthenware manufacturer in London Road, Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent, England.

Biltons were manufacturers of low- to mid-price earthenware tablewares of traditional design. Although forming part of several mergers and takeovers the Biltons trade name continued in use as a distinctive marketing strength.

  • In 1911 the business was in financial difficulties and was acquired by Joseph Tellwright and in January 1912 was wound up. The business was continued by Tellwright as Biltons (1912) Ltd.   

  • Biltons were an important manufacturer of tea and coffee pots in addition to general earthenware and floor tiles. 

  • In the 1920s tableware, figures, nursery ware and animal 'grotesques' were added to an expanding range.

  • Glazed wall tiles and tiled fireplaces were added in the 1930s. 

  • In 1941 the factory was closed as part of the wartime concentration scheme. The business re-opened at the end of the war.

  • The company officers in 1951 were: Managing Director - J. Tellwright; Director & Sales Manager - F. Boulton; Decorating Manager - E. J. Miles; Director & Works Manager - A. G. Harley Jones (probably previously of the Wilton Pottery). 

  • The company officers in 1957 were: Managing Director - J. Tellwright; Director - Peter Thain Tellwright;  Director & Sales Manager - F. Boulton;  Assistant Works Manager (Earthenware) - John Blackhurst. 
    NOTE:  A. G. Harley Jones is still listed as Director & Works Manager - however this will be an out of date reference as he died in 1952.  

  • By 1960 J. Tellwright and Peter Thain Tellwright were joint Managing Directors and John Blackhurst had become the Works Manager (earthenware). The commercial manager was F. Sutton. 

  • From 1974 the business traded as Biltons Tableware Ltd. 

  • In 1986 the company was purchased by the home furnishings company Coloroll Ltd and became part of the Coloroll Ceramics Group. The owners of Biltons at the time were:  Peter Thain Tellwright (son of Joseph Tellwright); Managing Director - Alan Yates; Sales Director - James Parker.

  • From 1986 to 1989 Biltons Tableware Ltd operated as part of the Coloroll Ceramics Group. 

  • As a result of a failure to raise capital Coloroll was liquidated in 1990. There was a management buyout of Biltons and Staffordshire Potteries Ltd (another subsidiary of Coloroll Ceramics) and they jointly adopted the name Staffordshire Tableware Ltd.  

  • In 1994 the Biltons part of the new business was put up for sale. A management buyout took place in August 1995. 

  • Financial difficulties continued and the company was put into administration in 1998 and purchased by an investment trust who restructured the business into three comapnies - Stoke Potteries (Holdings) Ltd (a holding company); Stoke Potteries Ltd (a manufacturing company) and Biltons Tableware (1998) Ltd (a marketing comany). 

  • The newly formed group went into voluntary liquidation in January 1999.

  • In 2009/10 the site was cleared and a housing trust accommodation built on the site. 



notice of resolution on 11 January 1912 that Biltons Ltd be wound up  

The Pottery Gazette May 1912

The business was continued by Joseph Tellwright as Biltons (1912) Ltd



Biltons Ltd, London Road Works, Stoke-on-Trent

The Pottery Gazette March 1906



Biltons Ltd, London Road Works, Stoke-on-Trent
Teapots, Jugs, Coffee filters, Cocoas &c

The Pottery Gazette November 1909





1960s and 1970s
Geometric styles in shape and surface pattern - floral designs are very stylised



15 piece coffee set in a carry-away box

Biltons were innovators in the packaging& & display of tablewares and much of their ware was sold in attractively designed carry-away packs marketed through large retail outlets, wholesalers and mail order catalogues. 


mark on the coffee pot 

mark on the cups




Biltons, Coloroll sup & saucer in the Saffron pattern

Viners cutlery set
'To co-ordinate with your Biltons tableware' 

accessories such as place mats, cutlery and the like were produced to match Biltons patterns 



cup, saucer & side plate trio


From 1986 to 1989 Biltons Tableware Ltd operated as part of the Coloroll Ceramics Group



Marks used on ware for identification:

Made in England

standard post-war mark
1947+ (probably used to the end of the 1950s)


trade mark registered 
in the US in 1972



various printed and impressed marks used throught the 1960s onwards 



From 1986 to 1989 Biltons Tableware Ltd operated 
as part of the Coloroll Ceramics Group



the corner of Biltons factory, London Road, Stoke

photo early 1960s: Bert Bentley collection, Stoke-on-Trent Archive



1924 map showing the Biltons' factory

the factory was between London Road and the Newcastle-under-Lyme canal 




1953 map showing the Biltons factory

the canal had been abandoned in 1935 and subsequently filled in
on London Road the Vine Inn was surrounded on both sides by the Bilstons' factory  


maps courtesy:   



1933 photo of Stoke town

the Biltons works is shown in the red rectangle
London Road is marked in dark blue and the mostly dried up Newcastle-under-Lyme canal shown in light blue
the numerous bottle kilns of many other pottery factories can be seen
in the top right is the parish church of St. Peter Ad Vincula 


a closer view of Biltons' works 

photos courtesy: Britain From Above 


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks