History of the Bottle Kiln
From the 18th century until the 1960s,
bottle ovens were the dominating feature of the Staffordshire
Potteries. There were over two thousand of them standing at any one time and they
could be seen everywhere one looked.
Some small factories had only one bottle oven, other large potbanks had as many as twenty-five.
Within a factory ovens were not situated according to any set plan. They might be grouped around a cobbled yard or placed in a row. Sometimes they were built into the workshops with the upper part of the chimney protruding through the roof.
No two bottle ovens were exactly alike. They were all built according to the whim of the builder or of the potbank owner.
|How the bottle kiln works
|The sagger and the bottom knocker
|the 47 kilns still standing today
1927 aerial photo centred on Spode's pottery factory, Stoke
"A Whiff from the Potteries"
The Bell Pottery, Bethesda Street, Hanley - 1953
The J&G Meakin - Eagle Pottery works, Hanley
questions/comments/contributions? email: Steve Birks
updated: March 2008