Dates in the history and development of Stoke-on-Trent



Dates in the history and development of Stoke-on-Trent

[also see key dates in English History]


| 1200's | 1300's | 1400's | 1500's | 1600's |

| 1700-50 | 1760's | 1770's | 1780's | 1790's |

| 1800's | 1810's | 1820's | 1830's | 1840's | 1850's | 1860's | 1870's | 1880's | 1890's |

| 1900's | 1910's | 1920's | 1930's | 1940's | 1950's | 1960's | 1970's | 1980's | 1990's |

| 2000's |


1227 - Hanley known as 'Hanlih'. The name means either a high wood, or a clearing in that wood.

1282 - References to coal mining at Tunstall

1297 - References to coal mining at Shelton

1316 - References to coal mining at Norton-in-the-Moors

1448 - Richard Adams and his brother William were fined for 'digging clay by the road' between Burslem and Sneyd.

1563 - Thomas Adams of Burslem left his 'best yron chymney' to his son William and his other chimney to his daughter Ellen.

1662 -  Act of Parliament called upon Burslem butter-pot makers to to restrict the weight of the pots to about six pounds, to that a twenty-pound load could contain a stone of butter.

1680-90 - Salt glazing first used.

1685 - Thomas Miles of Shelton was producing white stone ware.

1688 - Two brothers named Eler (or Elers), potters by trade, followed the Prince of Orange from Holland to England; two years later they had settled at Bradwell and Dimsdale. Here the two Dutchmen erected kilns and commenced production of fine red ware.

1719 - Thomas Whieldon born in Penkhull in September.

1726 - Thomas Benson of Newcastle-under-Lyme patented a process for grinding flints in water.

1730 - Josiah Wedgwood I born. Youngest of 13 children of Thomas and Mary Wedgwood of the Churchyard Pottery Works, Burslem.

1733 - Josiah Spode I born, youngest child and only son of Josiah Spode of Lane Delph.

1740 - By this date Thomas Whieldon had opened a small pottery in Fenton Low. Josiah Spode I was one of his apprentices. 

1748 - The burial of the so-called 'Burslem Witch' Margaret Leigh (Peggy Lee).

1749 - Josiah Spode I was apprenticed to Thomas Whieldon, for whom he worked until at least 1754.

1754 - Josiah Spode I married Ellen Finley who had a haberdashery business. They had seven children including Josiah Spode II.

Thomas Whieldon was in partnership with Josiah Wedgwood I from 1754 to 1759. Thomas Whieldon's products included salt glazed wares, agateware and a cream coloured earthenware which was later perfected as Queens Ware by Wedgwood.

1755 - Josiah Spode II born.

1759 - Josiah Wedgwood I rented the Ivy House Pottery Works, Burslem, from his uncles John and Thomas Wedgwood.

The Ivy House Works

1760 - Josiah Spode I began a pottery business on his own account about this date. He rented a works at Shelton and later, in partnership with William Tomlinson he rented the Barks and Turner pottery at Lane End.

John Wesley makes his first preaching trip to the Potteries.

1761 - Burslem's first Town Hall Built. See 1854.

Burslem's 1st town hall

1763 - The potters petitioned Parliament to build turnpike roads. The corporation of Newcastle-under-Lyme opposed this move since it would mean a loss of revue to the town - they had their own toll gates. A House of Commons Committee called for evidence from the petitioners and in 1763 Wedgwood told them that the roads were "in very bad condition, narrow in some parts, and in the Winter Season impassable in many places". Parliament granted their Bill and turnpikes were constructed.

1764 - Josiah Wedgwood I transferred his rapidly expanding business from Ivy House Works to the Brick House Works (also known as the Bell Works) in Church Street, Burslem. About this time he perfected the cream coloured earthenware which brought him the patronage of Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, it became known as Queens Ware.
Wedgwood met Thomas Bentley, a Liverpool merchant, who was to become his closest friend, confidant and later partner.

Brick House Works

1765 - Josiah Wedgwood records: "On Friday last I dined with Mr. Brindley, the Duke of Bridgewater's engineer, after which we had a meeting at the Leopard on the subject of a Navigation from Hull.... to Burslem" 

1766 - Josiah Wedgwood I purchased the Ridgehouse Estate and built a new factory there (opened on 13 June 1769). This factory was the nucleus of an industrial village which he called Etruria.

1769 - Josiah Wedgwood I opened his factory in Etruria (on the side of what was to be the Trent and Mersey Canal). See 1950.

Etruria Works

Josiah Wedgwood II was born, the second son of Josiah Wedgwood I and Sarah nee Wedgwood. He eventually succeeded his father as head of the business. The elder son, John, had left the industry for banking and horticulture.

Work started on the Trent and Mersey Canal (completed in 1777), see 1765.

1770 - Josiah Wedgwood I completes the building of Etruria Hall.

Etruria Hall

1773 - Josiah Wedgwood I commissioned by the Empress Catherine II of Russia to make a 1000 piece dinner service.

1775 - Josiah Spode II traded in London as a dealer in earthenware, glass and porcelain. In this year he married Elizabeth Barker and had two sons (including Josiah Spode III) and three daughters.

1776  - Josiah Spode I purchase the Barks and Turner factory in Lane End (he had been renting it from 1760) with a mortgage of 1000. 

1777 - The Trent and Mersey Canal completed. The engineer responsible was James Brindley, who died before the canal was completed.

1789 - Josiah Wedgwood I produced a replica of the Portland vase.

Longton's Times Square laid out. See 1844 1863.

1792 - Committee formed for the improvement of the Tittensor and Talke turnpike. Josiah Spode I was a member.

1794 - The Gentleman's Magazine, speaking of Etruria, called it 'a colony newly raised where clay-built man subsists on clay'.

1795 - Josiah Wedgwood I dies (3 January)

Thomas Whieldon dies (March)

1797 - Josiah Spode I dies (8 September) , Josiah Spode II returns from London and lives at Fenton Hall.

1799 - Josiah Spode II obtains lease of clay setts on Carloggas Moor, Cornwall.

1801 - Burslem's population: 6,578

1802 - Josiah Spode II installs a steam engine at his works.

1803 - Josiah Spode II built The Mount, Penkhull for his home.

The Mount - Penkhull

1810 - Josiah Spode II built houses for his factory workers, these included Penkhull Square, Ten Row, Nine Row and some in Penkhull New Road.

1811 - Josiah Spode II takes a leading role in opposing government moves to introduce a tax on pottery. 

Population- Hanley: 9968, Tunstall: 1677, Burslem: 8625, Longton: 4930

First Primitive Methodist chapel founded in Tunstall, by Hugh Bourne.

1815 -  Battle of Waterloo

1817 - Waterloo Road from Burslem, through Cobridge to Hanley finished, named after the famous battle of 1815.

"They can now boast their thickly inhabited towns and villages, public edifices, .....enlivened by a busy and increasing population of 60,000 souls". Pitt, 1817, in his 'History of Staffordshire'

1823 - Josiah Wedgwood II takes his son Josiah Wedgwood III into partnership at the Etruria Works.

1825 - Earliest gas works in the Potteries opened in Shelton's Lower Bedford Street, under the ownership of the British Gaslight Company, to supply Hanley and Stoke.

1827 - Josiah Wedgwood II takes his son Francis Wedgwood into partnership at the Etruria Works.

Josiah Spode II died.

1832 - Reform Act.

Josiah Wedgwood II (the pottery owner at Etruria) was returned for the newly created constituency of Stoke upon Trent, retiring in 1835.

1834 - Work begins on Stoke Town Hall in Glebe Street (not completed until 1850) - designed by Henry Ward.

1835 - Municipal Corporations Act

1841 - Josiah Wedgwood II retires from the pottery business.

1842 - Chartist riots in The Potteries

1843 - Josiah Wedgwood II dies. He was married to Elizabeth Allen and had three sons and a daughter, Emma, who married the famous Charles Darwin.

1844 - Longton's Town Hall built in Times Square, soon replaced in 1863.

1845 - The North Staffordshire Railway Company ('The Knotty') was constituted.

1846- 'The Knotty's' first trains ran from a temporary station at Whieldon Grove to Norton Bridge near Stone.

1848- Stoke-on-Trent Railway Station and the North Stafford Hotel opened in Winton Square

Railway Station

1849 - North Staffordshire has over 113 miles of railway track.

1850 - A report to the Board of Health (R. Rawlinson, Report to the Board of Health on Stoke Parish) recommended the establishment of a local board of health to cover the area of the Potteries from Longton to Hanley.

Stoke Town Hall in Glebe Street opened.

2nd Town Hall

1851 - Burslem's population: 19,725

1854 - A new Town Hall built in Burslem's Market Square on the site of the original 1761 Town Hall. Completed in 1857 and designed by G. T. Robinson.

2nd Town Hall

Prior to the mid-nineteenth century, the Potteries had no local government and no member of  Parliament.

1857 - The townships of Hanley and Shelton, forming a portion of the parish of Stoke-upon-Trent, were incorporated to constitute the municipal borough of Hanley.

1860's - Parkers Brewery founded. See 1889, 1929, 1949.

1865 - Longton created a borough.

1863 - Longton Town Hall replaced, on the same location, by the present building in Times Square.

2nd Town Hall

Stoke City Football Club was formed in 1863 - they are the second oldest professional club in England. 

1869 - The Queen's Hotel in Albion Street Hanley build to the design of Robert Scrivener. It was acquired by the Hanley County Borough in 1888 and became the new Town Hall.

Hanley's 3rd Town Hall

1870 - The Potteries Motor Traction (PMT) company founded with a service of horse-drawn trams.

1871 - Burslem created a borough.

1874 - Stoke created a borough.

1870's - Lord Shaftesbury, speaking in Parliament.... "If we turn to the Potteries, we see there a large body of intelligent men who by their own thrift and industry have raised themselves to the position of suffrage. There are in that district about 9,000 potters, men in receipt of high wages; and, I am told, that very nearly 3,000 of these by their own industry and care have purchase their own freehold, and are now living in their own houses."

1878 - Burslem granted a coat of arms. (All the six towns had and displayed arms but only Burslem received a grant.)

coat of arms

1885 - Tunstall's new Town Hall completed. Designed by A. R. Wood.

2nd Town Hall

1888 - Local Government Act - by which county councils were created.

The middle portion of Stoke Town Hall (which was originally a market hall) rebuilt to house the Council Chamber, Mayor's Parlour and municipal offices of the Borough.

The Queen's Hotel in Albion Street, Hanley converted by Hanley County Borough for use as Hanley's Town Hall. The Victoria Hall, built on the rear was opened. Victoria Hall was built to the designs of Hanley's Borough Surveyor, Joseph Lobley to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.

Fenton's Town Hall built in Albert Square. Designed by Robert Scrivener & Son. Paid for by William Meath Baker.

Fenton's Town Hall

Gertrude Astbury, born in Longport, achieved international fame as the music hall star Gertie Gitana  

Stoke City Football Club were among the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888

1889 - Parkers Brewery becomes a registered company - at this date they have 110 public houses in Stoke-on-Trent.

1891 - The population of the municipal borough of Hanley was 54,846.

1893 - Clock Tower erected in Tunstall's Tower Square - on the site of the original Town Hall.

A law passed setting the minimum age at 11 for the employment of children in the pottery industry.

1894 - Tunstall and Fenton became urban districts. 

1896 - The first public performance of Elgar's King Olaf was held in Hanley's Victoria Hall.

1905 - Birches Head and part of Sneyd Green were added to Hanley.

1908 - Arnold Bennetts novel "The Old Wives' Tale", was published. The novel describes the municipal divisions existing in the 'Five Towns'.

1908 - legislation for Federation of the six towns passed, for implementation at the end of March 1910.

1910 - Federation of the six towns on 31st March. The county borough of Hanley, the municipal boroughs of Burslem, Longton and Stoke together with the urban districts of Tunstall and Fenton now formed a single county borough of Stoke-on-Trent. 

1911 - Population- Hanley: 66,255, Tunstall: 22,494, Burslem: 41,566, Longton: 37,479

North Staffs Mines Rescue Brigade founded by Walter Clifford.

The King's Hall was built onto the back of Stoke Town Hall.

Burslem's third Town Hall completed. It houses the Queen's Theatre. Designed by Russel & Cooper of London.

Burslem's 3rd Town Hall
The Queen's Hall

1912 - Southward extension added to Longton Town Hall.

A coat of arms was granted to the County Borough of Stoke-on-Trent.

Coat of Arms

1922 - The magnificent pipe organ in the Victoria Hall, Hanley was rebuilt by master organ builder Henry Willis.

1923 - The North Staffordshire Railway Company ('The Knotty') was allotted to the North Western, Midland and Scottish group of railways following the Railways Act of 1921.

1925 - City status granted to Stoke-on-Trent.

1927 - The French Michelin Tyre Company chooses Stoke as the site of its first British factory. 

1928 - The title of Lord Mayor was first conferred on the City of Stoke-on-Trent by King George V on 10 July, 1928. (Not every town or city has a Lord Mayor since the position is specially conferred by the Monarch).

1929 - Parkers Brewery  have 468 public houses in Stoke-on-Trent.

1938 - Josiah Wedgwood and Sons build new pottery factory at Barlaston.

1949 - Parkers Brewery is absorbed by Ind Coope & Alsopp.

Keele University was founded as the University College of North Staffordshire in 1949 

1950 - Wedgwood production at Etruria ceased.

1956 - Clean air act, saw the closure of the coal fired bottle kilns.

1958 - Burslem's old  Meat Market demolished.


1972 - Local Government Act, transferred many  administrative powers from Stoke-on-Trent to Stafford.

       - Stoke City Football Club won the Football League Cup. 

1974 - The city's county borough status was abolished in 1974, and it became a non-metropolitan district of Staffordshire.

1977 - The Queensway, A500 dual carriageway opened.

Chatterley Whitfield Colliery, the first mine in Britain to produce one million tons of coal a year closed in March 1977, after 140 years of continuous production.

The cities status was restored as a unitary authority with the local authority as Stoke-on-Trent City Council whilst remaining part of the ceremonial county of Staffordshire on April 1,

1978 - Steelmaking ended at Shelton Steel Works.


1986 - National Garden Festival held at Etruria on the site of the old Shelton steel works.

Hanley's ring road the 'Potteries Way' opened in October 1986.

1992 - The North Staffordshire Polytechnic, with its main site in Shelton near to Stoke-on-Trent railway station gained university status.

1994 - The Trentham super-pit was the last mine to close.

1997 - Inauguration of the new Stoke City's Britannia Stadium - 1st match: Stoke City-Rochdale 1-1

2001 - Stoke-on-Trent's population on 29 April 2001 (Census day) was recorded as 240,636. This was a decline of almost 9,000 people, 3.5%, since 1991.
96.3% of the population of Stoke-on-Trent were born in the UK.
94.8% of the population identified themselves as white, 2.6% as Asian British Pakistani, 0.5% Asian British Indian and 0.3% as Black Afro Caribbean.
With religion, 71.8% described themselves as Christian, 3.0% Muslim, 1.1% Hindu, 0.6% Sikh, 0.5% Jewish and 14.8% had no religion.
In the same census, 19.9% were identified as under 15 and 21.0% over 60. The average age of residents was 38.

2002 - Mike Wolfe became the first directly elected mayor for Stoke-on-Trent on 17 October 2002

   Final parts of the Shelton Steel Works plant closed.

2005 - Etruria railway station closed in September.

2008 - October 2008, voters choseto abolish the position of elected Mayor. 

2009 - Following a city wide referendum abolishing the position of elected mayor a Leader and Cabinet system was adopted in June 2009. 

2010 - The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery became one of the permanent homes of the Staffordshire Hoard, the most important collection of Anglo-Saxon gold yet found.

New Sixth Form College opened on Leek Road, Stoke. 

2010 was the centenary of the Federation of the six towns into the County Borough of Stoke-on-Trent.

2011 - Stoke City Football Club reached the final of the F.A. Cup for the first time in their history in 2011 but were defeated by Manchester City.