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Street Names in The Potteries

Street names are often chosen to reflect features of the surrounding area which are long since gone so there are Mill and Windmill Streets where the mills have been replaced with housing estates.

Influential people also give their name to streets so we have Spode and Wedgwood Streets together with John Nash Peake and Reginald Mitchell Way.

Other choices include -  Manufactory: Brewery, Foundry...  Transport: Old Tramway, Canal, Navigation....  

Royal Streets: King, Duke, Queen, Princess.... 

Streets named after battles:

Waterloo Road in Burslem

Nile Street, in Burslem, was named after the success of the battle of Aboukir Bay on the River Nile when Horatio Nelson defeated the French Toulon fleet on August 1st 1798 thus ending the sea phase of the Napoleonic wars with France.
The victory of Wellington, (Arthur Wellesley Wellington), (b.1769 - d.1852),  over Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo brought about a string of street and house names across the Empire. We have Waterloo Road in Burslem and in the Ivy House area of Hanley is Wellington Street and Terrace with Waterloo Street.

A number of streets of terraced houses laid out below Etruria park are named after South African towns prominent in the South African Wars (1899-1902), also known as the Boer Wars, a conflict in southern Africa between the British Empire and the allied, Afrikaner-populated Transvaal (or South African Republic) and Orange Free State (modern Free State), in what is now South Africa.

Ladysmith Road Ladysmith was founded by the British in 1850 after they annexed the area. It was named after the wife of Sir Harry Smith, the then governor of the Cape Colony (see Cape Province). In October 1899, during the early months of the South African Wars, the British forces at Ladysmith were surrounded by the Boers (see Afrikaners) for 115 days until they were relieved by Sir Redvers Buller on February 28, 1900. During this siege 3,200 people died, both in the defence of the town and from lack of food and medical supplies.


Kimberley Road Kimberley, city in central South Africa, capital of Northern Cape Province. Kimberley is the centre of a diamond-mining region. The principal industries include diamond-cutting, the processing of lime and tungsten, and the manufacture of cement and bricks. The city was founded in 1870 after the discovery of diamonds on a nearby farm.


Pretoria Road Pretoria, city in north-eastern South Africa, in Gauteng Province, on the Apies River. The settlement was established by Marthinus W. Pretorius in 1855 and named after his father, Andries W. J. Pretorius, the Boer soldier and statesman. It became the capital of the South African Republic in 1860. The Peace of Vereeniging, ending the South African Wars, was signed here in 1902.


The 'London' streets of Hanley

"In Whites Directory of 1834 for Staffordshire, Hanley was described as a large modern town, the largest in the Potteries and second in Staffordshire only to Wolverhampton, its streets were spacious and well-paved, its houses were neat and some of them were, like the public edifices, elegant. Small wonder then that this capital town of the whole Fowlea Valley should name a little group of its new streets after those of London. So we have Cheapside, Piccadilly, and Pall Mall, in a naive apeing of a foppish. distant area by people who have rarely understood just how proud they ought to be of themselves."

"Portrait of the Potteries" Bill Morland  

Early Housing and Streets:

The earliest houses and streets in the Potteries known to have been laid out expressly for workers in the industry were those at Etruria, built by Josiah Wedgwood in the late 1760's. Apart from a row of six cottages forming an extension to the canal frontage of the works themselves, they were all built in terraced blocks on both sides of the road to Newcastle (now Etruria Road) and stretched westwards from the canal bridge. See "Tour of Etruria"

Some pottery manufacturers provided houses for their workers, such as Wedgwoods' Etruria Village and Penkhull Square provided by Josiah Spode. However these houses were only a small proportion of those built in the first decades of the 1900's. 

Much greater activity came from speculators and building clubs, particularly the latter, which were not only responsible for some of the most fully planned developments and a very large number of terraced dwellings, such as those in John Street below, but led the way in providing a superior quality and type of house.

From: "Potworks, the industrial architecture of the Staffordshire potteries"

Two houses in John Street - the grime from the smoke of the pottery factories is evident
Housing in John Street, 


Mills and Street Names

"There was a mill at Shelton by the mid-13th century... In 1779 Balthazar Bell of the Ridge House was stated to be holding a quarter of the mill. In 1708 the mill was settled on John Astbury, John Walton, John Staner, and their wives. Known as Bell's Mill by the mid-18th century, it was still is existance on the south side of Mill Street (now Etruria Road) c.1837."   

Windmill Street, off Dyke Street Hanley

Trentmill Road and Old Wharf Street, off Leek Road, Westmill Street. 


Wedgwood Related
Wedgwood Street - Burslem
Josiah Wedgwood Street - 
Brickhouse Street - Burslem
Overhouse Street - Burslem
Queen Street - Burslem
Transport Related
Old Tramway
Navigation Road
Canal Street
Packhorse Lane 



"American Fever" 

During the mid 18th century the Potteries towns were gripped with what has become known as American fever. 

During the period from 1845 to 1850 a number of streets and public houses were given American names. 
The town of Tunstall has a number of streets named after American presidents - McKinley, Coolidge and Hoover Street all form around America Street. 

In Waterloo Road, Burslem is the "American" public house
In Waterloo Road, Burslem is the
 "American" public house

Fearing the unemployment consequences of the introduction of machinery into the pottery industry, the Pottery Union of the 1840's devised upon an amazing plan to purchase land in America on which to land a colony of unemployed potters. In May 1844, the Potters' Joint Stock Emigration Society was formed to oversee the lottery that would deliver the poor potters to the land of freedom and a new life away from his daily toil.

Twelve thousand acres of land in America were to be purchased and to be divided into sections of twenty acres each, five of which were to be cultivated and built on by the immigrants. Members of the union contributed at a daily rate for the chance to emigrate to Pottersville - the name of the new settlement in Wisconsin. 
The emigrants were chosen by Ballot for the chance of a new life in Pottersville. The Union saw the scheme as a golden opportunity to introduce hope into the lives of the poor potter who's working life seemed about to be terminated by the introduction of the machines onto the factory floor. 
When the first families set sail in a barge to Liverpool on the first stage of their journey to an uncertain future in Wisconsin, barges of cheering pottery workers followed them on their journey from Etruria, via Longport and Burslem. Some barges that followed the emigrants contained bands who played suitable music for the occasion. Two years later, as the machinery failed to produce the mass unemployment expected, enthusiasm for the project waned. 




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