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Stoke-on-Trent Districts: Brown Hills


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Brownhills, between Longport & Tunstall.


An elegant house, called Brownhills villa, has been erected within the last seven years, on the west side of Brownhills, by Messrs. Howard and Richard Howard Haywood ; who have, for several years, carried on a large and lucrative business in the immediate vicinity, as Brick and Tile Manufacturers.

The stile of this house exhibits much taste, and its situation, opposite Bradwell wood, and the amphitheatre of hills extending thence to Hare-castle, would be unexceptionable, but for the Tileries, which emit their dusky volumes in the intervening space. Messrs. Haywood have very lately introduced, at their works, architectural ornaments of terra cotta, especially adapted for edifices of the Elizabethan stile, the durable nature, elegant forms, and cheapness of which can hardly fail to bring them speedily into general favour.

There are two Potworks now carried on at Brownhills ; that of Messrs. Marsh and Haywood, and that of Mr. George Hood ; the latter situate at Highgate, and adjoining the town of Tunstall. All the dwelling-houses and population, southward, of and including Highgate inn, which are now numerous, belong to the township of Burslem, and are included in the statistics of that parish, and this portion of Burslem comprises about 480 inhabitants.

Ward - The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent, 1843

View along Davenport Street from Trubshaw Cross
View along Davenport Street from Trubshaw Cross
photo:  2000

Davenport Street runs from Trubshaw Cross roundabout [Brownhills Gate] at the bottom of Newcastle Street and then joins onto Brownhills Road on the way to Tunstall. To the left of Davenport Street is Westport Lake and the Trent and Mersey canal

"Mr. William Littler, of Brownhills, near Burslem, whose father had carried on business there as a Potter, and left to his son a small landed estate, embarked in some expensive attempts to produce and article resembling oriental china; he commenced business about the year 1745, when he attained his majority, and a few years afterwards removed the seat of his manufacture to Longton Hall, where he prosecuted his experiments with very good success, as regarded the beauty and delicacy of his china, but with disastrous results to himself ….. the specimens of Mr. Littler's china exhibit great lightness and beauty…

Mr. Littler had the merit of first making use of the fluid glaze which Mr. Enoch Booth after wards improved upon."

John Wood (Ralph Jr.'s brother) - In 1787 John started his own pottery at Brownhills. Ralph Wood III continued the firm after his father's murder.

Marsh & Heywood
Operated the Brownhill potteries from 1818 to 1837

Wood & Brettell
Operated works at Brownhills from 1818 to 1822

Edward Challinor was born on 18 July 1792, the son of William Challinor, attorney of Pickwood, Leek, and Mary nee Bagnall. He was apprenticed to J. and R. Riley, of Burslem, whose factory occupied the site of what later became Hill Top Pottery.

From about 1828 Edward Challinor leased the Overhouse pottery works to a succession of other potters. Edward Challinor then joined in partnership with John Wood, making pottery at Brownhills then at Woodlands, Tunstall.

G.F. Bowers (&Co)
Manufacturer of porcelain and pottery at Brownhills, Tunstall, c. 1842-68

In the 1846 directory G.F.Bowers is listed as having Edward Challinor of Tunstall as a partner.
In the 1851,52 directories the company is listed as Bowers, Challinor & Wooliscroft.

In the 1861 census George Frederick Bowers was age 52 - a pottery manufacturer and coal master - employing 97 men, 19 boys and 20 girls.

Frederick T Bowers was the son of George Frederick Bowers.  F T Bowers ran the works until 1871.
The works were then purchased by James Eardley. 

George Clews Co. Ltd. was first registered in 1906 as 'Jet Manufacturers'. Operating at the Brownhills Pottery, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent from 1906-1961

The 'jet' in question was a red clay, dipped in a cobalt glaze, which on firing became the then fashionable jet black. Their primary products were teapots. The company was run by George's son Percy (Managing Director), and his partner Henry Preece (Sales Director).


The Highgate Pottery, Brownhills....

George Hood  was in business in Tunstall as a pottery manufacturer from about 1822. He built Highgate Pottery, Brownhills, in1831 and took over Walton's figure and toy factory in Navigation Road, Burslem, in 1835.

In January 1841 the warehouse of the Walton factory, holding about ten tons of ware, collapsed, and three of the 20 women workers below were seriously injured. George Hood sold the Highgate Pottery in 1841. He started up in business again in a works on Bourne's Bank, making figures and dogs.

It is generally accepted that George Hood is the 'George H.' referred to in Charles Shaw's When I was a Child. Shaw provides a vivid and fairly sympathetic portrait of him, stout, cheery despite his financial misfortunes, employing only a dozen people in his toy manufactory instead of the scores he had previously employed, in a broken- down works which produced mostly figures of Napoleon.

Thomas Isaac & James  Emberton
Earthenware manufacturers at the Highgate Pottery, Brownhills, Tunstall from 1869-1882

They produced the usual kind of ware and also specialised in pottery for the Indian and Far Eastern markets.
In 1871 the factory employed 47 men, 22 boys, 27 women and 27 girls.

William Emberton purchase the Highgate Pottery from George Hood in 1846 and various members of the family ran the works until 1888. William Emberton (d.1867) Served on the Tunstall Board of Health (as Chairman 1865-6) and as treasurer of Wesley Place Sunday School, Tunstall.

Alfred Meakin Ltd was set up in 1875 and operated from the Royal Albert, Victoria and Highgate Potteries in Tunstall.  Alfred Meakin was the brother of James and George Meakin who ran a large pottery company in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

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