Bournes Bank, Burslem
Lost and forgotten roads of Stoke-on-Trent

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Bournes Bank, Burslem

Once part of a packhorse road which ran from Hanley through Burslem and onto Tunstall and Church Lawton. When Waterloo Road was complete in 1817 and later became a turnpike road, the traffic on Bournes Bank decreased rapidly.

Bournes Bank was originally called Church Street and was the main path down to St. John's Church and then on to Hanley.

Many pottery and related industry buildings and businesses thrived on Bournes Bank. A school, an ice skating rink and two cinemas found their home on this unassuming road. 

Now (2008) most of the road is forgotten, lost and derelict - however signs of life and recovery are to be seen as new houses are being built at the top of the bank.



Old Church Street used to be the main route to St. Johns Church, a more direct route was built in the form of New Church Street.

This view is taken half way down and the top of the
Town Hall is just visible on the skyline.

photo: 2000

Bournes Bank was original named 'Church Street' as it was the main route from Burslem to the parish church of St. John.
Later (by 1812) a more direct route was built in the form of 'New Church Street' (later the 'new' was dropped to make Church Street - in the early 1950's re-named 'William Clowes Street') .......... and 'Church Street' was re-named 'Old Church Street' - by 1832 the road was known as 'Bournes Bank'

Waterloo Road was not built until 1817 and originally Bournes Bank was the road travelled to get to Hanley. 

Burslem - from a plan taken about the year of 1740
Burslem - from a plan taken about the year of 1740
by William Heaton
Bournes Bank was the road from Burslem to the church & on to Hanley

Plan of Burslem in 1812
Plan of Burslem in 1812

"One of the main pack-horse roads, which left Hanley ......

.... passing Cross Hill and in front of the church yard, it ran by Bournes Bank, a steep incline, to Swan Square. From here the road probably traversed the slope by way of St. John's Square... "

A Sociological History of Stoke-on-Trent, E J D Warrillow

Burslem 2008 - MS Live Maps
purple line shows the pack horse lane from Hanley
through Burslem to Church Lawton
1 - St. John's Church
2 - Bottle kilns of Acme Marls
3 - Bournes Bank
4 - Swan Square
5 - Wedgwood Memorial building


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14 April 2008