Master Potters in Georgian  Burslem (1714-1837)


The Ivy House Works and the New Market Hall

  In the late 1750s another member of the Wedgwood family, Josiah Wedgwood (1730-95), began to make an impact on the town. He was apprenticed to his brother Thomas at the Churchyard Works before going into partnership first with John Harrison at Cliff Bank and then with Thomas Whieldon at Fenton. 

The Ivy House works where Josiah Wedgwood began
pottery manufacture.
It was later the site of the New Market Hall

The illustration above was drawn from memory by Aaron Wedgwood
in 1860 so should be treated with caution. 

In 1759 he set up on his own account at the Ivy House Works in Burslem, which he rented for 10 a year from John and Thomas Wedgwood of the Big House. The site of the works can be found on the 1812 map (it is the works east of the market place). 

Josiah just like his two distant relatives (John and Thomas Wedgwood) also conducted experiments to improve the quality of his ware and within three years production had outgrown the capacity of the works. In the following century the Wedgwood family sold the Ivy House Works and surrounding buildings to the Trustees of the Market Place. 

They cleared the site, enlarged the market place and in 1835 began the construction of a new market hall. Enoch Wood, the Treasurer, laid the foundation stone and the total cost was 7000 of which 4000 was paid out for the land. 

John Ward described the building in 1843, illustrated below, as "of smooth stone, with a rustic basement, surmounted with iron palisades along the south and west sides, and an elegant Doric portico of six fluted columns, supporting a pediment over the principal, or south entrance, and covering a flight of twelve steps. The situation of the building is admirably chosen for ornament, and it forms a striking object in approaching the town from Waterloo Road".


The new Market Hall
construction work began 1835
on the site of Wedgwood's Ivy House Works.

questions/comments/contributions? email: Steve Birks