A photo walk around Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent
Cobridge: A Victorian Suburb



Waterloo Road:

Waterloo Road was built in two stages. 

1) Hanley to Cobridge: A “Plan of an Intended Road from Cobridge to Hanley” dated 30 December 1811 shows that first part of the scheme was the improvement of the connection between Cobridge and Hanley. 
This section was in use by 1814. 

2) Burslem to Cobridge: The northern section from Burslem to Cobridge was built between 1815 and 1817. As a result the old narrow winding turnpike road was replaced a straight wide road. The new road immediately became a focus of new development. William Adams, of Cobridge Hall was one of the first to exploit the potential of the new road.

In 1807, the Rev William Robinson, the Rector and Patron of St Peter’s Church, Stoke, obtained an Act of Parliament for the subdivision of the ancient parish of Stoke-upon-Trent. 
In the following year William Adams of Cobridge Hall purchased the patronage of the new Rectory of Burslem which included the glebe Lands. He knew that a new road was planned between Burslem and Hanley which would cross the glebe land which amounted to 7½ acres. He obtained power to sell the land for building purposes under the Burslem Glebe Act (55 Geo III, c.57). Between 1815 and 1835 most of this land was sold for building plots which were advertised for sale in the Staffordshire Advertiser. 

For example the following advertisement appeared on 19 September 1818:


SUNDRY Lots of Freehold Land, parcel of the Burslem Glebe, most advantageously situated for building upon, on the line of the new Turnpike Road from Burslem to Cobridge, called “Waterloo Road,” and of the various streets laid out from the same, denominated “Regent Street, Pitt Street, and Wellington Row,” which open a direct communication with the Old Road.

Apply to Mr WILLIAM ADAMS, Jun. Cobridge; or Mr TOMLINSON, Solicitor, in the Pottery.


Origin of the street names:- 

Regent Street was named after the Prince of Wales, who was regent 1810-20, after George III became insane; 
Pitt Street after William Pitt (1759-1806), the prime minister; 
Wellington Street after the Duke of Wellington, victor at the battle of Waterloo in 1815; 
Adelaide Street after the wife of the Duke of Clasrence who succeeded to the throne as William IV in 1830; 
Victoria Street after Queen Victoria who came to the throne in 1837; 
Wood Street after Enoch Wood, pottery manufacturer, often described as the “father” of the town. 

The proceeds from the sale of building land were applied towards the construction of a rectory house and increasing the endowments of the church. The net annual income of the Rector of Burslem amounted to £530 by the years 1828-31.

In the third quarter of the 19th century the land south of the Glebe estate was laid out for building purposes. This included the construction of the Waterloo or American Hotel in the early 1830s. 


Cobridge Road from the north c.1870. On the right is the tollgate house.

The photograph above from the Warrillow Collection in Keele University Library is a view of Cobridge Road from the north c.1870. On the right is the tollgate house. 

On the left is the Soho works which became the property of John and George Alcock in 1835. John Alcock rebuilt the front range in 1848, hence the initials “JA” and the date on the original gate posts. Behind is the Roman Catholic school built in 1822. 

1851 OS map - showing the Roman Catholic church, school & presbyters house and the Soho potworks.  

More photos on Waterloo Road