Pottery has played a major role for centuries within North Staffordshire as it became the centre for ceramic production and today has developed various globally renowned pottery brands. Many pottery buildings within the city of Stoke-on-Trent are still in use with some dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. Home of Burleigh Pottery, Middleport Pottery is located in Stoke-on-Trent’s ‘Mother Town’ Burslem. Purpose-built on this site in 1888, this ‘Model Pottery’ provided the blueprint for improved working conditions and efficient pottery manufacture thanks to advanced steam-powered technology. The pottery is an iconic reminder of the city’s great industrial heritage. Visitors can experience the fully restored and operational steam engine, go underground into the original workers’ bathhouse – the only one of its kind open to the public – and step aboard the restored working narrowboat, Dane, which is now moored alongside the attraction on the historic Trent and Mersey Canal.
- The Middleport Pottery factory tour leads you through each stage of production, showing how a lump of clay is transformed into a finished piece of iconic Burleigh ware. Burleigh’s production methods have changed little in 130 years, including the highly specialised ’tissue transfer’ decoration method which cannot be seen in production anywhere else. Hands-on experiences are available from an Ex Wedgwood master Potter and Ceramic Artist.
- The Heritage Trail is also included within the Factory Tour admission. The trail leads you inside one of Stoke-on-Trent’s last, remaining Bottle Ovens, into the Steam Engine house and underground into one of the only original Workers’ Bathhouses in existence. Individual tickets from £5.50.