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Stoke - Home of British Pottery.

Factory Scene From Museum - Stoke-upon-Trent

Factory Scene From Museum - Stoke-upon-Trent

Stoke on Trent .

Stoke on Trent is one of those British towns with an industrial past that has tried to reinvent itself. I liked it and enjoyed the way it celebrated its past. Stoke on Trent is famous for pottery and at one time made the finest pottery in Britain. It is actually made up of six towns: Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton. We went there because my husband wanted to watch the Walsall/Port Vale game. He was originally just travelling down from Scotland to see the match and coming back the same day, but I persuaded him to take me with him and get a room for the night, so I could explore some of the pottery related sights.

We kept finding street pianos all over the UK. - Stoke-upon-Trent

We kept finding street pianos all over the UK. - Stoke-upon-Trent

I enjoyed everything I went to see but did not see that much as most of the museums etc closed early, so with just one day there I could not possibly visit everything. I started at the Stoke Museum and Art Gallery in Hanley which was excellent, then visited the Spode Pottery factory now a museum. I also visited Stoke Minster Cathedral and the park.

During our recent visit to Arita - a pottery town in Kyushu, Japan - our guide at the ceramics museum was very excited to learn that Peter came from near Stoke on Trent.

We stayed in the hotel below:

North Stafford Hotel: Pleasant Stay.

We stayed here for one night in August 2014. We read lots of negative reviews of the hotel before going here, but really found it fine. Our visit did not start well. We tried to check in about an hour early but could not, though they did offer to store our luggage for us. I was fearful the hotel would be noisy as there were two weddings on there during our stay, but our room was perfectly quiet. I guess it just depends which part of the hotel you are put in. The hotel is just opposite Stoke Station. There is a statue of Josiah Wedgewood in front of it. It is quite an interesting historic building. Our room was clean and comfortable. I am sure many people would describe it as dated. Personally that sort of thing does not bother me in the slightest. It was clean and our room was quiet. Tea and coffee was provided in the room. Free wifi only worked in the lobby and bar, not in the room. Checkout was fine. Staff were reasonably pleasant. We did not eat breakfast here. Stoke has lots of interesting museums, factory tours related to the potteries and we thought it was quite an interesting place. Address: Station Rd, Winton Square, Stoke on Trent.

Here are some of the sights I visited:

The Stoke Museum And Art Gallery.

This museum is located in Hanley. Entry is free. On the ground floor among other things it has some of the items from the Staffordshire Hoard. Due to lack of time I did not visit this. I concentrated on the first floor which was all about pottery. The exhibits here were interesting with some sections devoted to particularly famous pottery producers such as Wedgewood, Spode, Minton. Other sections focused on particular types of items such as toby jugs, statues of famous figures. There was even a section on murderers. Apparently in the past people used to buy figures of famous murderers, their victims, the scene of the crime and sometimes even the place of execution of the guilty party. One section was a huge collection of cow shaped milk jugs. As well as pottery plates and figures, there were also tiles. I found the museum very interesting and would strongly recommend a visit there.

The Stoke Museum And Art Gallery

The Stoke Museum And Art Gallery

The Stoke Museum And Art Gallery

The Stoke Museum And Art Gallery

The Stoke Museum And Art Gallery

The Stoke Museum And Art Gallery

The Stoke Museum And Art Gallery

The Stoke Museum And Art Gallery

The Stoke Museum And Art Gallery

The Stoke Museum And Art Gallery

The Former Spode Factory.

The Former Spode Factory now houses a little museum and an exhibition gallery. I liked the fact it was set on a real former factory. As well as pottery items the museum contained pottery moulds and some machinery so you could get an idea of pottery techniques. Josiah Spode got this site on Church Street, Stoke in 1776 and built his factory here. Spode wares were made here continuously until as late as 2008. In the nineteenth Century this factory was one of the two largest potteries in Staffordshire. It had 22 bottle ovens and employed around a thousand people. I am very glad the site is still being used rather than being demolished as it is part of Stoke's heritage and used to make some of the finest pottery in the world. I noticed there were several members of the Spode Family buried in Stoke Minster Churchyard.

The Former Spode Factory

The Former Spode Factory

The Former Spode Factory

The Former Spode Factory

The Former Spode Factory

The Former Spode Factory

The Former Spode Factory

The Former Spode Factory

The Former Spode Factory

The Former Spode Factory

Stoke Minster Cathedral.

This looked like a lovely church, but as there was a wedding going on when I visited, I could not go inside. In the graveyard I found the tomb of Josiah Wedgewood near the arches of the old ruined church. There was also a burial plot for the Spode family, including the famous Josiah Spode. Stoke Minster Church is around 1,300 years old. As the official church site points out, it was founded around the time the Staffordshire Hoard was buried. The church still has its Anglo Saxon stone font and the remains of a carved Saxon preaching cross. Stoke Minster is dedicated to St. Peter in Chains.

Stoke Minster Cathedral

Stoke Minster Cathedral

Stoke Minster Cathedral

Stoke Minster Cathedral

Stoke Minster Cathedral

Stoke Minster Cathedral

Stoke Minster Cathedral

Stoke Minster Cathedral

Stoke Minster Cathedral

Stoke Minster Cathedral

Josiah Wedgewood.

Josiah Wedgewood's statue has pride of place outside Stoke Station in front of the North Stafford Hotel. Josiah Wedgewood lived from 1730 to 1795. He is credited with the industrialization of pottery. His factory stood in Etruria in Stoke. He was a staunch abolitionist against slavery. He created the "Am I Not a Man And a Brother?" anti-slavery medallion. He was the grandfather of Charles Darwin.

Josiah Wedgewood

Josiah Wedgewood

Sculpture Trail.

Stoke has plenty of modern sculptures, too. From the station I picked up a sculpture trail leaflet, though I did not have time to follow it and only came across a few of them. Still given more time I like the idea of tracking them all down.

Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

Sculpture Trail

Posted by irenevt 00:51 Archived in England

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