Report - J. H. Weatherby, Falcon Works, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. 10.5.2015

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The Explore
Today was the perfect day to visit some of the old potteries, Not being born in Stoke I have never realised the massive scale in which pots were produced here, I have wanted to get inside here for a while, however I was horrified to see that the bottle kiln had collapsed.

At first I suspected foul play, but there would be no way for a digger to get inside the courtyard. Most likely the aged kiln collapsed due to negligence and now conveniently has enabled the site to be more easily developed.

The squat hovel Kiln was Grade II listed, and was described thus by English Heritage:

‘Squat bottle kiln in courtyard, a circular hovel over downdraught oven, adjoining an earlier range of buildings. The remains of one of the few surviving muffle kilns in the city are also housed on this site.’

This really is a remarkable place and a true relic of British history, So glad I explored, and equally I hope the images I have taken interest you.

The Falcon Works Hanley, was owned by J. H. Weatherby & Sons Ltd who established a works on site in 1891. The works originally specialized in earthenware but later went on to produce fine porcelain. The former extant hovel kiln most likely dates from the 1890s, although the inner kiln has undoubtedly been replaced many times since this date and is most likely mid 20th Century.

Originally the works had 5 kilns, but 3 where relocated to the south of the site in 1906 when the firm expanded. During this expansion the front range was added providing a new façade to the main street. Before the construction of the Potteries Way, the street was the main road north out of Hanely and was lined with many small potteries.

The firm continued to grow slowly between and after the wars, first branching into hotelwares, then later collectables. By the 1970s the firm’s expansion was hindered by planning control and by 2000 the works finally closed. At its height the works employed 200, by 2000 it employed 10.