In the third of our series of edited extracts from Aikin’s “A Description of the Country from Thirty to Forty Miles Round Manchester” we look at Hanley and Shelton.
No part of the pottery can boast of more respectable manufacturers than Hanley. In point of size it is next to Burslem, but built so irregularly that to a person standing in the centre of it the town has the appearance of a moderately sized village. But if the houses had been joined together it would have been a well built major town. Hanley has a good market every Monday. All the produce of the surrounding country is brought here except corn, the public sale of which is not allowed because it is so near to the corn market at Newcastle. All the other markets in the pottery labour under the same restriction for the same reason. However, it is expected that attempts will be made before long to get over this inconvenience as many of the inhabitants here and in other places seem determined to trade as little as possible with Newcastle, on account of some instances of an unaccommodating disposition which has been shown by the later. On the other hand Newcastle, which was formerly the general market of the Potteries, having of course suffered some decline, in consequence of the rapid rise of their markets, has exhibited symptoms of dissatisfaction which has helped to increase the mutual jealousy and discontent between them. Hanley has a recently built and well furnished church. There are also chapels and meeting houses for dissenters. It is a growing town and an inspiring place.
Shelton is an extensive place and has many large pottery factories including the porcelain or china works of Hollins, Warburton & Co. The china made here is very little, if at all, inferior, especially in colours, to that made in the East Indies. The United Kingdom produces all the various types of stone and clay used in this factory and from the number of years it has been established and the regular increase in demand for its products there is no doubt that the owners will continue to reap the fruits of their enterprise and initiative… The Trent & Mersey Canal passes through Shelton and there is a public wharf. The canal brings raw materials to the potteries and takes the ware made there to towns and villages throughout the country and to the ports for export.
The Potteries in 1795 (Part 3) – Edited by the Phoenix Trust
To be continued