Tunstall is a constituent town in the area of Stoke-on-Trent, England. It was one of the original six towns. Tunstall is the most northern, fourth largest town of the Potteries, it is situated in the northwest of the city borough, with its north and west boundaries being the city limit. It stands on a ridge of land between Fowlea Brook to the west and Scotia Brook to the east, surrounded by old tile making and brick making sites, some of which date back to the Middle Ages. There is no independent record of Tunstall in the Domesday Book. However, Tunstall Manor became powerful. Between 1212 and 1273, Bemersley, Chatterley, Chell and Thursfield, Whitfield and Bemersley are mentioned as distinct manors or vills. From the 16th century, Tunstall Manor covered an area which extended to the Cheshire border and included the following additional townships: Chell, Sneyd, Brieryhurst and Wedgwood. Records mention that iron and coal was being mined and processed in the town as far back as 1282; the appointment of a market-reeve by the manor court in 1525 is the earliest indication of a market in Tunstall manor.
In 1816, a market square of nearly an acre was laid out on land called Stony Croft, leased from the lord of the manor, small-scale markets began to be held. Today, Tunstall Market is the smallest of the four markets in Stoke-on-Trent. Tunstall remained a linear village until the industrial revolution. Tunstall's main make-up is now of rows of Victorian terraced houses, which were a built during the pottery boom to house workers. There are a number of new estates. Park Terrace consists of elegant Victorian and Edwardian town houses and is a designated conservation area, as is the housing around Victoria Park; the town was granted Urban District Council status in 1894 and set about expanding itself, acquiring amongst others Pitts Hill from Chell civil parish in 1899. On 1 April 1910, the UDC dissolved itself and the town was federated into the county borough of Stoke-on-Trent. By 1925 the borough was granted city status. Tunstall has however, remained distinct and retained its own shopping and business district, adding to Stoke-on-Trent's polycentric nature.
On 27 November 1916, German Zeppelin LZ 61 bombed Tunstall during its return leg to Germany, dropping three bombs. However, it was shot down the following day; the village of Tunstall was described in 1795 as "the pleasantest village in the pottery"."Tunstall, including its environs, is the pleasantest village in the pottery. It stands on high ground and commands pleasing prospects; the manufactories in it do considerable business. There are a number of tile works here; the Methodists have a large neat Chapel in this place. Which is well attended, they have established a Sunday School, supported by voluntary contributions, the teachers give their labours gratis." J. Allbut, The Staffordshire Potteries "TUNSTALL is a considerable village within the township of Tunstall Court, a liberty in the parish of Woolstanton, four miles from Newcastle, pleasantly situated on an eminence, deriving its name from the Saxon word, tun or ton, a town, stall, an elevated place, seat or station." "In this township abounds coal, ironstone and fine cannel coal.
1828 journal "Tunstall.-- town with ry. sta. Wolstanton par. Staffordshire, on the Grand Trunk Canal, 2½ miles NE. and within the parliamentary limits of Newcastle under Lyme, 690 ac. pop. 14,244. O. T. O. 3 Banks. Tunstall shares in the industries of the Potteries, it has risen from a village to a considerable town, with a fine town hall in the centre of a spacious market-place." John Bartholomew, Gazetteer of the British Isles There is evidence of small-scale pottery manufacturing in Tunstall from the 14th century. However, Tunstall was one of the last of towns in the Potteries to begin large scale pottery manufacturing, with the main focus being on farming, to a lesser extent, coal & iron mining and mills, thus Tunstall was not affected by the 1842 Pottery Riots. However, Tunstall still has a rich industrial heritage. At the start of the 19th century there were 3 pottery works in the town, by the close of the century that number had risen to 13. Famous potters located in the town have been the Adams dynasty of potters founded by William Adams, as well as Alfred Meakin, Booths founded by Enoch Booth and Enoch Wedgwood.
Robert Beswick, father of Beswick Pottery founder James Wright Beswick, began making pottery in Tunstall. Jabez Vodrey is the first English potter west of the Appalachian Mountains. Clarice Cliff was an English ceramic industrial artist active from 1922 to 1963. Charles Shaw was a 19th-century potter who's in-depth autobiography has given some of the clearest insights into the Victorian Potteries, provided Arnold Bennett with inspiration for his Clayhanger novels. Tunstall became known for its tiles, regarded to be as good as slate. Decorative ceramic tiles are still made in Tunstall by R Johnson-Richards Tiles Ltd.. Tunstall's industries were served by the Trent and Mersey Canals, constructed over 11 years from 1766; the canal was designed by James Brindley, resident of Turnhurs
W. Moorcroft Ltd, trading as Moorcroft is a British art pottery manufacturer based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, founded by William Moorcroft in 1913. In 1897 Staffordshire pottery manufacturers James Co.. Ltd garnered a prodigious talent by employing 24-year-old William Moorcroft as a designer, within a year he was put in full charge of the company's art pottery studio. Moorcroft's first innovative range of pottery, called Florian Ware, was a great success and won him a gold medal at the World's fair, the St. Louis International Exhibition in 1904. Unusually at that time, he adopted the practice of signing his name, or his initials, on nearly all the pottery he designed, the production of which he oversaw. In due course the extent to which his success had overshadowed Macintyre's other manufacturing activities resulted in resentment on the part of his employers, culminating in their decision in 1912 to close down his studio, he set up his own company and the following year production of his pottery was transferred to a brand new factory nearby.
The Moorcroft factory produced an extensive array of moderately-priced domestic tableware items in addition to its famous tubelined, hand-painted art pottery. Moorcroft's reputation was enhanced when Queen Mary, a keen collector of his works, granted him a royal warrant in 1928. Shortly before the death of William in 1945, his elder son, Walter Moorcroft, took control of the business, which he continued to develop; the company's royal warrant was re-issued in his name in 1946. Between its founding and its leadership under Walter Moorcroft, the company had been financed in collaboration with the famous London store, Liberty; the Liberty store's interest was bought out by Moorcroft in 1962. Rising fuel and labour costs brought Moorcroft, with its labour-intensive techniques, into financial difficulties and in an attempt to mass-produce Moorcroft pottery, part of the company was sold to the Roper Brothers in 1984; this attempt was unsuccessful, in 1986 Roper Brothers' share was resold to business partners Hugh Edwards and Richard Dennis.
In 1992 Dennis and his pottery designer wife, Sally Tuffin, left the company, leaving the Edwards family as sole owners. Walter Moorcroft retired as the director of design in 1987, but continued to contribute until his last design,'Rock of Ages', was launched in 1999. In 1993, 24-year-old Rachel Bishop joined the company as its senior designer. By claiming the original establishment of the Macintyre studio under William Moorcroft in 1897 as its own founding date, in 1997 Moorcroft celebrated its centenary. During 1998 it established a new Moorcroft Design Studio and employed several designers to extend the range of its products. Early in his employment at Macintyre's, William Moorcroft created designs for the company's Aurelian Ware range of high-Victorian pottery, which had transfer-printed and enamelled decoration in bold red and gold colours. Introduced soon afterwards, his art nouveau-influenced Florian Ware was decorated by hand, with the design outlined in trailed slip using a technique known as tubelining.
This technique has been used in all of Moorcroft's art pottery since, distinguishing it from mass-produced pottery. Both father and son experimented with high-temperature flambé techniques, producing high glaze with vibrant colour. Walter Moorcroft designs reflect the simpler appearance preferred during his era. Moorcroft Design Studio patterns show strong influences from the founding days of William Moorcroft coupled with the advances in colouring techniques of more recent years. Aimed at the luxury end of the collector and gift markets, they are in the form of such products as display plates, pin dishes, lamp-bases and jars of varying shape and size. Emma Bossons Atterbury, P. Moorcroft, B. Moorcroft: A Guide to Moorcroft Pottery 1897–1993. Richard Dennis. ISBN 0-903685-33-7 Street, Fraser'Moorcroft: A New Dawn'. W M Publications. ISBN 0-9528913-3-6 Official Website
A packhorse or pack horse refers to a horse, donkey, or pony used to carry goods on its back in sidebags or panniers. Packhorses are used to cross difficult terrain, where the absence of roads prevents the use of wheeled vehicles. Use of packhorses dates from the neolithic period to the present day. Today, westernized nations use packhorses for recreational pursuits, but they are still an important part of everyday transportation of goods throughout much of the third world and have some military uses in rugged regions. Packhorses have been used since the earliest period of domestication of the horse, they were invaluable throughout antiquity, through the Middle Ages, into modern times where roads are nonexistent or poorly maintained. Packhorses were used to transport goods and minerals in England from medieval times until the construction of the first turnpike roads and canals in the 18th century. Many routes crossed the Pennines between Lancashire and Yorkshire, enabling salt, coal and cloth to be transported.
Some had self-describing names, such as the Long Causeway. The medieval paths were marked by wayside crosses along their routes. Mount Cross, above the hamlet of Shore in the Cliviger Gorge, shows signs of Viking influence; as the Vikings moved eastwards from the Irish Sea in about 950 AD, it is that the pack horse routes were established from that time. Most packhorses were Galloways, stocky horses named after the Scottish district where they were first bred; those employed in the lime-carriage trade were known as "limegals". Each pony could carry about 240 pounds in weight, spread between two panniers. A train of ponies would number between 12 and 20, but sometimes up to 40, they averaged about 25 miles a day. The train's leader wore a bell to warn of its approach, since contemporary accounts emphasised the risk packhorse trains presented to others, they were useful as roads were muddy and impassable by wagon or cart, there were no bridges over some major rivers in the north of England. About 1000 packhorses a day passed through Clitheroe before 1750, "commonly 200 to 300 laden horses every day over the River Calder called Fennysford in the King's Highway between Clitheroe and Whalley" The importance of packhorse routes was reflected in jingles and rhymes aide-memoires of the routes.
As the need for cross-Pennine transportation increased, the main routes were improved by laying stone setts parallel to the horse track, at a distance of a cartwheel. They remained difficult in poor weather, the Reddyshore Scoutgate was "notoriously difficult", became insufficient for a developing commercial and industrial economy. In the 18th century, canals started to be built in England and, following the Turnpike Act 1773, metalled roads, they made. Away from main routes, their use persisted into the 19th century leaving a legacy of paths across wilderness areas called packhorse routes, roads or trails and distinctive narrow, low sided stone arched packhorse bridges for example, at Marsden near Huddersfield; the Packhorse is a common public house name throughout England. During the 19th century, horses that transported officers' baggage during military campaigns were referred to as "bathorses" from the French bat, meaning packsaddle; the packhorse, mule or donkey was a critical tool in the development of the Americas.
In colonial America, French and English traders made use of pack horses to carry goods to remote Native Americans and to carry hides back to colonial market centers. They had little choice, the America's had no improved waterways before the 1820s and roads in times before the automobile were only improved locally around a municipality, only in between; this meant cities and towns were connected by roads which carts and wagons could navigate only with difficulty, for every eastern hill or mountain with a shallow gradient was flanked by valleys with stream cut gullies and ravines in their bottoms, as well as Cut bank formations, including escarpments. A small stream would have steep banks in normal terrains. By the 1790s the Lehigh Coal Mining Company was shipping Anthracite coal from Summit Hill, Pennsylvania to cargo boats on the Lehigh River using pack trains in what may be the earliest commercial mining company in North America. Afterwards in 1818−1827 its new management built first the Lehigh Canal the Mauch Chunk & Summit Hill Railroad, North America's second oldest which used mule trains to return the five ton coal cars the four hour climb the nine miles back to the upper terminus.
Mules rode the roller-coaster precursor on the down trip to the docks and paddocks below. The same company, as did its many competitors made extensive use of sure footed pack mules and donkeys in coal mines, including in some cases measures to stable the animals below ground; these were managed by'mule boys', a pay-grade up and a step above a breaker boy in the society of the times. As the nation expanded west, singly or in a pack train of several animals, were used by early surveyors and explorers, most notably by fur trappers, "Mountain men", gold prospectors who covered great distances by themselves or in small groups. Packhorses were used by Native American people when traveling from place to place, were used by traders to carry goods to both Indian and White settlements. During a few decades of the 19th Century, enormous pack trains carried goods on the Old Spanish Trail from Santa Fe, New Mexico west to California. On cu
Transfer printing is a method of decorating pottery or other materials using an engraved copper or steel plate from which a monochrome print on paper is taken, transferred by pressing onto the ceramic piece. Pottery decorated using the technique is known as transfer ware, it was developed in England from the 1750s on, in the 19th century became enormously popular in England, though little used in other major pottery-producing countries. The bulk of production was from the dominant Staffordshire pottery industry. America was a major market for English transfer-printed wares, whose imagery was adapted to the American market; the technique was essential for adding complex decoration such as the Willow pattern to cheap pottery, but the ease with which detailed images could be used rather went to the head of early-19th-century potters, who tended to produce dense overcrowded designs that, though evocative of their period, are in questionable taste. Earlier and wares show more restrained designs. In particular, transfer printing brought the price of a matching dinner service low enough for large numbers of people to afford.
Apart from pottery, the technique was used on metal, enamelled metal, sometimes on wood and textiles. It remains used today, although superseded by lithography. In the 19th century methods of transfer printing in colour were developed; the process starts with an engraved metal printing plate similar to those used for making engravings or etchings on paper. The plate is used to print the pattern on tissue paper, using mixes of special pigments that stand up to firing as the "ink"; the transfer is put pigment-side down onto the piece of pottery, so that sticky ink transfers to the ceramic surface. Several different transfer sections were needed for each piece if the design covered the whole object; the paper is either floated off by soaking the piece in water, or left to burn off during the firing. This can be done over or under the ceramic glaze, but the underglaze method gives much more durable decoration; the ceramic is glazed and fired in a kiln to fix the pattern. With overglaze printing only a low temperature firing was needed.
The process produces fine lines similar to engraved prints. Before transfer printing ceramics were hand painted, a laborious and costly process. Transfer printing enabled the high quality of representation, developed in painting on porcelain to be done far more cheaply, in the process making large numbers of painters redundant, it was mostly used on porcelain, but after a few years it was used on the new high-quality earthenwares that English potters had been developing, such as creamware and pearlware. By the end of the 18th century a variant technique giving "bat-printed" wares was introduced; this used "pliable glue slabs" of a rubbery texture instead of the paper. The plate printed glue onto the bat, transferred to the piece, powdered pigments were added, which stuck to the glue; the technique was associated with the introduction of stippling rather than line engraving as the technique used on the copper plates. The process was much more complicated, little used after about 1820. Both these techniques printed a single colour, most the cobalt blue, used for painting pottery for centuries.
Its success was because the colour was atttractive, cobalt kept its colour in firing at high porcelain temperatures. Cobalt blue and brown were the only colour options for underglaze transfer printing. Transfer printing could be supplemented with colour added by hand, or gilding, this technique was used from early on; the use of multiple transfers, each with a different colour, was introduced quite early when different areas were printed in each colour, for example a plate with the centre in one colour, the border in another. It was more difficult to build up a full polychrome image, but this was perfected by Messrs F&R Pratt of Fenton in the 1840s. Colour gallery. Early scenes relatively small and on larger pieces occupying only the centre of the piece, included genteel or pastoral couples or small groups, classical ruins and portraits of the military heroes of the Seven Years' War of 1756-63. All these came from the existing repertoire of china painting, with scenes from Aesop the most popular literary references.
Transfer-printed English wares are recorded in New York by 1776, North America became an important market. By this time transfer-printing on the refined earthenwares such as creamware had become common. Large numbers of designs celebrated the new republic and in particular George Washington, with elaborate decorations around the central image as the century came to an end. Although England dominated the history of commercial transfer printing, the technique had first been used in Italy. A few maiolica pieces from around Turin, mix printed and painted elements in their decoration, they date to the late 17th century, or the early 18th. Between about 1749 and 1752, just before the English developments, the Doccia porcelain factory near Florence used transfer printing, they experimented with stencils, some pieces mix these techniques. About 50 pieces are known t
Longton is a constitutional town that amalgamated to form the joined together of Stoke-on-Trent in 1910, along with Hanley, Fenton and Stoke-upon-Trent in 1925, following the granting of city status to become the City of Stoke-on-Trent. Longton was a market town in the parish of Stoke in the county of Staffordshire; the town still has a market housed in an attractively renovated market hall. Coal miners in the Hanley and Longton area ignited the 1842 General Strike and associated Pottery Riots. In March 1865, Longton and Lane End were incorporated as the Borough of Longton. On 1 April 1910, the town was federated into the county borough of Stoke-on-Trent. In 1925 the area was granted city status. One legacy of Longton's administrative independence from 1865 to 1910 is Longton Town Hall, a prominent landmark in the town centre. In 1986 Longton Town Hall faced demolition by Stoke-on-Trent City Council amid considerable local protest. Work on stripping the interior had begun before an injunction was brought and the building saved.
Together with Rochdale in Lancashire, Longton was host to the first Workers Educational Association tutorial classes. R. H. Tawney, known as "the patron saint of adult education", taught the classes for three years starting in January 1908. For a time, until he moved to Manchester in 1909, Tawney was working as part-time economics lecturer at Glasgow University. To fulfil his teaching commitments to the WEA, he travelled first to Longton for the evening class every Friday, before travelling north to Rochdale for the Saturday afternoon class. Arnold Bennett referred to Longton as Longshaw in his novels centred on the Potteries towns; the district has a long history as a base for the pottery industry, such as Paragon China and Aynsley, several major manufacturers still have a presence, along with Gladstone Pottery Museum. Roslyn Works, which adjoins the latter, is now home to several small-scale manufacturers of ceramics. In 1997 the one-way system was bypassed when a new section of the A50 was opened, running past the town in a cutting.
The one way system is no longer the main route into the main town centre of Hanley. Longton is served by a railway station, opened by the North Staffordshire Railway on 7 August 1848. A new bus interchange was opened adjacent to it in 2003 on the site of a former Co-op supermarket. Secondary schools in the area include Stoke Studio College. A new shopping precinct, the Bennett Precinct, opened in 1962, it is now named Longton Exchange. In 2003 a large Tesco Extra superstore has helped to rejuvenate the town. Since other major retailers such as Argos, Pizza Hut, Wilko and B & M have opened new premises. Building firm St. Modwen's, opened an £8 million retail complex in April 2012; the stores there include McDonald's, Pets at Home and Currys. Other local business like Hylands Ltd and Bevans have thrived in the area. Jollees Cabaret Club was a popular nightspot in the 1970s, attracting some of the biggest names in entertainment. In the early 1990s, Shelley's Laserdome became known throughout the Midlands as a rave venue, but it was forced to close in 1992.
Sir John Edensor Heathcote Stoke-on-Trent industrialist, owner of Longton Hall, which he rebuilt in 1778. John Aynsley English potter. William Weston Australasian billiardist, emigrated from Longton aged 3. Percy Shelley was a major force in developing Shelley Potteries, born in Longton. Frederick Arthur Challinor, was a British composer. George Arthur Gallimore English professional footballer who made 77 appearances for Stoke City F. C. Henry "Harry" Colclough English international footballer, who made 83 appearances for Crystal Palace F. C. Louis Williams English footballer made 153 appearances, including for Port Vale and Stoke Ernest Albert Egerton VC English recipient of the Victoria Cross William Thomas Astbury FRS English physicist and molecular biologist who made pioneering X-ray diffraction studies of biological molecules. William Wootton English footballer, made 56 appearances for Port Vale F. C. Gordon Mons Higginson British purported spiritualist medium. Norman Henry Hallam was an English footballer, made 63 appearances for Port Vale F.
C. Charles Tomlinson English poet, attended Longton High School Freddie Jones Actor. Of his many roles on film and television he plays Sandy Thomas in Emmerdale. Andrew Evans a soldier from Longton, stationed at Whittington Barracks, was wrongfully convicted and served 25 years in custody after confessing to the 1972 murder of Judith Roberts, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from Tamworth. Philip Adrian "Phil" Heath former professional English footballer, made 297 appearances. Longton is the birthplace and home of Alan Povey's character Owd Grandad Piggott Black Country folk singer/songwriter, Neil Morris, now lives near Longton Make it Stoke-on-Trent - Longton Regeneration Longton - Stoke-on-Trent Longton Gladstone Pottery Museum Use interactive maps to find historic photographs and artefacts of old Longton Town profile at The Sentinel Longton South Community Blog www.hylands.tv
Trent and Mersey Canal
The Trent and Mersey Canal is a 93.5-mile canal in the East Midlands, West Midlands, north-west of England. It is a "narrow canal" for the vast majority of its length, but at the extremities to the east of Burton upon Trent and west of Middlewich, it is a wide canal; the narrow locks and bridges are big enough for a single narrowboat 7 ft wide × 72 ft long, while the wide locks can accommodate boats 14 ft wide, or two narrowboats next to each other. As its name implies, the Trent and Mersey canal was built to link the River Trent at Derwent Mouth to the River Mersey; the second connection is made via the Bridgewater Canal, which it joins at Preston Brook in Cheshire. Note that although mileposts measure the distance to Preston Brook and Shardlow, Derwent Mouth is a mile or so beyond Shardlow; the plan of a canal connection from the Mersey to the Trent came from canal engineer James Brindley. It was authorised by an Act of Parliament in 1766 and the first sod was cut by Josiah Wedgwood in July that year at Brownhills, Burslem.
In 1777, the canal was completed, including more than 70 locks and five tunnels, with the company headquarters in Stone. The first known idea to build a canal between the River Mersey and the River Trent was put forward in 1755, though no action was taken at that time. In 1760, Lord Gower, a local businessman and brother-in-law of the Duke of Bridgewater, drew up a plan for the Trent and Mersey Canal. If his plan had gone ahead, this would have been the first modern canal constructed in England. James Brindley, the engineer behind many of the canals in England, did his first canal work on the Trent and Mersey, though his first job in charge of construction was on the Bridgewater Canal. In 1761, Josiah Wedgwood showed an interest in the construction of a canal through Stoke-on-Trent, the location of his Wedgwood pottery, as his business depended on the safe and smooth transport of his pots. Pots transported by road were liable to be damaged and broken, a canal near to his factory would provide fast and safe transport for his wares.
Wedgwood's plan was not to connect the two rivers by canal, but to connect the potteries to the River Mersey. "As a burgeoning industrialist, Wedgwood was a major backer of the Trent and Mersey Canal dug between the River Trent and River Mersey.". There was much debate about possible routes. Coal merchants in Liverpool felt threatened about a canal; the owners of the River Weaver Navigation were not happy about the proposals, because the route would parallel that of the river. Yet another route was published which, much to the shock of Wedgwood, did not at all include the potteries. Wedgwood, intent to have a waterway connection to his potteries, managed to send his proposal to Parliament, with the help of two of his friends, Thomas Bentley, Dr. Erasmus Darwin. John Gilbert's plan for the "Grand Trunk" canal met opposition at the eastern end where, in Burton on Trent, the locals objected to the canal passing parallel to the upper Trent navigation. In 1764, Wedgwood managed to convince Gilbert to include the Potteries in his route.
In 1766, Gilbert's plan was authorised by an Act of Parliament. That year, "n July 26th a massive celebration was held in the Potteries where Josiah Wedgwood cut the first sod of soil. James Brindley was employed as engineer and work got under way."Six years before the complete opening of the Trent and Mersey Canal in 1771, Wedgwood built the factory village of Etruria on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent, close to the canal. By this time, much of the canal had been built towards Preston Brook; the only obstacle that still had to be tackled by the canal company was the hill at Kidsgrove, through which a tunnel was being dug. Up until 1777, pots had to be carried on the short journey from Etruria, over the top of Kidsgrove Hill, to the other side, where the canal had been constructed to Preston Brook. On 15 January 1847 the Trent and Mersey Canal was acquired by the North Staffordshire Railway Company; this was done to stifle the opposition of the Canal Company to the creation of the Railway Company.
In particular, the NSR had plans for a railway from Stoke-on-Trent to Liverpool, this line was abandoned due to opposition from other rail interests. The Grand Trunk was a part of a larger scheme of Brindley's to link the four main rivers of England in a project known as the "Grand Cross"; the Trent and Mersey Canal provided the northern arm of the cross, the eastern arm. It provided the central hub of the cross, between Great Haywood, Fradley Junctions; the western arm, to the Severn, was built as the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, whilst the southern arm traversed the Coventry and Oxford Canals. On the Cheshire stretch of the canal, between Middlewich and the northern end of the canal in Preston Brook Tunnel, is the Victorian Anderton Boat Lift, which lowers boats fifty feet from the T & M to the River Weaver, it was restored to full operation in 2002 after twenty years of disuse, was the only operational boat-lift in the United Kingdom until the construction of the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland.
Another major feature is the Harecastle Tunnel, near Kidsgrove in the city of Stoke-on-Trent, north Staffordshire. There are two tunnels; this was a physically demanding and slow process and created major delays, so leading civil engineer Thomas Telford was commissioned to provide a seco
Moddershall is a small village in the borough of Stafford in the county of Staffordshire, part of the civil parish of Stone Rural and ecclesiastical parish of Oulton with Moddershall. Lying to the East of the River Trent, it is halfway between the city of Stoke-on-Trent and the small town of Stone, Staffordshire; the geography of the area is defined by Scotch Brook, which after rising close to All Saints Church to the north of the village, runs round from the east of the village westwards and down towards its confluence with the River Trent. Moddershall village is mentioned in Domesday Book, listed as Modders Hale. During the 10th century, farming was the main activity, with the local reddish-brown clay being used to create suitable building bricks, topped with slate roofs. Although not as important as the forges and watermills of the Churnet Valley which had seven flint-grinding mills, the Moddershall Valley is best known and resultantly conserved as an early industrial revolution site, due to the number of watermills within the valley.
To be allowed to extract water from the area, the miller would need to gain the permission of the Lord of the Land, which for the manor of Moddershall Valley was controlled from Butterton, by the Lords of Stafford at Swynnerton Hall. It is that corn mills existed in the valley from the 12th century, evidence exists to show numerous mills during the Middle Ages, but it was not until 1720 that local potter John Astbury of Shelton discovered that adding heated and ground flint powder to the local reddish clay could create a more palatable white or cream ware, that sold at higher volumes to the natural Staffordshire Potteries reddish colour. The flint was sourced from either the South Coast of England or France, shipped to the Port of Liverpool or Shardlow, near Derby on the River Trent. After shipping to the mills on pack horse, it was sorted to remove the flint with reddish-hues, heated to 1,200 °C to create an ground product. However, the grinding process produced a fine siliceous dust, that after adhering to the workers lungs resulted in cases of silicosis, similar to the condition of pneumoconiosis suffered by coal miners.
The result was. Resultantly, in the early 1900s four mills in the valley converted to grinding bone, which had a similar effect. By the late 1930s the mills were in decline, a shortage of skilled manpower and cheap supply product, meant that after World War II the mills began to close. By the 1970s, only Hayes and Ivy mills were in operation, although their water wheels were out of operation and the grinding mechanism was powered by electricity; the closure of Hayes Mill in 1977 brought to an end 250 years of milling in the valley. All Saints' Church was built from local stone in 1903/4 by cousins of the Wedgwood family, it was taken down and re-erected on new foundations in 1993/94 following subsidence damage from nearby Florence Colliery. According to the 2001 UK census, the population of the civil parish was 947; the entire Moddershall Valley is now part of a designated Conservation Area. Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat is situated a mile to the north of Moddershall village and is increasing in popularity.
The facilities include a luxurious wedding venue, spa and scenic views. For administrative purposes Moddershall forms part of Stone Rural civil parish which, in turn, forms part of the borough of Stafford. Cheddleton Flint Mill Meir Oulton Moddershall on ThePotteries.org