Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002638
Date first listed: 26-Oct-1973
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Teignbridge (District Authority)
Parish: Bovey Tracey
National Grid Reference: SX 81545 77199
Three muffle kilns forming part of a pottery, on Pottery Road, Bovey Tracey.
Reasons for Designation
The distinctive bottle shaped muffle kilns were an innovation in the pottery firing process whereby the hot air heated by coal was directed through the exterior walls of the kilns, whilst the vessels were stacked inside an interior chamber which was bricked up prior to firing to prevent the vessels from coming into direct contact with the smoky hot air. The rate of heating was controlled and only increased slowly in order to evaporate excess moisture from the clay at a more gradual speed and thus reduce the risk of breakage. Earlier kilns had fired the vessels more directly.
Following some restoration and re-pointing the three muffle kilns forming part of a pottery, on Pottery Road, Bovey Tracey survive comparatively well and bear witness to a once important and thriving pottery.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 November 2015.
This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
This monument includes three muffle kilns which formed part of Bovey Tracey Pottery situated to the south east of the town in the valley of the River Bovey. The kilns survive as three upstanding structures aligned north to south and adjacent to one another, the southernmost is freestanding the other two are conjoined. The kilns are constructed from yellow bricks with decorative roll mouldings around the necks, although the southern kiln is made from slightly smaller bricks and is of a subtly different design. All are reinforced with iron rails, (originally from the South Devon Railway) the two to the north were made in Bovey Tracey whilst the southern one bears the stamp ‘Thos Willett & Co Ltd Burslem’.
The pottery was originally founded in around 1750 when it was leased from and partly controlled by Lord Courtenay, the earl of Devon. The muffle kilns date to the period of expansion in around 1850 to 1900 following the foundation of the Bovey Tracey Pottery Company. The pottery was visited by Wedgwood in the 1860s, experienced an influx of workers from Staffordshire and employed up to 200 people in its heyday. It produced transfer printed earthenwares which were supplied to the Admiralty and also exported, stonewares, bricks, tiles and sanitary wares. There were up to 16 kilns, five of which were muffle kilns. Following a protracted strike in 1957 the pottery was finally closed and all but the three surviving kilns were demolished by 1958.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 925
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:-446852
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing