Bottle Kiln at Winchcombe Pottery


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
NGR: SP0311929813
Statutory Address:
Winchcombe Pottery, Becketts Lane, Greet, Cheltenham, Cheltenham, GL54 5NU


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Statutory Address:
Winchcombe Pottery, Becketts Lane, Greet, Cheltenham, Cheltenham, GL54 5NU

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
NGR: SP0311929813
Tewkesbury (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Bottle kiln at Winchcombe Pottery, thought to date from the late-C18, rebuilt in the mid-C20.

Reasons for Designation

The Bottle Kiln at Winchcombe Pottery is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* the kiln has strong interest as an example of its type, and as a traditional vernacular kiln in a rural area; * although rebuilt in the C20, it retains much historic fabric.

Historic interest:

* the kiln posseses strong historic interest as a late-C18 bottle kiln which remained in use until the C20; * it has strong connections with some of the most well-known and important names in C20 English pottery.


The pottery at Winchcombe is thought to date back to at least the late-C18, and was known throughout the C19 as Greet Pottery or Beckett's Pottery. The present layout of the buildings on the site is recognisable on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map of 1884, at which time it was known as Greet Pottery.

Following its closure around the time of the First World War, the pottery was taken over in 1926 by Michael Cardew, who in 1923 had begun his training with Bernard Leach at St Ives in Cornwall. Cardew's desire to be self-supporting, and to make slipware rather than Leach's stoneware, led him to take on the pottery at Greet which he opened along with two local men, Elijah Comfort and Sidney Tustin. In 1928, Cardew exhibited in London for the first time and was making around 350 pots a year, which were affordable and intended for use rather than just display. In 1931 he won the Kokuga prize at the National Artists' Society in Japan.

Charlie Tustin and Raymond Finch joined the pottery in 1935 and 1936 respectively, and in 1939 Cardew moved to Wenford Bridge in Cornwall. Following the Second World War, Finch bought the business from Cardew and resumed production, leading the pottery to commercial success and renown in the second half of the C20. Production continues at Winchcombe Pottery today.

The bottle kiln at the pottery is thought to date from the late-C18, and originally stood inside the workshop. The kiln is understood to have been at least partially rebuilt in the mid-C20. By the time of the 1977 Ordnance Survey, the workshop had been partially demolished and the kiln was free standing. It was last fired in 1954.


Bottle kiln at Winchcombe Pottery, thought to date from the late-C18, rebuilt in the mid-C20.

MATERIALS AND PLAN: the kiln is round on plan and is constructed of brick, with some concrete.

DESCRIPTION: the circular bottle kiln has at its lowest stage a brick base which has four concrete openings or fire holes which give access to the fire and ashpit within. Above this, the second stage has an opening on its southern side which gives access to the chamber, and above this the brick tapers to a tall chimney, and has an opening or wicket into the hovel above the chamber. There are iron bands supporting the base of this upper section.

Internally, there is an inner course of bricks known as the bag wall around the chamber and a space between this and the outer course, with connecting bricks at intervals which support the bag wall. The kiln floor is of concrete slabs with gaps between, and the arched ceiling has a central opening to the hovel and chimney above.


Michael Cardew, Dictionary of National Biography, accessed 23.08.18 from
Raymond Finch obituary, accessed 23.08.18 from
Winchcombe Pottery History, accessed 23.08.18 from
Survey by Martin Hammond, 1999


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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