Longton, Stoke-on-Trent Ceramic Heritage Action Zone Aerial Investigation

Author(s): Edward Carpenter

The Stoke-on-Trent Ceramic Heritage Action Zone is a partnership project to promote awareness of the historic environment to inform delivery of heritage-led economic growth. Historic England’s contribution to this Heritage Action Zone includes an analysis of the historic aerial photographs of Longton held in the Historic England archive. These photos range in date from 1927 to 2007 and this report partly serves as a photo essay, providing a variety of different views of Longton and its potworks but also documents some of the other changes made to the town over 80 years. The bulk of the report is concerned with the ceramic industry and with evidence for the modernisation or redevelopment of many of the potworks that took place immediately after the Second World War(1939-1945) and seen in detailed aerial photographs taken between 1945 and 1953. The aerial photographs have also allowed a review of the number of bottle ovens identified within what is now the Longton Conservation Area, and these results are compared with the evidence derived from Ordnance Survey maps. Other aspects of Longton’s history associated with the pottery industry include crate making, coal mining and clay digging. Evidence of slum clearance during the 1930s, new houses for those this displaced and the building of prefabs from late 1945 is illustrated and discussed. The impact of the Second World War on Longton is revealed through the numerous air raid shelters seen throughout the town and the Emergency Water Supply reservoirs built for the fire brigade. Other wartime developments identified include a central kitchen, which allows a discussion of wartime communal feeding in the town.

Report Number:
Research Report
Coal Second World War Clay Pit Heritage Action Zone


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