Monument record MDR4450 - Pottery Works (site of), Melbourne

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

During the excavation of the site of a blast furnace in 1957 [see SMR 23251], the excavator recovered an amount of pottery adjacent to one of the furnaces. In addition to very coarse earthenware, some of which were parts of saggers, there were some pieces of fine quality white unglazed pottery. As a result the site was examined by A Thorpe, R Hughes and F A Barratt. They found the ground adjacent to the blast furnace, which had presumably later been used as a kiln, to have been artificially built up largely with wasters, ashes etc, to a height of 6 or 7ft above the adjacent river. The fragments of cream-ware were entirely confined to a thin sparsely filled band, never more than 4 to 6 ins wide, in an area approximately 20ft square. In the lower half of this area the cream-ware fragments were overlaid by many hundredweights of large coarse earthenware saggers and other kiln furniture as well as quantities of brown glazed earthenware pots, jars etc. A small amount of brown salt-glaze ware was also taken from the bed overlying the cream-ware. Unfortunately not a single whole piece of any sort was uncovered. The question arises as to how this small country pottery works came to make cream-coloured earthenware, a high class ware both technically and socially. It was suggested that the owner of the Melbourne pottery may have purchased the necessary equipment either from John Heath, the proprietor of the Cockpit Hill Potworks in Derby, who went bankrupt in 1779, or from the china works on Nottingham Road where a new section was set up in July 1798 but abandoned as unsuccessful 18 months later. Whatever the explanation, it seems fairly certain that the pottery did not last very long and that all painted or transfer-printed decoration was carried out elsewhere. (1)

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Article in serial: Thorpe, A. 1958. 'An unrecorded Derbyshire pottery', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 78, pp 97-102.
  • <2> Index: TPAT. 2442. 2442.



Grid reference SK 379 240 (point) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR391
  • EDR67

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Jan 26 2016 11:51AM

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