Then & Now: Remembering the Potteries mother town of Burslem


Burslem, or as it is more affectionately known – the Mother Town of the Potteries – has weathered centuries of change across Stoke-on-Trent.

For a large proportion of that time its town hall has stood strong and unmoved.

Burslem Town Hall

During the second half of the 18th century in 1760, the more affluent people of Burslem put in place a plan to erect a public building.

The following year, a piece of waste ground in the town centre, for the term of 500 years at the yearly rent of sixpence, eventually gave birth to the town hall.

Outside, the building has undergone subsequent improvements, with a coating of Roman cement, a slated roof which replaced the long-lived tiled one, and a new clock with four dials, one of them illuminated. The building now presents an impressive landmark.

The market started at about the time of building the hall. Its increase in size over the following 30 years was considerable. And trestles and boards were provided by the trustees of the hall for the use of the butchers and others, for which they paid a weekly sum.

How the town hall looks today

In the year 1816, a fresh appointment of trustees was determined upon, and 30 of the most respectable inhabitants of the day were chosen.

We love nostalgia – it’s a key part of what we do here at StokeonTrentLive.

So much so that we’ve got a dedicated Facebook group – that’s all about nostalgia!

It’s called Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Nostalgia.

It’s a look at the history and heritage of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, including local places and faces, lost buildings and industries, military history and a nod to our proud past.

You can read more nostalgia stories as well as join in with the conversation – sharing your own recollections and photographs.

We look forward to seeing you in our group!

Moving onward two centuries and although the pottery and mining industries which made Stoke-on-Trent famous worldwide aren’t what they were, there is an unchanged and lasting testament to the ingenuity and success which once made Burslem not only the centre of the Potteries, but also the ceramic industry – its town hall.





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