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HER Number:MDV15271
Name:Crocker's Old Pottery, Bideford

Summary

Potteries established near North Road in 1668. They were spread over a large area bounded by North Road, Bridgeland Street, The Strand and Rope Path. They also extended southwards along either side of Coldharbour In production until 1896.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 452 268
Map Sheet:SS42NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBideford
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishBIDEFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS42NE/14

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • POTTERY WORKS (XVII - 1601 AD to 1700 AD (Between))

Full description

Carson, A., 05/10/1982, Ovens (Worksheet). SDV356769.

Notes from Pearse Chope's article which refers to an 18th century article about Barnstaple ovens. Barnstaple ovens were made in one piece from potter's clay and were apparently 'not only cleaner and cheaper than any other ovens. But bake with more eveness and certainty, and consume not a fourth of the fuel which is wasted in those of the ordinary fashion in London and elsewhere'. Bideford pottery produced earthen, cloam ovens which were popular for use iin cottages and farmhouses.

Ordnance Survey, 1855-1895, Towns 1855-95 1:500 (Cartographic). SDV348147.

'Crocker's Old Pottery' and 'Plymouth Brethren Chapel' marked. Map object based on this Source.

Charbonnier, T., 1906, Notes on North Devon Pottery of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries., 255 (Article in Serial). SDV342234.

A pottery, usually referred to as Crocker's Old Pottery, was established near North Road, Bideford, in the present historic core of the town, in 1668. It was still in production towards the end of the 19th century, closing in 1896. Kilns in the pottery bore a 17th century date. Two bats, dated 1655, were deposited in the North Devon Athenaeum, and a clay firedog, slipped with pipe-clay, glazed and with a roughly modelled head applied on the front, was put on display in Bideford Free Library

Pearse Chope, R., 1918 - 1919, Barnstaple Ovens, 303 (Article in Serial). SDV20471.

Manufacture and use of cloam ovens discussed with ref to 18th century article.

Watkins, C. M., 1960, North Devon Pottery and its Export to North America in the Seventeenth Century (Article in Serial). SDV20478.

The export of North Devon pottery to North America in the seventeenth century and the North Devon pottery industry in the later part of the century have been recently studied.
NB: This information was attributed to 'Watkins, C. M. + Grant, A.' in the migrated SMR.

Pearse Chope, R., 1967, Untitled Source, 276, 297 (Monograph). SDV20470.

Potteries in Bideford were noted in the 1790s by Maton and Marshall.

Keen, L., 1969, A Series of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Lead-Glazed Relief Tiles from North Devon, 146 (Article in Serial). SDV15342.

Crocker's Old Pottery is noted by the author in an article dealing with the production of lead-glazed relief tiles in North Devon.

Phillips, R. H., 1971, The Bideford Pottery Industry, Part 1, 11-14 (Article in Serial). SDV20476.

Crocker's Old Pottery was established in Potters Lane, now North Road, in 1688. Some fire holes and other remains of it can still be seen. Sherds are numerous around the area, beneath ground surface and mixed into local cob. This evidence suggests possibility of local pottery at an even earlier date. A speciality was the oven, and an example, made in about 1650, is in Bideford Museum. A good example of one is still in situ on Long Island, USA. Trade with America was extensive and rivalled, for a time, that of the Staffordshire potteries. From the end of the seventeenth century decorative ware was made, in particular the harvest pitcher. Also domestic earthenware. Decorative floor tiles, to be seen in many churches in North Devon, were made in both Barnstaple and Bideford. In 1823 there were eight potteries in the town, five in the PottersLane/Strand area.

Phillips, R. H., 1971, The Bideford Pottery Industry, Part 2, 3-6 (Article in Serial). SDV20477.

Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 91-2 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

Despite any firm documentary or artefactual evidence it is presumed that Bideford was a centre for pottery manufacture in the medieval period with kilns located along North Road, formerly Potters Lane. The occurrence of the name 'Crocker' in the tax lists for 1332 may reflect the industry in the town at this time. The export of 50 dozens of earthen ware to America in 1655 shows that the industry was well-established by this time. John Berryman is described as a potter in 1659 and Crockers Old Pottery was established in 1668 or 1688. In 1823 five out of eight potteries in the town were located in North Road. In addition to the North Road potteries there were others in East-the-Water, where the last one closed in 1906.

Grant, A., 1981, The North Devon Pottery Industry of the Later Seventeenth Century (Extract), Map 2 (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV7737.

These potteries, which date from the 17th century, are discussed in detail. They were spread over a large area bounded by North Road and Bridgeland Street on the south, and by the Strand and Rope Path on the north. They also extended southwards along either side of Coldharbour.

Timms, S. C., 1982, Crockers Old Pottery (Personal Comment). SDV20475.

The site of the pottery is shown on the Tithe Map for Bideford of about 1840. A display of Bideford pottery is to be seen in the Burton Art Gallery, Kingsley Road, Bideford.

Noel Hume, I., 1982, Some Clues to an old Mystery, 7 (Article in Serial). SDV20480.

Devonshire pottery has been found on the site of Wolstenholme Towne in Virginia which was sacked in 1622 and from the wreck of the Sea Venture, Sir George Somers' flagship which was wrecked off Bermuda in 1609.

The Wessex Ceramics Group, King Alfred's College, Winchester, 1998, National Database of Medieval Pottery Production Centres: Devon, 799 (Monograph). SDV352614.

The ealiest known potter in Bideford is Thomas Chope who died in 1607, although pottery production probably began much earlier [see entry 970]. Seventeeth century potteries were located in The Strand and Rope Walk, close to the River Torridge.

Torridge District Council, 2009, Bideford Conservation Area Appraisal, 6 (Report - non-specific). SDV351295.

Throughout the post-medieval (and probably medieval) period, Bideford was a centre of pottery manufacture, with kilns located along North Road (formerly Potters Lane). John Berryman is described as a potter in 1659 and Crocker’s Old Pottery was established in 1668 or 1688. The export of earthenware to America in 1655 shows that the industry was well-established by that time, and the occurrences of the surname ‘Crokker’ in the 1332 tax list may indicate a medieval origin for the industry.

Christie, P., 2011, A North Devon Chronology. From The Heritage Album: 175 Years in North Devon (1824-1999) (Website). SDV348148.

In 1858 the Gospel Hall was built in North Road, on the site of old pottery kilns. Map object based on this Source.

Exeter City Council, Unknown, North Devon Pottery (Leaflet). SDV355422.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV15342Article in Serial: Keen, L.. 1969. A Series of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Lead-Glazed Relief Tiles from North Devon. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 32. Photocopy + Digital. 146.
SDV20470Monograph: Pearse Chope, R.. 1967. Early Tours in Devon and Cornwall. 276, 297.
SDV20471Article in Serial: Pearse Chope, R.. 1918 - 1919. Barnstaple Ovens. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 10 Part 1. Unknown. 303.
SDV20475Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 1982. Crockers Old Pottery.
SDV20476Article in Serial: Phillips, R. H.. 1971. The Bideford Pottery Industry, Part 1. Devon Historian. 2. 11-14.
SDV20477Article in Serial: Phillips, R. H.. 1971. The Bideford Pottery Industry, Part 2. Devon Historian. 3. Unknown. 3-6.
SDV20478Article in Serial: Watkins, C. M.. 1960. North Devon Pottery and its Export to North America in the Seventeenth Century. United States National Museum Bulletin. 225. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV20480Article in Serial: Noel Hume, I.. 1982. Some Clues to an old Mystery. National Geographic. 161.1. 7.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 91-2.
SDV342234Article in Serial: Charbonnier, T.. 1906. Notes on North Devon Pottery of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 38. A5 Hardback. 255.
SDV348147Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1855-1895. Towns 1855-95 1:500. Towns 1855-95 1:500. Digital.
SDV348148Website: Christie, P.. 2011. A North Devon Chronology. From The Heritage Album: 175 Years in North Devon (1824-1999). http://genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk/DEV/DevonMisc/NDJchronology.html. Website.
SDV351295Report - non-specific: Torridge District Council. 2009. Bideford Conservation Area Appraisal. Torridge District Council Planning Guidance. Digital. 6.
SDV352614Monograph: The Wessex Ceramics Group, King Alfred's College, Winchester. 1998. National Database of Medieval Pottery Production Centres: Devon. National Database of Medieval Pottery Production Centres: Devon. A4 Stapled + Digital. 799.
SDV355422Leaflet: Exeter City Council. Unknown. North Devon Pottery. Exeter Museums Publication. 80. A3 Folded + digital.
SDV356769Worksheet: Carson, A.. 05/10/1982. Ovens. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV7737Post-Graduate Thesis: Grant, A.. 1981. The North Devon Pottery Industry of the Later Seventeenth Century (Extract). Exeter University PhD Thesis. A4 Stapled + Digital. Map 2.

Associated Monuments

MDV108948Related to: Bideford Potteries (Monument)
MDV62461Related to: Pottery waste, Stella Maris Convent School stable block, Bideford (Find Spot)
MDV62460Related to: Pottery waste, Stella Maris Convent School, Bideford (Find Spot)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV3570 - Unnamed Event

Date Last Edited:Jan 23 2020 11:40AM