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HER Number:MDV21940
Name:Watcombe Potteries, Torquay


The 19th century Watcombe Pottery is depicted on historic mapping and is visible on early-20th century aerial photographs. The area has since been developed.


Grid Reference:SX 916 668
Map Sheet:SX96NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishST.MARYCHURCH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX96NW/43

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • POTTERY WORKS (XIX to XX - 1801 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

BEER, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV217601.

Local clay exploited by watcombe pottery from 1867 (beer).

Lloyd Thomas, D. + E., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV22801.

Potteries at watcombe. Art potteries shown on os six inch map (revision of 1933). Same buildings shown as works on 1968 os 1/10560 map. Potteries at watcombe started in 1860s and still continue (hoskins). Watcombe terracotta clay company formed in 1869 to excavate clay for sale to pottery industry. In 1871 it started making its own pottery under management of charles brock from hanley. At its height, 80 staff were employed. Its ware included jugs, vases, wall brackets and plaques decorated mostly in neo- classical style popular in late-c19. It concentrated on decorative art pottery (exeter museum). The potteries were erected 1870-1871, and consisted of slate-roofed buildings round a yard and surrounded by clay pits etc. It had 6 kilns, an eighty-foot chimney and employed 100 people. Until its closure in 1883, watcombe reproduced classical wares, but after its reopening in 1884, it manufactured typical late victorian styles. During the 1890's the potteries produced wheel-thrown wares for the first time, making vessels for the cheaper market, and reducing the amount of terracotta wares. In 1897 it combined with the royal aller vale potteries (sx86ne/299) and concentrated thereafter on popular wares including "motto wares", slip decorations etc. In 1957 it converted to electric firing and the chimney was demolished. The works were closed 1962, and buildings demolished 1963 (lloyd thomas).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV318714.

Des=os sheet 116 nw/ne(1933 revision)in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV318715.

Hoskins, w. G. /devon/(1954)143.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV318716.

Exeter museum/south devon pottery(leaflet no 85)/(c 1976)photos(copy in parish file.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV318717.

Lloyd thomas, d. + e. /the old torquay potteries/(1978)41-80/photos.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV318718.

Beer, p. /ttnhs/19.2(1983-4)63/architecture and geology in torquay.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Watcombe Potteries are depicted and named.

Aerofilms, 1928, Aerofilms LTD Oblique Aerial Photography (AFL 60516), AFL 60516/EPW023728 XX-SEPT-1928 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351161.

The pottery is visible on this oblique aerial photograph image. A chimney is visible at the edge of the frame.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2018-2019, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 1, Haldon Ridge to Dart Valley (Interpretation). SDV361305.

The pottery buildings are visible on oblique aerial photographs taken in 1928, including a chimney structure on the edge of the frame. They are accurately mapped and so have not been transcribed as part of the project. The area has since been developed.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV217601Migrated Record: BEER.
SDV22801Migrated Record: Lloyd Thomas, D. + E..
SDV318714Migrated Record:
SDV318715Migrated Record:
SDV318716Migrated Record:
SDV318717Migrated Record:
SDV318718Migrated Record:
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #116758 ]
SDV351161Aerial Photograph: Aerofilms. 1928. Aerofilms LTD Oblique Aerial Photography (AFL 60516). NMR Aerial Photograph. Digital. AFL 60516/EPW023728 XX-SEPT-1928.
SDV361305Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2018-2019. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 1, Haldon Ridge to Dart Valley. Historic England Research Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1

Associated Monuments

MDV123698Related to: Watcombe Potteries, Torquay (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7515 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey (Ref: ACD1748)

Date Last Edited:Mar 4 2019 4:56PM