History of Heron Cross Pottery

About Heron Cross Pottery


Heron Cross Pottery was built circa 1876 by the Hines brothers on the site of a former colliery in the street that would later bear their name. Good quality opaque porcelain and ivory ware were produced well into the twentieth century, and 1907 saw the company purchased by Grimwades. 

Pottery continued to be produced until just before the war, when it was requisitioned by the government and used for the storage of bully beef and land mines. In 1961, the business was acquired by Frank William Ridge Snr, and it has stayed within the Ridge family ever since. The current owner is Christopher Ridge, who took control in 1995. 

The Company Today 

Today, Heron Cross Pottery Ltd continues to make !ne English earthenware at the Hines Street site and also houses other innovative ceramic companies. As a grade II listed building it boasts one of the few remaining 


bottle kilns in the city of Stoke on Trent. 


How we make our pottery 

Today, we still manufacture our pottery in the traditional way. Raw material clay arrives in 25kg blocks which are then mixed in a blunger with water and chemicals to form liquid clay called slip. Thereafter, it is then poured into plaster moulds and left for approx 40 minutes to dry, during which time water is absorbed by the mould leaving the basic shape of the !nished product. 

Moulds are then tipped over to drain any excess slip and the resultant piece is gently removed from the mould and left to stand for 7 days. This slow drying (the leather state) is when a skilled craftsperson performs the delicate art of fettling and deseaming, using a scalpel to take away any rough edges leaving a smooth, clay piece. Before being immersed in glaze, it is then delicately sponged and left to dry for another day. 

For 10 hours, the piece is then !red in a kiln, reaching temperatures of up to 1145 degrees Celsius, and then slowly cooled before hand decoration commences. Ceramic transfers or lithographs are soaked in water and applied by hand, followed by a further decoration of hand painted precious metal or colour. 

The pottery is now ready for its !nal !ring at 810 degrees Celsius, which fuses the decoration into the body of the piece. After careful quality checks the finished goods are ready for sale to the customer. 

Heron Cross Pottery Privacy Policy

Heron Cross Pottery Limited will never pass any of your personal details onto any other company.

If you opt in to allow Heron Cross Pottery to email you our newsletters and occasional special offers then we will only use your details for this purpose. We will never contact you with any other service or products other than those sold by Heron Cross Pottery Limited. You will always be given the option to opt out of our mailings.

The only personal items of information we hold are your email address and your name and address as entered on your order form.

Purely for audit purposes we will retain copies of all transactions. No credit card or personal information is ever retained on our computer databases as we use PayPal for all transactions, only PayPal will ever receive your credit card details.

William Morris anemone teapot and milk jug set on a blue victorian calico sandwich plate.