Gladstone Pottery Museum

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
Gladstone Pottery Museum Summer in Stoke on Trent
Gladstone Pottery Museum

As the last complete Victorian pottery factory in Britain, Gladstone (named after the 19th century Prime Minister) in Longton provides a unique insight into the history of Stoke-on-Trent; an area defined by its reputation for world-class high-quality pottery and ceramic production during the industrial revolution up until the mid 20th century.

Today, the factory is home to a museum where visitors can learn how bone china tableware was once made in the original workshops and monumental bottle kilns of the former Gladstone China Works, and discover what life was like for men, women and children working in a typical potbank. It’s also a place to get hands-on, with daily pot-throwing, bone china flower making and pottery decorating workshops, as well as plenty more events and activities for all ages.

At their peak, over 4,000 bottle ovens dominated the skyline of Stoke-on-Trent, lyrically described by the Hanley-born playwright and author Arnold Bennett throughout much of his work. Yet today, only 46 remain. To mark the 40-year anniversary of the last bottle oven being fired, Gladstone Pottery Museum presents Festival of the Bottle Ovens (Aug-Sep) – a two-month long programme of events, displays and activities designed to bring the rich heritage of The Potteries bottle oven back to life. Highlights include: Go Wild at Gladstone (16 Aug), a day of activities led by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust including fire-lighting and DIY birdfeeder construction; Oatcakes all Round! (11 Aug), a historical review of the origins and development of the Staffordshire oatcake featuring ‘the ancient ceremony of the Grand Order of Oatcake Tasters’; Bottle Ovens – An Archaeologist’s View (11am 18 Aug); and Coiled Pot Making led by the museum’s expert ceramicist (11am 18 Aug, £12).

Find out what else is on in Stoke-on-Trent this summer here.

Uttoxeter RdStoke-on-TrentST3 1PQ View map
Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • Monday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Tuesday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Wednesday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Thursday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Friday10:00am - 5:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Gladstone Pottery Museum

New Order at Wythenshawe Park

New Order play an all-day outdoor concert at Wythenshawe Park alongside Manchester’s own Johnny Marr and adopted Manc Róisin Murphy.

from £61.60
Dancers in black costumes
Emergence Dance at Waterside

A highlight of the dance calendar, the 2024 Emergence touring programme features a new cohort of talented dancers and three new works.

from £8.00
Picture of Salena Godden
LIVEwire at The Edge

LIVEwire is back at The Edge in Chorlton with an electric line-up featuring internationally acclaimed poet and author Salena Godden.

from £13.00
Idles by Daniel Topete, image couresy of SONIC PR
Idles at The Apollo

Taking the power of love on the road, IDLES bring their latest album TANGK, their most ambitious and striking record yet, to Manchester.

from £42.15

Where to go near Gladstone Pottery Museum

Stoke Minster, Stoke-on-Trent
Place of worship
Stoke Minster

Just a short walk from Stoke-on-Trent train station is Stoke Minster, believed to have once been an important Celtic religious site and where Christian worship has taken place since Saxon times.

Emma Bridgwater Factory, Stoke-on-Trent
Emma Bridgwater Factory

The pottery lover’s mecca, over 1.3 million Emma Bridgwater pieces are produced at the designer’s Stoke-on-Trent based factory every year – each one touched by over 30 deftly-skilled hands. Take an award-winning tour, visit the heavily discounted shop and have a go at producing your own earthenware masterpiece.

world of wedgewood summer in stoke on trent
World of Wedgwood

Former Art Fund Prize Museum of the Year Award winner, World of Wedgwood in Stoke-of-Trent houses one of the most important industrial collections in existence and offers a unique record of over 250 years of ground-breaking British ceramic design and production.

Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

Home to the most significant collection of Staffordshire ceramics in the world and the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever found, a visit to Stoke-upon-Trent is not complete without an afternoon whiled away in The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.

City Central Library, Hanley

Described as “the finest and most distinctive example of Modernist architecture in Stoke-on-Trent”, City Central Library is Stoke-on-Trent’s largest library, home to the city archives.

trentham gardens stoke on trent
Tourist Attraction
Trentham Gardens

Comprising of 725 acres of land set within a glorious stretch of North Staffordshire countryside on the southern fringe of Stoke-on-Trent, the award-winning visitor attraction Trentham Estate is the last remnant of one of England’s greatest garden estates.

Bethesda Chapel, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent
Place of worship
Bethesda Chapel

Bethesda Methodist Chapel in Hanley is considered to be one of England’s grandest surviving town chapels – and it’s easy to see why.

AirSpace Gallery

AirSpace Gallery is a collaborative, artist led project in Stoke-on-Trent, providing studio and exhibiting space as well as professional support and development opportunities for artists.

Culture Guides

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Cinema in Manchester and the North

From the latest installment in the Mad Max franchise, to silent movie masterpieces we highlight the best new releases and big screen classics showing near you this month.