Stoke Minster

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
Stoke Minster, Stoke-on-Trent
By Rept0n1x [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

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. The first Christian missionaries decreed the spot to be a ‘Holy place on the flowing river’ (‘Stoche on Trent’) in the seventh-century and it remains an important calling point for pilgrims following in the footsteps of St Chad and St Werburgh along the 92-mile Two Saints Way.

The first church built on the site dates back to 670 and was made out of timber, only to be replaced by a stone building in 805. The remarkable remains of this second construction can still be found in the church graveyard today, one side bearing what is believed to be the earliest example of the Stafford knot. The origin of the pretzel-like design (now the traditional symbol of Stafford) has generated much debate over the years, some claiming it to have been a heraldic symbol of early Mercia or a Celtic Christian emblem brought to Staffordshire by missionary monks from Lindisfarne. Another, somewhat less romantic legend has it that the knot was devised by a hangman as a three-way noose to settle a quarrel between three condemned prisoners in a Staffordshire gaol over who should be hanged first.

Reflecting the history of The Potteries, the present building of Stoke Minster (dating back to 1826) features a number of ceramic memorials to the potters of the district, and is the final resting place of Josiah Spode and his family and Josiah Wedgwood. The church is unusually dedicated to the biblical story of The Chains of St Peter and replica chains can be found on the High Altar as a reminder of the church’s continued commitment to liberation, whilst neatly echoing the significant abolitionary efforts of Wedgwood during his lifetime.

Stoke Minster is one of 14 stops along the Stoke-on-Trent Remembers World War One Trail – a journey stretching across Stoke-on-Trent’s six towns to honour the fallen soldiers of the Great War 100-years ago. For full details, visit

Discover more places to visit and things to do in Stoke-on-Trent this summer here.

Note: Stoke Minster is open for visitors Mon 12.30-1.30pm and Weds 9.30am-12.00pm; and for regular service on Sunday mornings and at other times.

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What's on near Stoke Minster

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Prism: Light Trail

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Where to go near Stoke Minster

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.

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.

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.

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.

Gladstone Pottery Museum Summer in Stoke on Trent
Gladstone Pottery Museum

The last complete Victorian pottery factory in Britain, Gladstone Pottery Museum in Longton provides a unique insight into the history of Stoke-on-Trent; an area renowned for its world-class pottery and ceramics.

Middleport Pottery
Middleport Pottery

Built in 1888, the beautifully-conserved grade II* listed Middleport Pottery has been producing its world-famous Burleigh pieces for over 120 years. Today it is the only working Victorian pottery left in Stoke-on-Trent and a multi award-winning visitor attraction.

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.

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