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London's Early Porcelain Industries: The Isleworth Pottery

A Scheduled Monument in Isleworth, Hounslow

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Latitude: 51.466 / 51°27'57"N

Longitude: -0.3227 / 0°19'21"W

OS Eastings: 516607.930512

OS Northings: 175452.831347

OS Grid: TQ166754

Mapcode National: GBR 75.7BV

Mapcode Global: VHGR2.CD8Z

Entry Name: London's Early Porcelain Industries: The Isleworth Pottery

Scheduled Date: 9 December 2016

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1435957

County: Hounslow

Electoral Ward/Division: Isleworth

Built-Up Area: Hounslow

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: All Saints Isleworth

Church of England Diocese: London


The monument comprises of the buried archaeological remains of the Isleworth Pottery, established by Joseph Shore in 1756-7 which continued in production until 1831. The Pottery, an example of London's early porcelain industry, produced porcelain commercially from 1766 to 1787.

Source: Historic England


The Isleworth Pottery, established by Joseph Shore in 1756-57 and in production until 1831. An early producer of English porcelain from 1766 to 1787.


The monument includes the buried structural remains, deposits and finds associated with the manufacturing site of Isleworth Pottery. The pottery is located at approximately NGR 516580 175462 between Richmond Road, Isleworth to the W and with direct access to the River Thames at the E. The pottery site is located between two present-day land boundaries comprising to the N part of the 2015-16 development 'Fitzroy Gate' and part of land to the S occupied by the Third Osterley Sea Scouts Group. The natural geology comprises of Kempton Park Gravels and the topography slopes down from N to S across the area with a slight slope down from W to E towards the river Thames. The documentary evidence, referred to in the history section above, indicates that the pottery was divided into a northern and southern range running perpendicular to the Richmond Road. A terrace of nine cottages which formerly housed workers of the pottery stood directly behind the southern range, named 'China Row'. The original layout of the pottery from 1765 to 1786 covered an area of 4,100 square feet, and included two mills, storage areas for clay, coal and sand, but with only one reference to a kiln. After 1786, the layout increased in size to 6,000 square feet and included a 'Glaze Kiln' and two 'Kiln Houses' (Massey, R, 2003, 296).


The 2015 archaeological investigation by Pre-Construct Archaeology provides further information on the character, extent, positioning and size of the structures which are known to survive in the area (PCA, 2015, Fig 6). By overlying the features onto the 1813 Inclosure map, an E-W aligned wall footing measuring at least 9.5m in length is identified as the southern wall of the N range of pottery buildings. This adjoins a remnant of internal wall aligned N-S, which would have enclosed a small area of internal floor surface, probably of the second building along from the W indicated on the above plan. There is evidence of some drainage infrastructure and yard surfaces to the S, which lie between the N and S ranges of buildings. Deposits of burnt material are contained within the make-up layers of these surfaces. A pit containing cattle leg bones, within this area, is indicative of porcelain production as bone ash was mixed with clay during its processing. Further pitting and post-holes containing saggers and kiln waste along with pottery and other pieces of kiln furniture have been identified mostly in the central yard area including the base and lower walls of a substantial brick-lined pit measuring 4m in length from E to W and 2.75m in width from N to S located towards the W of the pottery site. The evidence recorded suggests that a wooden structure may have stood at its western end. A square drain present along the northern edge of the floor suggests that this feature may have been used for settling clay (Jarrett & Haslam, 2016). A brick-lined drain to the S of the pit was found to be backfilled with substantial quantities of pottery. To the S, at least four sections of walls associated with the pottery's southern range of buildings have been identified. Most of these were identified during the excavation of a trench for a flood defence retaining wall, as part of the new development to the N. It is likely further structures, deposits and finds associated with the S ranges of the pottery and the cottages are located on the undeveloped land to the S. At least 2,209 sherds of production waste were examined from the 1758-1830 period during the post-excavation stage. These confirmed that agate ware, creamware, porcelain, Staffordshire type slipware and red stoneware were all made at the Isleworth pottery and that course red earthenwares, either with a clear or a brown glaze and sometimes white slip coated were all produced and marketed locally. A sequence of dumped deposits containing pottery wasters and production debris was recorded above the demolished structures.


The monument's extent is based on historic maps of the pottery and comprises an area measuring approximately 560 square metres. This is delineated to protect the pottery site as a whole including its associated structures, features, deposits and finds. A buffer of 2m is included, considered essential for the support and preservation of the monument.


All overlying modern made ground deposits, concrete, tarmac and services are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them is included. The modern apartment blocks including Plots 38 & 39 and the flood defence retaining wall structure which stands above those remains of the pottery which were preserved-in-situ, as well as any fencing, signage and associated street furniture are also excluded.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The monument comprising the remains of Isleworth Pottery, established by Joseph Shore of Worcester in 1756-57 which produced porcelain from 1766 to 1787 is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Period: as a mid-C18 to early C19 Pottery representative of its period and type and important for its leading role in the early history and technical development of England’s soft-paste porcelain industry and its products;
* Rarity: as an example of London's early porcelain industry, the smallest yet probably the last-remaining of only five porcelain manufactories operating in London during the mid-C18;
* Survival/Condition: whilst there is some deterioration and loss due to post-1831 landscaping and later development, the extent of the Pottery and its layout which does survive is legible with evidence of structures, deposits, features and finds present;
* Diversity: as a site which comprises a diverse range of artefactual material and post-medieval pottery including nationally significant Isleworth Porcelain as well as industrial and residential structures, features and deposits;
* Documentation: the Isleworth Pottery is well-documented, having been subject to recent archaeological investigation, post-excavation assessment and publication, and is included in historic documentary accounts, academic research, insurance records and historic plans;
* Potential: partially exposed and preserved-in-situ after archaeological investigation in 2015, there is a high potential for further buried structural remains, deposits and finds associated with the Pottery and its industrial complex particularly on the southern undeveloped part of the site.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Howard, R, 'Isleworth Pottery: Recognition at last?' in English Ceramic Circle Transactions , , Vol. 16 Part 3, (1998), 345-368
Howard, R, 'A report on the Archaeological Evaluation of the Isleworth Pottery Site' in English Ceramic Circle Transactions, , Vol. Vol 17, Part 3, (2001), 467-9
Godden, G, 'Isleworth Porcelain in Victorian Collections' in English Ceramic Circle Transactions , , Vol. Vol 20, Part 1, (2008), 75-90
Massey, R, 'The Isleworth Pottery Insurance Policies 1765-1800' in English Ceramic Circle Transactions , , Vol. Vol 18, Part 2, (2003), 295-9
Massey, R, 'The Isleworth Pottery Accounts 1797-1805' in English Ceramic Circle Transactions , , Vol. Vol 18, Part 2, (2003), 300-314
A view of the complex of buildings surrounding the Isleworth pottery seen from the Thames, Samuel Leigh 1829 , accessed 1st August 2016 from www.panoramaof the
1813 Isleworth Inclosure Map
Barker, D 2000, ‘Archaeological evaluation in the grounds of Nazareth House, Richmond Road,unpublished site report.
CgMs Consulting, 2014, 'Archaeological Desk Based Assessment Isleworth House, Richmond Road, Isleworth'. CgMs unpublished report.
CgMs Consulting, May 2016, 'Heritage Conservation and Management Plan for Remains of the former Isleworth Pottery'
Gabszewicz , A & Jellicoe, R, 1998, 'Isleworth Porcelain'
Godden, G. A, 2004, Guide to English Blue and White Porcelain, ACC Books.
Haslam, A, 2015, 'Archaeological Excavation and Watching Brief at Isleworth House, Richmond Road, Isleworth, LB Hounslow,' PCA unpublished report.
Haslam, R with Haslam, A & Jarrett, C, 2014 'The Site of Isleworth House, Richmond Road, Isleworth, LB Hounslow: A Predetermination Evaluation Report' PCA unpublished report.
Jarrett, C and Haslam, A, 2016 'The Isleworth potteries and its products' Article pending publication.
Massey, R, Pearce, J & Howard, R, 2003, Isleworth Pottery and Porcelain Recent Discoveries, London: English Ceramic Circle.
Riggott, P with Bowsher, D, March 2016, 'London's Early Porcelain Industries: An Assessment of Six Sites' MoLA unpublished report.
Sewell, J, 2007 'London's Role in the History of English Porcelain"
Weinreb, B & Hibbert, C, 2008, The London Encyclopedia, London: MacMillan.
Young, H, 1999, English Porcelain 1745-95, Its Makers, Design, Marketing and Consumption, V&A Publications.

Source: Historic England

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