Burmantofts Pottery

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Burmantofts faience in the Great Hall of the University of Leeds

Burmantofts Pottery was the common trading name of a manufacturer of ceramic pipes and construction materials, named after the Burmantofts district of Leeds, England, United Kingdom.

The business began in 1859 when fire clay was discovered in a coal mine owned by William Wilcox and John Lassey.[1] In 1863 Lassey's share was bought by John Holroyd and the company then named Wilcox & Co.[1]

In 1879, after a period of expansion, the firm made decorative bricks and tiles in orange or buff-coloured architectural terracotta, glazed bricks, and glazed terracotta (faience).[1] Architect Alfred Waterhouse used their materials in his Yorkshire College (1883) in Leeds, and his National Liberal Club (1884) in London.[1]

In 1885 products were on sale in London, Paris and Montreal.[1] By 1889 they had commissioned Maurice Bingham Adams to design stock items for their catalogue.[1] Also in 1889 Wilcox & Co merged with other companies to found The Leeds Fireclay Co. Ltd. — the largest in the country.[1]

Terracotta production ceased in 1904 but the firm created an artificial marble called Marmo in 1908, as used on Atlas House, King Street, Leeds [1] and Michelin House, London.

The firm closed in 1957, at which time it comprised ninety kilns on 16 acres (65,000 m2) of land.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Pevsner Architectural Guides - Leeds, Susan Wrathwell, 2005, ISBN 0-300-10736-6

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