Etruria Industrial Museum

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Etruria Industrial Museum
Etruria Industrial Museum - geograph.org.uk - 2187647.jpg
Established 1991
Location Lower Bedford Street
Etruria, Staffordshire, England
Coordinates 53°01′09″N 2°11′31″W / 53.019116°N 2.191945°W / 53.019116; -2.191945
Type Industry
Website Official website

The Etruria Industrial Museum is located in Etruria, Staffordshire in England. The Museum is a typical and well-preserved example of a nineteenth century British steam-powered potter's mill. It is situated between the Trent and Mersey Canal and the staircase locks flight of the Caldon Canal. The museum has a modern entrance building, leading into a Grade II* listed building which was formerly the Etruscan bone and flint mill. The mill is also a scheduled monument.

History[edit]

The bone and flint mill was built in 1857 to grind materials for the local pottery industry.[1] It was operated as a family business until 1975.

Restoration[edit]

The site was given an official heritage listing in the 1970s (initially as an ancient monument).[2] After a period of restoration, started in 1978, the museum was opened by Fred Dibnah in 1991.[3] Inside the restored site visitors see displays on the history of the mill and its site, and its original machinery including a working steam engine called "Princess". There is a working historic blacksmith's forge flanking the Museum's modern entrance building. Much further restoration work was completed on the wider landscape setting of the Mill in the mid 1980s, as part of the preparations for the national Stoke-on-Trent Garden Festival.

Current status[edit]

At 2015 the Museum is operated by volunteers through Shirley's Bone and Flint Mill Volunteer group, although it is part of Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Museum Service,[4] and as such it is open to the public only occasionally throughout the year. The museum website advertises the days when the 1903 coal-fired boiler provides steam to operate "Princess", which then turns the grinding machinery.[4]

As of September 2015 the mill was purchased from St Modwen by the members of Shirley's Bone and Flint Mill Volunteers CIO and will continue to be leased to Stoke-on-Trent City Council as the heart of the Etruria Industrial Museum.[5]

Immediate setting[edit]

The Mill sits at the centre of a stretch of the Trent and Mersey Canal that is one of the city's most important urban Heritage Conservation areas. The Mill site is immediately abutted by several other important historic sites: the staircase locks flight of the Caldon Canal, up which thousands of narrowboating holiday makers labour each year in order to visit the Moorlands town of Leek; a wide grassy glade surrounded by a circle of trees, marking the site of the British Gas Light Company gas-holder - the first to supply heat and light to the city; and the site of the Old Dispensary and House of Recovery, which was the city's first hospital.

Access to vehicles is partly restricted due to weight restrictions on the canal bridges, and there is no through-traffic, making the large park-like area centred on the Mill an attractive one for the residents of an increasingly gentrified Etruria. The Etruria Canals Festival generally takes place annually at and around the Etruria Industrial Museum on the first weekend in June[citation needed], although in some years the large outdoor market of stalls is not staged by the committee.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jesse Shirley's Flint and Bone Mill". Listed Buildings in Stoke-on-Trent and area. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Scheduled monuments in Stoke-on-Trent". Retrieved 1 December 2014.  The site appears to be one of the small number of buildings that, for historical reasons, are both scheduled and listed.
  3. ^ "Jesse Shirley's Mill - Friends of Etruria Industrial Museum". Friendsofetruriamuseum.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  4. ^ a b "Etruria Industrial Museum". Stokemuseums.org.uk. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Former Jesse Shirley Industrial Site Lower Bedford Street" (PDF). Propertypilot.co.uk. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 

External links[edit]