Fenton is one of the six towns that amalgamated with Hanley, Tunstall, Burslem, Longton and Stoke-upon-Trent to form the county borough of Stoke-on-Trent in 1910, later raised to city status in 1925. Fenton is often referred to as "the Forgotten Town", because it was omitted by local author, Arnold Bennett, from many of his works based in the area, including one of his most famous novels, Anna of the Five Towns.
The name Fenton means 'fen farm'.
Fenton started to become populated as a group of farms and private small-holdings were built there, alongside a lane running from the southern reaches of Hanley (by 1933 this lane was very busy and given the title of the A50).
Around the 1750s, the land was commonly known as Fenton Vivian, after Vivian of Standon and his heirs, its lords in the thirteenth century. By the 1850s, the area around Duke Street and China Street had become populated during the rapid development of the Potteries.
The two principal districts, Fenton Vivian and Fenton Culvert – each with their scattered communities, were brought together to make an urban district with its own board of guardians in 1894.
On 1 April 1910, the town was federated into the county borough of Stoke-on-Trent. By 1925, the area was granted city status.
Although Fenton has large industrial plants, particularly from the pottery trade, it has always been considered more of a residential area.
Fenton includes Heron Cross, Mount Pleasant, Saxonfields, Pool Dole, Lane Delph and Fenpark.
Places of interest
Fenton Manor has a swimming pool, gym, and fitness centre, plus a 1,300-seater arena. Fenton Park has football pitches, pavilions, and a playground. The town’s library on Baker Street, a Carnegie library, is now closed. Fenton also had a magistrates' court, which served the city from within Fenton’s old town hall, built, in 1888, by local pottery owner, William Meath Baker, at his own expense, to a design by Robert Scrivener. Officially, it closed its doors in 2013, but, in part, has, since then, been reopened, with the following services on offer (on the building's ground floor): (1) coffee bar, open to the public on Monday to Saturday, inclusive, between the hours of 09.00 and 16.00; (2) art/pottery classes, especially for the young during school holidays.
William Meath Baker was a very good friend of the great English composer, Sir Edward Elgar, who included him in his world-famous Enigma Variations (Variation IV).
Fenton differs from the other Potteries towns in that it does not have a town centre. Instead, amenities and shops are spread over a sizeable area.
- Richard Bolton (1570?–1648) English lawyer, an important figure in the politics of Ireland
- Sir Edward Bolton (1592-1659) English judge who served as Solicitor General for Ireland
- Jeremiah Yates (1810-1852) active Chartist, imprisoned for one year for bringing workers out on strike during the 1842 Pottery Riots
- James Wright (1819–1887) a notable New Zealand potter, born in Fenton
- Mortimer Brown (1874–1966) English sculptor, his early work was based on religious and classical themes.
- David Gordon Hines (1915-2000) chartered accountant and colonial administrator, developed farming co-operatives in Tanganyika
- Ken Leese (born 1928) member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly.
- Frank Bough (1933–2020) English television presenter.
- Michael Bettaney (born 1950) MI5 officer, convicted of passing sensitive documents to the Soviet Embassy in London.
- Paul Bown (born 1957) is an English TV actor.
- Len Birks (1896–1975) footballer, over 250 club caps, including 101 for Port Vale F.C.
- Billy Briscoe (1896–1994) footballer, 473 club caps, including over 300 for Port Vale F.C.
- Jack Griffiths (1909–1975) footballer, 194 club caps for Wolves, Bolton Wanderers F.C. and Manchester United F.C.
- Ronnie Allen (1929–2001) footballer, 638 club caps, mainly for Port Vale F.C. and WBA
- Stan Steele (born 1937) former footballer, scored 97 goals in 370 league and cup games for Port Vale F.C.
- Catherine Swinnerton (born 1958) former racing cyclist, competed at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
- Ryan Shotton (born 1988) footballer, over 200 club caps, plays for Birmingham City F.C.
- John Harvey (cyclist) (born 1884) Champion cyclist
In popular culture
- "Fenton East Ward, Stoke MBC population 2011". Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "Fenton West and Mount Pleasant ward.Stoke MBC population 2011". Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- 'Fenton', in A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 8, ed. J G Jenkins (London, 1963), pp. 205-224 British History Online. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
- "Listed Buildings in Stoke-on-Trent". Thepotteries.org. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Fenton .|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fenton, Staffordshire.|
- Use interactive maps to find historic artefacts and photographs of old Fenton[permanent dead link] at exploringthepotteries.org.uk
- Town profile at The Sentinel (local newspaper)