It should be a relatively simple matter to buy Mugs, Pottery, China and Glass Ware made in the UK. British pottery is the best in the world and some of the industry still survives today. That said you’ll have to shop around, use the internet, and look carefully at back stamps for the words ‘Made in England’ or similar as a lot of pottery for sale on the high street these days is foreign made.
A few years ago, perhaps up to the 60s or even 70s, some products such as cutlery and china, were marked England (meaning made in England), Empire (meaning made in one of the countries that were part of the British Empire) or Foreign (meaning made abroad, but not within the Empire). At least that is what I assume these markings on some cutlery and other goods mean. These days the word ‘England’ at the bottom of a mug or whatever is meaningless, so you need to look for the words ‘made in England’ or ‘made in the UK’ or similar on the base of mugs and the back-stamps of plates and so on. With thoughtful shopping you can buy quality made in the UK china and glass and mugs. Below I list many manufactures and suppliers of British made pottery, as usual in no particular order.
Peregrine Pottery describe their products as “Handmade and hand decorated in Stoke-on-Trent, the heart of the potteries.” Founded in 2011 by a former employee at Bridgewater Pottery, they make by hand on their own premises. Mugs, plates, teapots, bowls, cups and saucers, egg cups, hens on nests, sugar pots, jugs, dishes, etc available from their website – https://peregrinepottery.co.uk
StolenForm take castings of some of the urban environments most recognisable features such as bricks and make vases, dishes, and so on from them in ceramic. Their website has the words “Made in England” – https://www.stolenform.com
Jersey Pottery of Jersey, the Channel Islands may have some British made ceramics but they also have their manufacturing done abroad and no country of origin information is given against individual items on their website. On their website they tell us “Jersey Pottery ceramics are made in Stoke-on-Trent, England and with partners in Europe” – https://jerseypottery.com/
Studio Bisque manufacture their own bisque in the UK for ceramic businesses and the paint- your- own- pottery market. Trade only, they have a factory in Long Eaton. They say on their website “We fly our flag with pride – nearly ALL of our bisque lines are made here in the UK” They say their Italian made pieces are labelled as such on their website and they say “We have a range of tableware items made in Italy, you will find them in the main catalogue sections, clearly marked “Made in Italy”. If you don’t see those words then you can rest assured that the item you are looking at is made n the UK” They make plain unglazed figurines, Christmas decorations, bowls, jugs, kitchenware, mugs, trinket boxes, decorative items, vases, planters, garden gnomes, etc – https://www.studiobisque.com
RSPB sell a Penguin tea infuser mug which is “UK made”. they also sell other UK made mugs and jugs and a range of other UK made products.
I found Airbus “Made in UK” mugs on sale in a gift shop in Toulouse Airport (21/7/17). They had a paper inside saying they were Duraglaze Photomugs and the words Gift List. The base of the mugs have a sticker saying amongst other things “Made in UK”. On the base of the mugs themselves the backstamp says “Dishwasher Proof Duraglaze BS EN 12875-4: 2006. It is unclear who makes the mugs but good to see British made mugs on sale at Toulouse Airport. Airbus is based in Blagnac, France, a suburb of Toulouse, with production and manufacturing facilities mainly in France, Germany, Spain, China, United Kingdom and the United States.
The small Finsbury fine bone china trinket dish pictured below was made in England. I can’t find any information about this company but I did find a company called Finsbury China on the web. They state on their website “Finsbury China Ltd has been producing quality promotional, souvenir, personalised and bespoke designs on to ceramic ware since 1977. Using the finest earthenware and bone china from around the globe including here in Staffordshire.” The company print onto white ware made by others. They don’t seem to have their own branded products so may not have produced the trinket dish below. Whilst they mention using china from Staffordshire, no country of origin information is given for the whiteware on their website, so I assume it is foreign made – https://finsburychina.co.uk
Linda Bloomfield tell us on their website that “All the handmade pottery is made by Linda in her studio in west London. All the manufactured pottery is made to Linda’s designs.”. This means the handmade pottery on the website is made in London but the manufactured (factory made) pottery is all foreign made. The handmade pottery includes jugs, vases, teapots, cups and saucers, bowls, cake stands, plates, egg cups and bottles – https://lindabloomfield.co.uk
Chamberlain and Co “create luxury fine bone china” in their workshop in Worcestershire, using “china clay from Cornwall”. Chamberlain, formed in 1788, had a factory in Severn Street in Worcester (as did Royal Worcester, see below). The companies Flight, and Barr & Barr merged with Chamberlain in 1840 and in 1838 Chamberlain became part of Royal Worcester (see below). Following bankruptcy the Royal Worcester factory closed down in 2009. The current address for Chamberlain is in Malvern. Quite when (or indeed if) Chamberlain china stopped being made and how this current company came about I have not been able to find out. Despite writing lots on their website Chamberlain actually tell us very little about themselves as a company, their history or how they manufacture, beyond having a workshop. That said their products look good on the web. No prices or information on how to purchase are given. They have the words “Royal Porcelain Works” beneath the name “Chamberlain and Co” at the head of their webpages but no explanation is offered as to why this is. The company joined Twitter in September 2015 – http://www.chamberlainco.co.uk
Woburn Pottery is only to be found inside the grounds of Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire. This beautiful pottery is entirely made by hand on the premises by the skilled craftsman who works there. Woburn Pottery was established in 1968.
Manor Pottery is all handmade in their own pottery studio in Bedfordshire in the UK, as far as I can tell from their website. They make Bedfordshire Hot Pot mug sets, dog water bowls, mugs with lids, bowls, pitchers, vases, toothbrush holders, candle holders, and suchlike, many in a blue and brown colouring and in a style not dissimilar to Woburn Pottery above. Perhaps this is a style typical of Bedfordshire? Items are available on their website. I can’t tell from their website where they are based or see anywhere you can see their pottery in real life – https://www.manorpottery.co.uk
Repeat Repeat make bone china mugs, tableware and nurseryware in Stoke-on-Trent in England. Established in 1984, some of their products are made in England but others are foreign made and simply decorated in England – http://www.repeatrepeat.co.uk
Barbecco Limited sold made in England mugs like the one pictured below. It appears the company ran from 1973 until 1998 but is now defunct.
Luckenbooth china is made in the UK. They say on their website “all items are hand crafted for you in Moffat in beautiful South West Scotland”. They have a shop in the Victorian indoor market in Inverness – http://www.scottishchina.com
Victoria Armstrong ceramics and stationery all made in England. Much of it is dog themed. It says on their website “Using traditional, hand-made methods, our dog-themed, ceramics are made in Stoke on Trent in the heart of the Staffordshire Potteries. Our mugs and jugs are made from the best Cornish clay and our Christmas baubles from the finest English Bone China. Our stationery collection is made in Wiltshire and Kent and uses high quality, responsibly sourced board which is FSC approved” – http://www.victoriaarmstrong.co.uk
Cornishware by T.G.Green and Co. is no longer made in the UK, since 2007 when the factory closed after its original parent company went into administration. Whilst you might expect pottery with the name Cornishware to be made in the UK, it is in fact now made abroad. The tggreen.co.uk website no longer works but they now have a new website cornishware.co.uk. Cornishware was traditionally made in Church Gresley, Derbyshire, the company having been started in 1864. Since 2008, after the factory closed, production moved abroad to China. The new owners had been careful to avoid mentioning this on their website, although they were very helpful when I asked and on their new website (as of 29 May 2019) they are very open about where production takes place. I am pleased to hear to that they are gradually bringing some production back to the UK. According to their website “we are now thrilled to be gradually bringing production back to the UK with plates and bowls being hand decorated in the West Country. Several lines are now made in Stoke-on-Trent and decorated in our pottery in the West Country by a team of very steady hands, and we are gradually increasing the items we make in England. Look out for the green back-stamps that denote the new Made in England products.” Let’s hope eventually all T.G.Green and Co products are British made. There is no country of origin labelling on their website though, so you’ll have to look at the products themselves before buying or ask the company. Stockists are listed on their website – https://www.cornishware.co.uk/
Carters of Suffolk (originally known as Kiln Cottage Pottery) in Suffolk are a specialist manufacturer of novel and avant-garde teapots who hand paint and glaze and fire their teapots in their own production kilns. It says on their webpages “Handmade in England” – http://www.cartersofsuffolk.com
KeepCup (Keep Cup) say on their website that where possible they “…seek to manufacture locally”. They also tell us “KeepCup products are ‘Made in Australia’ and ‘Made in the UK’”. KeepCup make or assemble their products in Australia, the UK and the USA. For the UK they tell us “Products shipped from our UK hub are also made locally; not only do we assemble locally in UK produced packaging, but all plastic parts are made locally in the UK.” Being a company aiming to be socially responsible and sustainable KeepCup helpfully break this down further. The polypropylene alloy lid, polypropylene plug, and booster are made in Australia. The cork bands in Portugal. The plastic cups in Australia or the UK (depending on market). The glass cups and silicone band in China. The retail boxes and insert brochures in Australia or the UK (depending on the market). The outer cartons in Australia, the UK or the USA (depending on the market). Assembly then takes place in Australia, the UK or the USA, again depending on the market. It’s good to see such clear sourcing information on their website. Sizes available are 8oz (S), 12oz (M) or 16oz (L), plus 4oz and 6oz for some ranges. For reference regarding cup sizes, a Primo (small) Costa take out cup is a 12oz (340ml) (that’s a medium Keepcup) and a Medio (medium) Costa take out cup is 16oz (454ml) (that’s a large Keepcup). KeepCup products are available from their website, on the internet on sites such as Amazon and eBay and in cafes such as Benugo, Jericho Coffee Traders in Oxford and Caffe Nero and venues such as Curzon cinemas – https://uk.keepcup.com/?country=United%20Kingdom
“Pokito is proudly designed and manufactured in the UK” it says on their website and they are part of the Made in Britain marque scheme. This is a folding (concertina) re-usable travel mug – https://pokito.net
Jody Leach sells the Therma, an insulated ceramic coffee or tea cup, made from bone china in Stoke on Trent. Both the cup and scilicone lid are dishwasher safe. The tactile rubber lid is an off-the-shelf product and it is not clear if the lid is UK made, so probably it’s not. The cup has an 8oz/230ml capacity, which is equivalent to a very small cup of coffee in say Costa Coffee. The cup is roughly the same size as a small Costa cup but has much less capacity due to the baffles inside the cup. As the mug is made of pot, you’ll need to be careful not to break it and it’s fairly heavy if you want to carry it around. Because it is made of pot it is nicer to drink out of than a plastic mug. The Jody Leach Therma Cup is clearly labelled as Made in Stoke on Trent on its base. Great mug this although on the small side when filled, a bit heavy if you carry it around, the hole in the bottom drips, and I cracked mine within the first month or so of getting it. Jody Leach also sells a nesting table and chairs which is made in London, called the Teanest, and a planter and matching shelf which are made in England. Jody Leach says this of himself on his website “I live in London and work as a product designer and have since 2011 designed and manufactured my own products, all within the UK. My design process starts with observation of people and everyday life, identifying problems, then developing simple solutions” – http://jodyleach.bigcartel.com
“Nakd thermal travel mugs are made in the UK” just like their “bars and are the perfect reusable alternative to paper cups from coffee shops”. Their matching lunchbox does not appear to be UK made though – https://www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/accessories/nakd-travel-mug/
Costa have their disposable paper cups made in the UK. I am not sure if that is the case for other coffee shop chains or not but if you are buying these cups please buy British made ones. Costa have their paper cups for the UK market made in the UK and for other markets cups may be made locally too, for example in Finland Costa disposable cups are made in Finland. Costa ceramic cups do not state country of origin and are presumably foreign made. It’s good to see Costa clearly labelling and using British made disposable cups.
“Frugal Cups are being made in Wrexham” according to their website. Whether all of their disposable cups, which have a recycled paperboard outer and a food-grade PE liner, and other products are made in the UK is not clear from their website – https://www.frugalpac.com/
Finish company Huhtamaki have a factory in Gosport making paper and plastic products serving sectors of the foodservice industry. They also have factories abroad, so check if what you require will actually be UK made. Trade only – http://www2.huhtamaki.com/web/foodservice_uk/ourfactory
BBP (BB-Plastics) make items for the food service industry such as drink-ware, jugs, dishes, coffee cups and suchlike in virtually unbreakable polycarbonate (their Elite range) or rigid reusable crystal polystyrene (their Econ range). Possible all their products are UK made, but as always do check before buying – http://www.bbpmarketing.co.uk
Beyond the Fridge have a good range of British made products such as large magnetic boards (to stick magnets on), magnetic dry wipe boards, fridge magnets, placemats and coasters, mugs, kitchen splash backs, and light boxes. Their glass chopping boards, shaped magnetic notice boards, doormats and prints unfortunately appear to be foreign made as no country of origin is given for these products whereas it is clearly stated for all their other products. They have a physical shop in Frome or products are available from their dgbsite – http://www.beyondthefridge.co.uk
Roy Kirkham are a fine bone china home and giftware manufacturer based in Stoke-on-Trent. Some of their products appear to be made in England, but you will have to ask which as country of origin is not generally given on their website – roykirkham.co.uk
The two-handled plastic slanted Doidy Cup by Bickiepegs healthcare is “Made in the UK” and is for baby weaning and open cup training or use by special needs adults or children or those with Alzheimer’s disease – http://www.bickiepegs.com/product/doidy-cup/
Salmon Luke dinnerware designed to help young children master self-feeding is made in the UK. They say on their website “Early on in the planning of our supply chain we decided to manufacture in the UK. This obviously gave us tighter control on product quality, but we also wanted to keep our product miles as low as possible”. Bowls and cutlery sets made from plastic in blue, pink or green colours. Available from their website or from Amazon – http://www.salmonluke.com
P & J Ceramics, which is located in Newton Abbot, Devon is a small independent company whose products are made in the UK. They say on their website “We pride ourselves that our products are Made in England here in Devon. All of our products are handmade and are produced from our unit using locally sourced materials. Using various techniques in production all pieces are hand cast or hand turned and finished by hand using stamping, stencilling and transfer applications.” Products include Chicken Egg Holders, Cow Creamers, Mugs, 2 pint Jugs, Tiles, Storage Jars, Jewellery Holders, Key Rings, Cabinet Knobs, and Novelty Toilet Brush Holders, and they also manufacture to order (Bespoke) – http://www.pjceramics.com
Dorisware mugs are made in England in Stoke-on-Trent. From the lack of information about the country of origin of their other products (such as teapots) I assume these are all foreign made and it is only Doris mugs that are made in England – http://www.dorisandco.co.uk
Perin Towlson Ceramics. Perin Towlson is a contemporary ceramicist, making British Handmade Porcelain in the UK. She was commissioned to create two sets of three porcelain lidded pots used to contain the blessed soil from places where Richard III was born (Fotheringhay Castle Northampton), lived (Middleham Castle Yorkshire) and died (Fenn Lane, Bosworth). The casket and the royal coffin were made by Michael Ibsen, a 17th descendant of the King and a modern day cabinet maker. She attends various exhibitions but does not sell directly via her website so I have no idea of the cost of these bowls – http://perintowlsonceramics.weebly.com
Bespoke Barware / Cheeky Tiki make custom barware and ceramic cocktail mugs in their Hackney workshops. They also import and it is hard to identify British made items on their website, but many of their products are produced at their workshops in East London, so it is worth asking if something is UK made even if it is not clear from their website. For example, their Vera Lynn ceramic cocktail mugs are made in the UK but this is not entirely clear from looking at their website. Bespoke and off-the-shelf barware – http://www.bespokebarware.com – http://www.cheekytiki.com
The London Cloth Company sell a range of bone china mugs, hand-screenprinted with a fabric from the London Cloth Company archive. The bone china mugs are produced in Staffordshire by William Edwards – http://www.londoncloth.com/store-3/#!/London-Cloth-China-Mug/p/41528137/category=9998006
William Edwards (Ceramic Decals Limited) was founded in around 1990, initially catering for the hospitality market but since 2012 they have have produced retail lines and they have a “factory” shop. Decoration takes places at their Anderton Works in Staffordshire, England but actual manufacturing takes place elsewhere in the UK and abroad. Annoyingly country of origin is not given on their website, so you will need to ask where a product is made. Make sure you ask where the whiteware is manufactured as opposed to just where it is decorated. As with many companies they are rather elusive on this point on their website – http://www.williamedwards.co.uk
My Moustache Cups (mentioned above) are made in Lancashire, England by Thomas Birnie. He makes a range of traditional Slipware earthenware pottery – jugs, jars, bowls, plates, and cups – http://www.thomasbirnie.co.uk
If buying promotional mugs (ones branded with your business or organisation logo) please take the trouble to source the mug itself and the decorating in the UK. It will look better for your company or group to have a mug that is actually made in the UK. Briman Group run a website that promotes British made promotional products. For example, Pennline have a British made section and one of their British made products is a branded Americano Thermal plastic travel coffee mug. Get a sample mug, turn it upside down and look for the words “made in England” and if those words are not there do not buy the mugs. Companies such as Prince William Pottery in Liverpool print their mugs in England but the mugs themselves are imported from the Far East and the same is true for lots of companies, and their advertising often says the mugs, etc are made in the UK. It doesn’t concern mugs, but the recent (August 2014) Black Country flags fiasco led to lots of negative press for all those involved because the flags sourced were made in Thailand. Careful ordering can avoid such bad publicity. Perhaps your best bet is to ask promotional branding companies where a product is made or to contact one of the companies below directly if you are ordering branded mugs.
If buying souvenir mugs with Oxford written on them or London or Wales or Starbucks or Windsor Castle or whatever, please turn them upside down and look for the words “made in England” and if those words are not there do not buy the mug. Have a look at the wide selection I list below. Note that some companies, like Emmeline Simpson for example, import mugs from China then decorate them in England.
Lifeventure Ellipse Cookware is made in the UK and the range includes a mug, plate, bowl, and cutlery set, in four colours and is BPA free. Lifeventure say “We’re proud to make this vibrant range of original cookware in the UK. The cutlery clicks neatly together and the mugs, bowls and plates can be connected with a karabiner. They’ll withstand the harshest of treatment and a smooth interior makes them easy to clean.” That said, being plastic, these mugs do stain easily and it is perhaps best to wash them with a cloth rather than the rough side of a washing-up sponge to avoid scratching the inside. They also do an insulated travel mug with lid. Available online for example at Blacks or Millets or via the Lifeventure website- https://www.lifeventure.co.uk/product/cookware/ellipse-cookware
Bell Tent UK “Camping with Soul” recycled plastic mugs are “made in the UK from 100% recycled plastic” – http://www.belltent.co.uk/camping_with_soul_recycled_mugs
Mug For Life plastic travel coffee mugs are made in the UK and BPA free. Founded in 2009, their mugs have a screw on lid. Just the job for hot or cold drinks at work or in your local coffee shop or cafe. Available via their website and elsewhere online, for example via Amazon. There does not seem to be any specific mention of these mugs being made in the UK on their website so it would be wise to check before buying. The Mug for Life is shaped like a regular Costa Coffee take out cup. The regular Costa take out cup is a 12oz and the large is a 16oz. The Mug for Life measures around 15.5cm tall with a base that’s 6cm across and a lid that’s 10cm in diameter and It can hold almost 35cl (350ml), which is around 12oz. It has a sealing screw lid is designed to delay most spills from accidental tipping and not intended to be spill or leak proof. It is dishwasher and microwave safe. It’s designed to keep your drink hotter for longer. The mug is heavily branded Mug for Life. Their Amazon site states the Mug for Life is “Made in the UK from BPA free polypropylene”. Their website (as of 12 April 2018) now features a graphic with the words “proudly made in The UK” and elsewhere they say it is “100% UK manufactured”. Some Amazon reviews talk about leaking (and problems with the o-ring), staining (all plastic will stain and you would need to be careful not to scratch this mug when washing); there is a suggestion on Amazon that soaking in bleach overnight will remove stains) and a plastic taste but the majority of Amazon reviews are very positive – http://www.mugforlife.com
Ohyo collapsable bottles are made in Sheffield, England. Fits in a pocket or bag. BPA free. Dishwasher safe. 500ml or 1000ml size. Good for the environment (re-useable; not disposable bottled water). Available on the Ohyo website, elsewhere online and in shops, including some Boots and Marks and Spencer stores and in National Trust shops. The M&S Ohyo bottles are M&S branded – http://www.ohyo.me
Disappointingly the Ohyo Bag is now foreign made. On the Ohyo website the Ohyo Bottle rightly proudly states it is made in England. From their kickstarter campaign I know Ohyo’s original intention with the Ohyo Bag was that it would be made in London by Jas Sehmbi in his London workshop, where the prototypes were made. It was great that it was being manufactured in London by Jas Sehmbi at Jas MB Ltd. However I now understand from their second kickstarter campaign manufacturing now takes place overseas. As I say, disappointing.
The National Trust sell quite a few British made items in National Trust shops at their attractions, including cushions, diaries, calendars, oven gloves, greetings cards, foodstuffs, mugs and more – http://shop.nationaltrust.org.uk
Yas-Ming Ceramics are made in Britain, in their Kent studio and in a small factory in Stoke-on-Trent. Makers of ceramics, mostly animal bits attached to cups and other crockery – http://yas-ming.mysupadupa.com
Dimbleby Ceramics make mugs, cat and dog bowls, jugs, and ceramic hangings. On their website they state “all our products are designed and made in Stoke-on-Trent”. They also say on their front page “100% British made ceramics from start to finish” and on twitter they tweeted “proud to be producing all our ceramics in the UK” in December 2016 – http://www.dimblebyceramics.co.uk
Susan Rose make personalised china (mugs, dishes, trinket boxes, etc.) for the home, school, club or business. All the china is English bone china, produced in Stoke-on -Trent and is personalised by the team at Susan Rose to order – http://susanrose.co.uk
The Old Sun Pottery is a small pottery that was established in Lincolnshire in 1980. It retails online and via the Etsy marketplace. Their mugs, teapots, and kitchenware are (all?) made in their own workshop. Many of their mugs have lovely pictures on them and many can be personalised – http://www.theoldsunpottery.com
Aston Pottery was founded in 1990 and their pottery is designed, manufactured and decorated in Aston, Oxfordshire. They produce a range of kitchen, gift and tableware, including mugs, bowls, teapots, plates, butter dishes, egg cups, jars, spoon rests and utensil pots – http://www.astonpottery.co.uk
Heron Cross Pottery was started in 1876 and continues to produce pottery in the UK in Hines Street, Stoke-on-Trent, England. They make jugs, teapots, chamber pots, butter dishes, toast racks, cheese wedges, salt pigs, egg cups, etc. – http://www.heroncrosspottery.co.uk
Cauldon Ceramics “brown betty” teapots are all British made in Tunstall, Staffordshire, England. These are proper English made “brown betty” teapots and as we all know “brown betty” teapots make the best tea (I suggest you use loose leaf tea for a proper cuppa). As well as the traditional brown teapots, Cauldon Ceramics also make their Cobalt Betty teapots in blue and again, like the brown bettys, these are made in England – http://www.cauldonceramics.co.uk
P&J Ceramics Ltd products are “Made in England” in Newton Abbot, Devon and include homeware and giftware such as Novelty Toilet Brush Holders, 2 pint Jugs, Mugs, Jewellery Holders, Pet Keyrings, Chicken Egg Holders, Cow Creamers, Storage jars and cabinet knobs – http://www.pjceramics.com
Higgs & Crick say on their website “HIGGS & CRICK IS A BRITISH COMPANY THAT PRODUCES THE FINEST FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES AT SELECTED WORKSHOPS AND FACTORIES ACROSS THE UNITED KINGDOM.” They have made for them and sell exclusive glasses and furniture – https://higgsandcrick.com
House of Marbles sell marbles, games, toys, and puzzles. Most products are made in China, however their Teign Valley Glass products are made in Britain. They say on their website “all of our Teign Valley Glass products are made in the UK. Most other products are made in China…” Teign Valley Glass products available at the House of Marbles website include Marbles, Banister Balls (like a huge marble for stair banisters and balconies) , Glass Robins (robin bird-shaped paperweights) and Single Stem Vases. If you search for ‘Teign Valley’ on the House of Marbles website you can filter to just UK Made Teign Valley products. The glassworks was set up in Teignmouth, Devon, England in 1981 to make specialist handmade marbles for House of Marbles and have since diversified into other glassware – https://www.houseofmarbles.com – http://teignvalleyglass.com
Marks and Spencer (M&S) occasionally sell British made mugs. Most items in Marks and Spencer are foreign made these days although their food halls continue to sell lots British made foods.
Fortnum and Mason own brand pottery is usually made in England, for example their 2013 range celebrating Her Majesty’s Coronation.
At least some Harrods own brand china and other items are made in the UK, although many products in Harrods are foreign made.
Character Shop sell Bagpuss mugs, Clangers mugs and various humorous mugs, as well as keep calm and carry on fridge magnets, and coasters made from old records. All the products they sell are British made and very reasonably priced. Their products are available via their website and at Things British – http://www.charactershopextra.co.uk
NotOnTheHighStreet sell some made in Britain mugs (filter by “made in Britain”), but please remember screen printed in the UK is one thing but the mug itself should be made in the UK too.
Harrow and Penny sell a range of sizes in Brown Betty teapots, which they state are made in Staffordshire, England.
Duchy Originals are selling lovely made in England dishwasher and microwave safe mugs to celebrate their 21st anniversary. Available in Waitrose. You might also find a few other British made mugs in Waitrose, although most of their range is made in China.
Cumbria Crystal was founded in 1976 and continues to be made in England. On their website Cumbria Crystal say “Craftsmanship and creativity is at the heart of Cumbria Crystal, which remains one of the last manufacturers of English hand blown and hand cut full lead crystal…Cumbria Crystal is dedicated to retaining and developing the traditional glassmaking skills we use within this unique community of craftsmen and women in Cumbria. We do not produce overseas or use automated production methods to ensure that traditional glassmaking skills remain alive in England. We are committed to working as sustainably and ethically as possible. We work only with British and European partners for all of our supplies and packaging ensuring that our customers receive crystal pieces, which are not only beautiful but have integrity” – http://www.cumbriacrystal.com
Dartington Crystal – http://www.dartington.co.uk – Some of their range continues to be hand crafted in their Devon factory. Ask Dartington Crystal direct if what you are interested in is UK made, or on their website the made in Britain items are labelled as such. The Company owns and markets Caithness Glass paperweights (which are all made in Scotland) and Royal Brierley Crystal (again mostly foreign made; the website clearly labels those pieces that are still made in Britain) brands. They also sell and distribute John Beswick ceramic animal sculptures, which are now foreign made (see below). Most of the products on the Dartington Crystal website are foreign made.
Plowden & Thompson are manufacturers of coloured and scientific glass. They say on their website “Made by Plowden & Thompson, UK. What does that mean? It means an excellent product made by one of the finest producers of industrial glassware in the UK, proudly made in Stourbridge in the West Midlands. With the ability to manufacture all types of glass product, glass tubing, rod, pressed and blown products, talk to us first about your needs” – http://www.plowden-thompson.com
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council provide a list on their website of glass studios and crystal companies in the Stourbridge Glass Quarter and further afield which you may find a useful resource.
James Powell and Sons, also known as Whitefriars Glass, were English glassmakers, leadlighters and stained glass window manufacturers. The firm was purchased in 1981 by Caithness Glass (see above) and was closed down in 1980.
JAJ Pyrex (J.A. Joblings Pyrex) was made in Sunderland from 1922 to 2007. It was made under licence from USA company Corning until 1973 when Corning took control of the Pyrex factory in Sunderland. Sadly Corning closed the factory down in 2007. Corning has now discontinued its production of Pyrex products, but still licenses the Pyrex brand name to other companies and now Pyrex is made in France. The iconic and useful JAJ Pyrex brand, particularly famous for its glass casserole dishes, is unfortunately no more.
Ravenhead Glass (UGB (United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Limited / United Glass Tableware Ltd), founded in 1850 or 1842, were a major producer of glass ware in the UK, but closed down in 2001. Their former glass factory was in St. Helens Lancashire. There is a video of the old factory below and pictures on Facebook. They made many iconic glasses for the pub and catering industry and pretty much every pub in the UK used Ravenhead pint pots, Ravenhead pint glasses and Ravenhead half pint glasses. It’s hard then to see how they could have gone bankrupt, especially because Ravenhead closed down in the days before the smoking ban and the widespread closure of pubs in the UK. In 2003 the Rayware Group, which had bought the Ravenhead site began using the Ravenhead brand name again, as well as the Kilner Jars name which had also belonged to Ravenhead, but sadly Ravenhead glassware is not made in the UK anymore. Most Kilner jars are foreign made too, although some are still made in the UK.
Dema Glass Ltd of Chesterfield were another British glass maker. At one point part of the ill-fated Coloroll Group which collapsed in 1990, they were in business from around 1900-2000. There are pictures of the derelict former glassworks here. There are pictures of some of their glasses here. Dema Glass’s former factory near Lockoford Lane is now site of a Tesco Extra and the Chesterfield F.C.’s new home ground.
Staffordshire Tableware Ltd (Staffordshire Potteries Ltd) was a major producer of mugs, tableware and dinnerware based in Stoke-on-Trent, England. It was formerly the ceramics division of the Coloroll Group. Coloroll went into receivership in 1990 and the ceramics division was subject to a management buyout, being renamed Staffordshire Tableware Ltd. Staffordshire Tableware itself went into receivership on 29 December 2000.
Coloroll was a United Kingdom wallpaper brand. Developed from a family-owned wallpaper company founded in the 1970s, during the 1980s Coloroll Group became a dominant publicly listed home furnishings business which purchased many other companies, and which collapsed in 1990. Some of the residual brands that survived the collapse survive as businesses presently. Coloroll developed a range of wallpaper similar to that of Laura Ashley and encouraged a co-ordinated whole home look to the consumer. During the 1980s the company was expanded through acquisitions. The brands they bought included Alexander Drew Printing (part of a management buyout but closed down in 2007), Burlington Wallcoverings which was later sold to Graham & Brown (they still make wallpaper in the UK, but they appear to have dropped the Burlington Wallcoverings name), Denby Pottery (still going and they still have a factory in the UK, although some Denby products are now foreign made), Edinburgh Crystal (although Edinburgh Crystal survives as a brand name following its takeover by Waterford Wedgwood, all its products are now manufactured abroad. The Caithness Glass arm of the business was purchased by Dartington Crystal and is still trading with paperweights still being hand crafted in Scotland), Royal Winton (Royal Winton Grimwades Limited has now merged with Duchess China Ltd and it appears all pieces are still made in the UK), Staffordshire Tableware (part of a management buyout and now closed down), Biltons (became part of Staffordshire Tableware / Stoke Potteries and sadly both closed down in 1999), Kosset Carpets (the remnants of Kosset Carpets are left in two major carpet producers, Abingdon Flooring and Brintons, Edward Fogarty, duvet/pillow supplier (still going today and still has factories in the UK), and William Barrett Group, which made upholstered furniture, which the receivers closed down in 1990, but was revived but has seemingly since closed down). Upon going bankrupt in 1990 1,500 employees were made redundant but some of the businesses were sold off in management buyouts and some survive today. One claim to fame of the Coloroll company was its design and manufacture of the famous Union Jack carrier bag which, during the “I’m Backing Britain” campaign, sold millions which became a fashion accessory for every shopper in the UK.
Pendelfin was a company specialising in handcrafted and hand-painted stoneware based in Burnley, Lancashire, England, primarily known for their rabbit figurines. Founded in 1953, the factory closed in 2006, with the company being sold to a company called Collectables in Blaydon who moved production to China, who themselves closed down in 2013.
Lilliput Lane was founded in 1982. Sadly the Lilliput Lane factory in Langholm, Scotland is closing down in November 2016 and production will cease. Lilliput Lane was a company known for its extensive range of realistic miniature handmade models of real British cottages and scenes. Formerly based in Penrith, Cumbria, the company moved to Langholm in 2009 after it was taken over by American company Enesco.
Beswick (J. W. Beswick / John Beswick Ltd) was a pottery manufacturer, founded in 1892 in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. In 1969, the business was sold to Doulton & Co. Ltd (Royal Doulton; see below). Under Royal Doulton ownership a more limited range of animal figures continued to be produced in the UK, but by 1989, the Beswick backstamp was dropped in favour of the Royal Doulton / Royal Albert backstamp. The Beswick mark was briefly resurrected for the centenary of the name 1994. The factory closed in 2002 and in 2003 the Gold Street works were demolished and sold off to property developers. Photographs of their extensive factory premises (which had grown over the years to include the adjoining premises of H. M. Willamson and Sons and Thomas Lawrence) prior to to and during demolition can be seen here. The company’s backstamp was a simple printed ‘John Beswick, England’ or variations thereof. Berwick was best known for producing high-quality porcelain figurines such as horses, dogs, cats, farm animals and Beatrix Potter and Disney characters The brand name John Beswick was sold in 2004, firstly to UKI Ceramics who produced abroad until 2011 and now the brand name is now owned by Dartington Crystal (see above), who continue to produce animal figurines, but these are now made aboard.
Dudson – manufacture and supply tableware to the hospitality industry – manufactured in Stoke-on-Trent, England and in France.
100% of Dudson ceramics are made in England, according to their website (25.7.13). They have 2 factories situated in the towns of Burslem and Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Back in 2009 though Dudson purchased French ceramics company Sarreguemines Vaisselle, so they have factories in the UK and France now, and they bought the flatware division of US company Myco Tableware in 2007. As far as I can tell the French made ceramics are being marketed as Dudson’s Sarreguemines Tableware (the Dudson value range). The French factory is referred to as Dudson Digoin and is situated in Digoin, near Lyons. Myco by Dudson cutlery is foreign made.
100% of Dudson ceramics are therefore not made in the UK, regardless of what it says on their website. Additionally, as well as their own made ceramics, they also sell other foreign made ceramics and cutlery.
Check what you are buying from Dudson really is UK made before purchasing.
London showroom, museum in Stoke, factory outlet shop (open to the public) in Stoke.
Dudson ceramic products are glazed with ThermECO, a glaze from Endeka Ceramics Ltd. http://www.endekaceramics.com/regions/europe/uk
Trade only. Made in England ranges, as stated on the Dudson website are – Fine China, Evolution, Finest Vitrified Tableware and Dartington Crystal (made by Dartington Crystal not Dudson; not all made in the UK). Within these English made ranges there is a wide variety of quality, durable products. Everything else Dudson sell is foreign made.
I don’t know much about Bristol Blue Glass, but it can be found at these places (all manufacturing in the UK I understand):
Stoke Art Pottery is a website selling made in the UK pottery. All the items on their website are designed and totally produced in the UK, as per a twitter message I had from the company on 22 May 2017. They sell “Hand Painted Pottery Produced In UK.” They are based in Stoke on Trent and some items on their website are exclusive to Stoke Art Pottery. Stockists for:
- Anita Harris Art Pottery – vases, animal figurines – see below.
- Alan Clarke Ceramic Art – vases – now retired and no longer made – previously Alan Clarke was a designer for Poole Pottery.
- Bairstow Pottery Collectables – Established in 1936 or 1938, the name ‘Bairstow Manor Pottery’ originated in 1979. They manufacture reproduction Staffordshire dogs and Toby Jugs, many politically themed, such as their Winston Churchill character jugs and the modern British Prime Minster Series of Toby Jugs, together with character jugs portraying classic film stars and others. They don’t seem to have a website of their own. Bairstow Manor Pottery manufacture for Carlton Ware (see below) and Toby Inns. All their products are produced in Stoke on Trent.
- Burslem Pottery – stoneware vases and grotesque birds – see below.
- Moorcroft – exclusive vases, pin dishes, lamp-bases and jars – see below.
- Carlton Ware – Carlton Ware was a pottery manufacturer based in Stoke-on-Trent, known for its tableware, often with highly decorated leaves or fruit, and the ceramic toucans it made as promotional items for Guinness and hand-painted domestic pottery in art deco styles. The company went bankrupt in 1992. The brand was resurrected in 1997 and produced novelty items aimed at the collectors’ market. Today they seem to sell painted vases and these are probably made for them by Bairstow Pottery Collectables – see above – they don’t seem to have a website of their own.
- Carters of Suffolk – novelty teapots made in their factory in suffolk, UK – see above.
- Emma Bailey Ceramics – see below
- Heron Fine China – jugs, teapots, chamber pots, butter dishes, toast racks, cheese wedges, salt pigs, egg cups, etc – see above.
- Kevin Francis Ceramics and Peggy Davies Ceramics – figurines and vases – see below.
- Hudson & Middleton – fine bone china mugs. They also make teapots, cups and saucers, plates, bowls, jugs, thimbles, trinket boxes, etc – see above – sadly now closed down.
- Lise B Moorcroft – exclusive vases – see below.
- Lorna Bailey – LJB Ceramics / Lorna Bailey Artware closed in 2008. Some Lorna Bailey Artware is now produced by her father, Lionel Bailey, under licence, according to the Stoke Art Pottery website, but there does not seem to be a website associated with this. A few second hand Lorna Bailey pieces are available on the Stoke Art Pottery website.
- Lucy Goodwin Designs – vases are made for her, but I am not sure by whom but seemingly in Stoke on Trent and then Lucy Goodwin decorates them. She has a Facebook page but it hasn’t been updated since 2015 and her website does not work. Some of her pieces are available on the Stoke Art Pottery website.
- Peter and Marie Graves – hand painted vases and mugs – see below
- Moorland Pottery – Mugs and they used to make vases and Staffordshire dogs and Art Deco ware, some of which may be available second hand on the Stoke Art Pottery website – see below.
- Tony Cartlidge Ceramic Art hand painted vases – These are described on the Stoke Art Pottery website as “All Hand Made, Designed and Hand Painted. In Stoke on Trent Staffordshire, England.” The maker does not seem to have their own website.
- Staffordshire Creamware – This seems to be a small company based at the The Old Post Office, Wedgwood Street, Burslem, Stoke-On-Trent. Stoke Art Pottery did not have any of their products for sale (as of 12 June 2017) and I have been unable to find more information on this company who do not seem to have a website of their own.
Moorland Pottery – Established in 1986 – They make mugs and they used to make vases and Staffordshire dogs and Art Deco ware, some of which may be available second hand on the Stoke Art Pottery website, as well as the mugs being available at Stoke Art Pottery. The company are based at the Chelsea Works, 72 Moorland Road, Burslem, Stoke on Trent which it appears they have had extensively refurbished. At different times the site has been occupied by various companies, including Moorland Pottery’s immediate predecessor Studio Szeiler Ltd and for a short while in the 1930s Susie Cooper Pottery. Studio Szeiler produced tableware and giftware but specialised in animal figures. The business was apparently given to Jonathan Plant and Adrian Tinsley who then started Moorland Pottery. Today the company sell earthenware mugs featuring well known sayings from different regions of the UK and a range of related accessories like aprons and t-shirts which are presumably foreign made, although possibly their mugs and pottery decorations are made in England. Absolutely no information is given about country of origin on their website. Stoke Art Pottery say Moorland mugs are produced in the UK, but I don’t know if that just means decorated in the UK. Their mugs seem to carry the words ‘hand made in England‘ but again that could just mean hand decorated in England. One website I found seems to show clay being used to make their mugs. Check where the actual mugs are made before buying – http://www.moorlandpottery.co.uk
Peter and Marie Graves Freehand Ceramic Artists do freehand paintings on fine bone China and porcelain. The Stoke Art Pottery website has a selection of vases by Peter and Marie Graves (see above) and their products are available on their own website. They say their products are “Made in Stoke-on-Trent, freehand painted in Cumbria”. They do not say who makes the vases and mugs they sell. Peter and Marie Graves also do work for Elliot Hall Enamels (see below) and Marie Graves does work for Carlton Ware too (see above) – http://peterandmariegraves.com
“Peggy Davies Ceramics is the UKs leading manufacturer of prestige ceramic collectable figurines, vases and collectable memorabilia including the Home of Kevin Francis Ceramics. Everything is Hand-made and Hand-decorated at our factory in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent” according to their website. Their website front page also carries a little Union Flag symbol and the words ‘Made in Great Britain’. Established in 1981 – http://www.peggydavies.com
Emma Bailey Ceramics have a little Union Flag emblem on the website front page saying “Designed & Made in Britain”. They are based at the Middleport Pottery, which also contains the Burleigh factory, in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. Vases, mugs, teapots, cups and saucers, and cake stands all hand cast and individually hand decorated in Stoke on Trent – http://www.emmabaileyceramics.co.uk
Burslem Pottery was established in 2006 producing Stoneware Vases and Grotesque Birds using the moulds of Cobridge Stoneware which had been closed down in 2005. Cobridge Stoneware had been started by Moorcroft (see below) in 1998. “Burslem Pottery produces hand-crafted stoneware ceramics in Stoke on Trent” according to their website – https://www.burslempottery.com
Moorcroft (W. Moorcroft Ltd, trading as Moorcroft), founded in 1913, produce exclusive vases, pin dishes, lamp-bases and jars. On the front page of their website it says “designed and made entirely in the UK”. Moorcroft also launched Cobridge Stoneware in 1998 and closed it in 2005 (see its successor Burslem Pottery above). Kingsley Enamels Limited was squirted by Moorcroft in 1998 and closed by them in 2006 – https://www.moorcroft.com
Lise B Moorcroft, a daughter of the Moorcroft family (see Moorcroft above), produces her own exclusive vases, which appear to be made in the UK by Lise from looking at her website although it does not explicitly state they are UK made so I advise checking country of origin before buying – http://lisebmoorcroftceramics.co.uk
One of my followers on Twitter, Andrew Pentland is a studio potter and seems to make everything himself, producing beautiful, functional wood fired tableware for everyday use. I have not seen anything from Andrew Pentland Ceramics, except on the net, and I have no idea of price. Stockists are listed on his website – http://www.andrewpentland.co.uk
BIG TOMATO COMPANY / UNITE & TYPE
Big Tomato launched in 1999 selling a squirty plastic tomato for ketchup and have since then, in June 2009, opened a ceramics factory in the heart of the Staffordshire Potteries; Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. All their pottery is produced in Stoke-on-Trent and some can be customised with your own words printed on them.
Unite and Type by the same company also sells pottery, produced in the Big Tomato factory, which again can be personalised. They have a shop in London opening in August 2013 and they offer courses in letterpress printing.
Hudson and Middleton was founded in 1870 or possibly 1875 and still operates from the historic Sutherland Works in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, England. The company was formed from a joining of William Hudson (1889-1941) and J.H. Middleton (1889-1941) and based at the Sutherland Works.
You can find a short history of Hudson and Middleton at: http://www.figurines-sculpture.com/staffordshire-china.html
Trade names used in the past by Hudson and Middleton include Delphine, Sutherland and H&M.
The company now specialises in producing beautiful fine bone china mugs. They also make teapots, cups and saucers, plates, bowls, jugs, thimbles, trinket boxes and the like. In patterned or pure white. They also offer a bespoke service.
All their products are made in England. Available online, in shops and on the Hudson and Middleton website.
Hudson and Middleton went bankrupt in 2009 after its sister company Jesse Shirley & Son was hit by a drop in sales following the collapse of Wedgwood. Jesse Shirley & Son, which was the world’s oldest producer of bone ash, owned Hudson and Middleton and was subsequently rescued. In 2011 they went bankrupt again, with Hudson and Middleton again surviving although Jesse Shirley & Son seems to have gone. In 2016 they went bankrupt again, this time being purchased by a company called BID Group. As of 11 June 2017 the Hudson and Middleton website is no longer working and their Facebook was last updated in April 2017. Their twitter sadly told us why dated 3 June 2017 – “It is with sadness that Hudson and Midddleton is closing. Nobody wanted to buy the assets and we had no choice”. What a shame. Hudson & Middleton is one of the oldest potteries in the United Kingdom founded in 1875.
Fenella Smith – http://www.fenellasmith.com – another company I have come across on the net – sell made in England ceramic tableware – Animal themed mugs and jugs, heart themed jugs and mugs, children themed jugs and mugs, and dog bowls, plus cooking aprons, tea towels, and cushions – all made in the UK.
Weston Mill Pottery – http://www.wmpot.co.uk – is another company I have stumbled across on the net. Made in Nottinghamshire, England. Wine racks, flower pots, bird feeders, wine coolers, ornaments, lanterns, bowls, utensil holders, salt pigs, mortar and pestles, and so on. Ready made or bespoke. Retail or trade.
Kentmere Pottery – I came across this company on the internet and I do not know much except what is on the site – http://clients.thisisthelakedistrict.co.uk/kentmerepottery/home.html – Handmade ceramics by Gordon Fox – Made in Cumbria – Lamps, tableware, individual pieces, commemorative items and commissions – Egg cups, lamps, jugs, planters, bowls, dishes, napkin rings, figurines, decorated boxes, etc.
Gurgle Jugs – Sadly Dartmouth Pottery (who made jam pots for the Elsenham Jam Company, Toby Jugs, tankards, decorative ashtrays and so on) closed in 2002, taking with it Honiton Pottery which it had purchased, but there are some survivors. There is now a Honiton Pottery Shop and Milkshake Bar in Honiton in Devon where they still have some remaining Honiton pottery for sale and you can have a go at making pottery. Dartmouth Pottery were most famous for their gurgling fish jugs (or glug glug jugs), the moulds to which were purchased by Wade Ceramics (see below). Gluggle Ltd. has the exclusive right to sell and market these jugs in the UK on behalf of Wade Ceramics (who now make these gurgle jugs in Stoke on Trent or under contract to manufacturers abroad), so they are once more available in the UK. You will have to ask whether the particular gurgle jug you want is made in the UK, because whilst some are made in Stoke some are made abroad.
Wade Ceramics (Wade Allied Holdings Limited), established in 1810, design and produce earthenware and porcelain products – wholesale – They make the gurgle jugs mentioned above in the UK and abroad – As well as these, they make porcelain flagons for the spirits industry mainly Chivas, Bells, Tullamore Dew and Ballantines (these are all produced in the UK) and promotional porcelain goods; “Whimsie” miniatures; electrical insulators for the white goods industry; collectable figurines under the banner of Wade International Collectors Club; porcelain formers for the rubber & P.V.C dipping industries; vitrified products for the Hotelware industry; and the Wade Dignity range which is designed to help individuals with disabilities with eating and drinking, but sadly is made in Thailand. Wade also owns Allied Insulators, supplying electrical transmission and distribution insulators for the National Grid and Regional Electricity Companies throughout the UK. Wade products are made in the UK and also abroad, so you will want to check that what you are getting is UK made.
Dunoon mugs – http://www.dunoonmugs.co.uk – Ideal gifts in fine bone China – Mugs, teapots, teacups and saucers, breakfast cups and saucers – Some, but not all so please check before buying, Dunoon mugs are made in the UK. They have a factory in Staffordshire where they also have a shop, another shop in Dunoon in Scotland and are available online at Temptation Gifts.
Royal Stafford Tableware is made in Stoke on Trent, England – http://www.royalstafford.co.uk. They have a factory shop, and a café where you can create your own unique and colourful piece of tableware or giftware, and you can buy online. Royal Stafford creates both in-house collections of ceramic tableware and bespoke ranges for clients both nationally and internationally. There is an interesting article about Royal Stafford on makeitbritish.co.uk.
Emma Bridgewater – Hand-decorated pottery made from warm, cream-coloured earthenware (which is a quintessential Staffordshire product) in their own factory in Stoke-on-Trent, England. Mugs, plates, bowls, jugs, cups and saucers, teapots, butter dishes, dishes, cookware, storage jars, cake stands, candle holders, hens on nests, trophies, vases, etc. all made in the UK. Plus cushions, bath and body beauty products, home fragrances, etc. made in the UK. They say on their website “All our pottery is made from cream-coloured earthenware – a traditional Staffordshire product which we make in our own factory in Stoke-on-Trent, the home of British pottery.” They also sell some foreign made items such as their trays, towels, tins, chopping boards, enamel products, melamine products, nightwear, radios, stationery products, etc. Country of origin is clearly stated on their website. Lovely products but check country of origin before buying, as always – http://www.emmabridgewater.co.uk
Welsh Royal Crystal – http://www.welshroyalcrystal.co.uk – hand blown glassware made in Wales.
Duchess China – British manufactured quality English fine bone china tableware, established in 1888 – appears to all be made in Stoke-on-Trent, England and is of excellent quality – backstamped and non backstamped – trade (including corporate badging) and retail – http://www.duchess-china.co.uk
Royal Winton (Grimwades Limited) has now merged with Duchess China Ltd. It appears all pieces are still made in the UK. The Royal Winton brand and patterns have been reintroduced by Duchess China Ltd on “Fine Bone China”. Royal Winton Chintz was traditionally manufactured on Earthernware for which the Grimwades name which also dates back to 1885 was most famous. At one point Royal Winton were part of the ill-fated Coloroll Group which collapsed in 1990
Tain Pottery in the north of Scotland make and hand paint ceramics. They also do an exclusive range for Knockando Mill.
Steelite International (wholesale)
Established in 1983, Steelite International is a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of tabletop ranges for the international hospitality industry, as well as being a catering company. The company’s core chinaware products are manufactured at its factory in Stoke-on-Trent. They supply exclusively for the hospitality and catering industry.
Surrey Ceramics, Grayshott Pottery and Dartington Pottery
All owned by Surrey Ceramics (Surrey Ceramic Company Limited) of Surrey, England. Made in England. You can tour the factory if you visit on a weekday.
Grayshott Pottery, makers of English stoneware since 1956.
Established in 1775, Aynsley manufacture in Longton, Staffordshire, England – fine bone china tableware and tea ware with luxurious decoration and hand gilding in gold and platinum. In May 1997, Aynsley China was acquired by The Belleek Pottery Group. Aynsley’s outsourced lines, including casual dining sets, nursery goods and gifts have been foreign made since then. Sadly the company closed its Sutherland Road factory in Longton in December 2014 and all production will now be abroad. The Belleek Pottery Group also own Galway Crystal, a glass maker based in Southern Ireland (no information about country of origin is given on their website, so Galway Crystal is probably not made in Southern Ireland anymore).
Royal Crown Derby
Royal Crown Derby manufactures high quality English Fine Bone China at its factory in Derby, England. The present factory was established in 1878 but the business traces its origins to the original factory which was set up in about 1750. Queen Victoria granted permission to include the title “Royal” in the company name in 1890. Steelite International bought Royal Crown Derby in December 2012 and intend that production will continue in the Midlands.
Crown Winsor – Following the voluntary liquidation of Shaw and Copestake in 1982, that pottery was run by a workers co-operative trading under the name of Longton Ceramics. Eighteen months later the enterprise was fully taken over by United Co-operative Society and run under the name of Crown Winsor. The Co-operative society already owned the Windsor Pottery works and the Crown Clarence Pottery works and so the name “Crown Winsor” came into being. In 1989 Crown Winsor closed and the site was subsequently taken by Portmeirion Potteries Ltd.
Royal Albert, Wedgwood, and Royal Doulton
Royal Doulton (the Royal Doulton Lambeth factory closed in 1956 and all operations were moved to the Pinder, Bourne & Co factory in Nile Street, Burslem, Staffordshire which the company had purchased in 1882; the Nile Street factory was closed in 2005; most production is now in Indonesia) owns Royal Albert (the last Royal Albert factory was closed in 1998 and in 2002 UK production of Royal Albert ceased entirely) Waterford Crystal (originally made in the Republic of Ireland; mostly now made in Eastern Europe although they retain some production in Southern Ireland), Mintons (the Mintons factory was closed in 1991, and all the buildings were subsequently destroyed except for the tile making building) and Wedgewood (high end pieces are still made at their factory in Barlaston where the company had moved to in the late 1930s / early 1940s; most products are now foreign made). Their products are made in the UK, in Indonesia and elsewhere. The company is now called the WWRD (Wedgwood, Waterford Crystal, Royal Doulton) Group and is owned by owned by KPS Capital Partners, a private equity company based in New York City, USA. Doulton has shifted most of their production to the Far East and only a few high-end pieces are now produced in the UK at their Barlaston factory near Stoke-on-Trent. Their is a factory visitor centre, shop and museum – http://wwrd.com
The below video shows pottery being hand decorated in a Wedgwood factory in 1966. These days most production is abroad. The stylish workers and their skill, as beautifully narrated in a clear crisp voice with the background ‘groovy’ jazz, is that of a bygone age.
Edinburgh Crystal went bankrupt in 2006 leading to the closure of its factory (and visitor centre) in Penicuik, near Edinburgh. Although Edinburgh Crystal survives as a brand name following its takeover by Waterford Wedgwood, all its products are now manufactured abroad. Its two subsidiaries, the Caithness Glass Company Ltd and Selkirk Glass Ltd, continued to trade for a while but both went into administration later in 2006. Selkirk Glass Ltd ceased trading altogether. The Caithness Glass arm of the business was purchased by Dartington Crystal and is still trading with paperweights still being hand crafted in Scotland (see the information on Dartington Crystal further up this page). At one point Edinburgh Crystal was part of the ill-fated Coloroll Group which collapsed in 1990
Coalport is also part of the Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton Group and is possibly now made abroad – http://www.coalport.co.uk/
Mason’s is also part of the Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton Group. The Mason’s name is still possibly used, but if so it is now made abroad.
J & G Meakin was also subsumed into the Wedgwood Group, but production under the J & G Meakin name seems to have ceased. J & G Meakin had close family and corporate affiliations to the potteries Johnson Brothers (see below), and Alfred Meakin Ltd (see below). J & G Meakin had been taken over by the Wedgwood Group in 1970. In 2000 production under the J&G Meakin name ceased and their long-established works, Eagle Pottery, was then used for the production of Johnson Bros pottery (see below). Eagle Pottery closed in 2004 when production was transferred abroad; the works were demolished in 2005.
W. R. Midwinter of Burslem, founded in about 1910, was subsumed into J & G Meakin in 1968 (possibly under the combined names of Meakin & Midwinter (Holdings) Ltd or as British Tableware Ltd) and hence Wedgwood in 1970 (see J & G Meakin above). W. R. Midwinter Ltd continued as a semi-autonomous unit within the Wedgwood Group until Wedgwood closed the business in 1987. Some products were marketed under the ‘Porcelon’, ‘Stylecraft’ and ‘Stonehenge’ trade names. Over the years W. R. Midwinter had also acquired the Hadderidge Pottery, Burslem, A. J. Wilkinson Ltd and Newport Pottery Co. Ltd.
Johnson Brothers (Johnson Bros) was a British tableware manufacturer and exporter and was noted for its early introduction of “semi-porcelain” tableware. Some of its designs, “Eternal Beau”, “Dawn”, “Old Britain Castles” and “Historic America”, achieved widespread popularity and are still collected today. Since 1968 it has operated as a part of the Wedgwood Group. In 2000 Johnson’s production moved to the J. & G. Meakin Eagle Pottery works (see above). In 2003, the manufacturing of Johnson Brothers products in Britain ceased, and was transferred to China.
Stuart Crystal, know for its stemware, crystal decanters, footed bowls, salt, pepper and sugar containers, was founded in 1880s. The firm was purchased by the Waterford Wedgwood company in 1995 and closed down in 2001.
Portmeirion make some of their beautiful pottery in the UK. It is named after the lovely village of Portmeirion in north Wales where The Prisoner was filmed. It is made in both Wales and England. They also own Spode, Royal Worcester and Pimpernel (trays, coasters, etc. – no longer made in the UK, see below), which are manufactured in the same factories. in 2008 Royal Worcester and Spode were taken into administration and it was in 2009 that the Royal Worcester name was purchased by Portmeirion Pottery and the Severn Street factory site and shops (which were not acquired by Portmeirion) were closed in the same year. A timeline of the history of the Royal Worcester works can be found here, including details of the various firms they took over such as Grainger and the Worcester Royal Porcelain Co. Ltd which evolved into Royal Worcester. It seems that Chamberlain (see above) and Grainger had an influence on the evolution of Royal Worcester, and in 1838 Chamberlain became part of Royal Worcester (or vice versa). Not all Portmeirion is made in the UK, so please check before buying. You’ll need to ask where a product you are interested in is made, as country of origin information is not given on Portmeirion websites.
http://www.pimpernelinternational.com – http://www.pimpernelinternational.co.uk – It appears Pimpernel no longer manufacture in the UK. Their co.uk website is fairly clear about this telling us that products are foreign made (“This item is manufactured outside of the UK to the stringent quality and craftsmanship that Portmeirion Group is known for”) although their .com site gives no such information. Their placemats and coaters are now foreign made, their trays are now foreign made, their textiles (over mitts, teas cosies, etc) are foreign made and even the mugs they sell are foreign made. Disappointing because Pimpernel used to make top quality coasters like those pictured below in the UK.
Portmeirion Group also brought Wax Lyrical candle makers in 2016. Wax Lyrical started out in 1980 as an importer of candles, set up their own factory in Lindal-in-Furness in Cumbrian in the 1990s. They became American owned in 1998 and again became mostly an importer. In 2006, on the verge of bankruptcy they were taken over and they again began to focus on ‘Made In Britain’. Wax Lyrical are now the UK’s largest manufacturer of home fragrance. They create their our own ranges that are sold in high quality stores and they also produce home fragrance for some of the world’s leading luxury brands. In May 2016 the Portmeirion Group purchased the company. On their website they say “We are really proud of our Made In Britain status and of our ability to develop, manufacture and deliver world-class products from our base in the Lakes. Instead of importing products from overseas, we now export to over 40 countries around the world. We develop everything in-house, and we are confident that our products are the best in the marketplace. We work with Europe’s top perfume houses to develop our fragrances…” They sell candles and reed diffusers. By no means is everything they sell made in England but you can filter to made in England products on their website and they do sell a good range of British made candles – https://www.wax-lyrical.com
You should be able to find British made candles if you shop around. You might like to note that Prices candles are now foreign made.
Emma Mackintosh glass glassware is made in the Lake District, England. On their website they say “Made in the Lake District. In a small studio near the village of Hawkshead, looking out on fields and trees, with a small beck and lots of moss and ferns” – http://www.aflamewithdesire.co.uk
Hammersley and Co (more information here) were founded in 1887 and made lovely fine bone china. In 1970 Hammersley was bought by Carborundum who had already purchased W. T. Copeland / Spode in 1966. In 1976 the companies merged with Royal Worcester to become Royal Worcester Spode. The Hammersley trade name was taken over by Palissy Pottery Ltd, part of the group, in 1982 and the Hammersley’s Works closed in that year. In December 1988 the use of the Hammersley and Palissy trade names ceased and in 1989 Palissy closed and the factory was demolished. The Palissy Company and the Hammersley trade name were sold to Aynsley China in 1989. As far as I know neither name is now used. Royal Worcester and Spode are now owned by Portmeirion.
Denby manufacture quality China and tableware in England. According to their website “Denby Stoneware is handmade in England by our skilled craftsmen and that’s something we’ll always be rather proud of!”. Denby also own Burleigh Pottery, Hartley Greens and Poole Pottery. Warning – not all Denby is made in the UK, so please check before buying. At one point part of the ill-fated Coloroll Group which collapsed in 1990.
Burleigh (Burgess & Leigh) was established in 1851. Beautiful ceramics all handmade in England (Stoke-on-Trent). Famous for their Blue and White China! Factory shop. In their FAQs Burleigh say “we make from clay to cup a 100% pure English product. Our entire process is carried out at our factory in Stoke-on-Trent. Some of our accessories are made outside the UK such as our fabrics and paper napkins. It is our policy to use British whenever we can”. Burleighware continues to be manufactured at the Middleport Pottery, which is now owned (since 2011) and was regenerated by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust. The site is also home to other companies (such as Francis and Jellyman, and Emma Bailey – see below), and has a visitor centre, community projects and a cafe. Approximately half of Middleport Pottery in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent is leased back to Burgess & Leigh for pottery production. At Middleport they have a factory shop selling a small selection of Poole Pottery, a large array of Burleigh, and a range of Leedsware – https://www.burleigh.co.uk
Hartley Greens and Co. (Leeds Pottery) was established 1781. All their pottery is manufactured in Staffordshire. Famous for their pierced white “Leedsware“. Factory shop. According to the Denby website “Today Hartley Greens & Co Leeds Pottery is still renowned for it’s beautiful cream table and giftware and the intricate pierced decoration that is still completely done by hand, here in England” – http://www.hartleygreens.co.uk – http://www.leeds-pottery.co.uk
Poole Pottery is still made in the UK and now has two locations – Poole and Stoke-on-Trent. They have a factory shop at Poole in Dorset. The Poole brand is made in Middleport the Burgess and Leigh factory and unique one off studio pieces are hand thrown and decorated in Poole at their factory shop. The company are currently (as of October 2017) considering closing the Poole factory shop. Update – the Poole Pottery workshop in Poole closed on 15 October 2017; the pottery is still being made in Middleport. In 2012 Poole Pottery became part Burgess & Leigh Ltd, which is part of the Denby group. As well as Poole pottery, Burgess & Leigh also includes Burleigh pottery. In 2011 the Princes Regeneration Trust purchased Middleport pottery so although these days they are tenants of the building, they to continue making ceramics there. According to the Poole Pottery website “Poole Pottery is still all made in the UK, all the items online are manufactured in Middleport pottery in Stoke-On-Trent, some items that are available to purchase at the Poole on the Quay studio and shop are made on site in the town of Poole itself, these items are made in very small numbers and are usually complete one offs” – http://www.poolepottery.co.uk
Francis and Jellyman was founded around 2014. Of their products they say “”Our fine bone china is 100% manufactured in England.” and as far as I can gather they manufacture themselves at their Stoke-on-Trent workshop at Middleport Pottery. Middle port Pottery is home to Burleigh (see above) and is now owned by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust and has a visitor centre. Francis and Jellyman china is available online and you can visit them at Middleport Pottery – http://www.francisandjellyman.co.uk
The majority of Churchill products are manufactured and stocked in Stoke-on-Trent. The quality of Churchill products is excellent. Mostly you see Churchill products being used by the hospitality industry. I use Churchill china at home. They use this tagline –
British Manufacturing at its best.
Sadly though not all Churchill China is made in the UK, so please check before buying.
The Churchill Factory Shop, located off the A500, Reginald Mitchell Way, remains open to the public – Churchill Factory Shop, Marlborough Way, High Street, Tunstall, Stoke on Trent, ST6 5NZ – +44 1782 525213 / +44 1782 525203.
Churchill also own the Queens and James Sadler and Sons (famous for their brown teapots) names, but I am unsure if either of these brands are still used and if so if they are still made in Britain. The Jamie Oliver range, made by Queens, is foreign made.
Churchill acquired Alfred Meakin (Myott-Meakin) in 1991 but production under the Meakin name seems to have ceased.
Churchill also do an assisted living range of plates, mugs, cups and saucers designed to help individuals with disabilities with eating and drinking, but I am not sure if this range is made in the UK.
I found an enamel mug on notonthehighstreet which is hand decorated in the UK. However, the mug itself is foreign made. English Heritage sell an enamel mug that they state is “Made in the UK” but I suspect it is just decorated in the UK and the mug itself is foreign made. Note too that Falcon enamelware is not made in the UK. Utility enamel mugs are made in Europe not the UK. Are there any enamel mugs that are made in the UK does anyone know?
Thanks to Dorian for the information, I am pleased to say that there is an enamel mug that is still made in Britain. On the Trickett ENGLAND site, bundled together (“emergency brew kit”) with some other micelaneous items an enamel mug that is made in UK. It’s made specially for Trickett by a manufacturer in Sheffield and is marked “made in the UK” on the base – http://trickett-england.co.uk
Trickett products centre around sport, clothes and food and are made in the UK or Canada or the USA. As well as their “emergency brew kit” with its made in England enamel mug they sell made in the UK t-shirts, rugby shirts, slippers, key ring, and a belt.
Chart Lane Enamels (formerly Chart Designs) hand-make jewellery and gifts using vitreous enamel on copper and silver in Kent, England, such as specs clips and fridge magnets – http://www.chartlaneenamels.co.uk
Bilston in Staffordshire is famous for hand-decorated enamel boxes. Battersea in London is also connected with hand-decorated enamel boxes. Few are made today, but these firms seem to still be making Bilston enamels in the UK:
Halcyon Days, founded in 1950 originally as an antiques shop, is a retailer of luxury goods including enamel products and fine bone china. They hold all 3 Royal Warrants and previously held a Royal Warrant for the late Queen Mother. In 1970 they established a collaboration with enamel manufacturer Bilston and Battersea Enamels, who subsequently closed down in 2010 after Halcyon Days set up its own enamel factory in the West Midlands. They had a shop in Brook Street in London for many years but now operate a shop in the Royal Exchange in the City of London from 2016. The company was founded by Susan Benjamin. The craft of enameling on copper has been carried out in England since the 1740s. Halcyon Days enamel boxes and enamel bangles could be British made. Other items they sell like watches and probably their tea towels are foreign made. Little or no information is given about country of origin on their website, although they do tell us “All our fine bone china pieces are crafted and decorated exclusively for us in Stoke-on-Trent…”. Given the lack of country of origin information please check where anything you buy from Halcyon Days, even if an enamel product or China, is made, as much of what they sell may be foreign made. I am told that Halcyon Days makes ALL its fine bone china from scratch in their own factory in Stoke-on-Trent and ALL their enamels are made in their enamelling factory in Strawberry, Kent. They also own Caverswall China (see below) – https://www.halcyondays.co.uk
“Caverswall China Company has its factory and manufacturing today” in Stoke-on-Trent according to their website. The company was founded in 1973 and purchased by Halcyon Days (see above) in 2015. They also say on their website “Each piece of our English fine bone china has been crafted, from clay to finished product, by hand in our Stoke-on-Trent factory.” Fine bone china tableware and teaware – http://www.caverswallchina.com
“F.R. Gray & Sons Ltd Aldridge Fine Bone China Made in England” is a backstamp I have seen on a mug, like that below, but I can’t find any information on the web about this company and I assume they have gone, although there is firm based near Aldridge is Staffordshire called ‘Grays of Shenstone Ltd‘ (unlikely to be the same firm as I can’t find any reference on their website to them manufacturing or having anything manufactured in England, or to them having been based in Aldridge at any time).
Newhall of Hanley Staffs was an earthenware manufacturer at the New Hall works founded in 1899 and famous for their toilet sets and jugs and later their dinner and hotel wares. The company took over the businesses of Plant and Gilmore and New Pearl Pottery over the years. The New Hall Pottery Co. ceased trading in 1956 and the moulds for the company’s hotelware were acquired by the Royal Art Pottery, a member of the Colclough Group (makers of fine bone china for the every day market). In 1948, Colclough China Limited took over Booths and Adderley and then in the early 1950’s merged with the Ridgeway Company. Colclough and Ridgeway became part of the Royal Doulton Group in the early 1970’s. However, in 1996, Colclough production discontinued and manufacture ceased. Formerly two companies Ridgways (Bedford Works) Ltd and Adderlys Ltd were renamed “Ridgway & Adderley Ltd” from 1952. From 1955 they merged with Booths & Colclough’s Ltd as “Ridgway, Adderley, Booths & Colcloughs Ltd” and then renamed Ridgway Potteries Ltd later in 1955. There is another company called Adderley Ceramics still in existence and still manufacturing in England today, see below.
Adderley Ceramics of Stoke-on-Trent (which appears to be a different company to former company Adderley mentioned above) has its own factory known as Adderley Works. Adderley Ceramics were previously called Lane End Pottery and founded in around 2002. Their website has a little Union Flag surrounded by the words “Made in the UK” logo. They make traditional Brown Betty Teapots in a variety of sizes from 2-cup upward and matching ‘Betty’ accessories such as mugs and tea tidies, in traditional brown and cobalt blue. They say their “teapot shape was designed from an original Brown Betty found in a garden shed in the UK, dating back to World War 2” and that they source their raw materials from the UK. They also tell us on their website that “Succeeding generations of Englishmen have proved that Brown Betty teapots make the best pot of tea in the world! The shape of the pot causes the tea leaves to be gently swirled around as the boiling water is added, thus producing an exquisite infusion. The Red Terracotta Clay with its Rockingham Glaze, coddles the brew and gives the perfect cup of tea. These teapots also keep the water hotter for longer.” The company are also re-introducing a range of made in England fine bone china and are currently producing three designs of fine bone china mugs. All their products are made in England. They do not sell their products directly from their website but they can be found in shops and on the internet, for example on eBay. https://adderleyceramics.co.uk
TAMS was a prolific manufacturer of things like mugs from 1864 until final bankruptcy in 2006, producing top quality made in England items. It was one of the biggest mug manufacturers in the world and a major employer in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent (Longton is a southern district of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, one of the six towns of the Potteries which formed the City of Stoke-on-Trent in 1910). Many everyday use mugs were printed on the base with the words “TAMS Made in England”.
Nelson Ware was a business which was built on the site of a previous works founded in 1758.
Elijah Cotton opened a new factory ‘Nelson Pottery’ (1885) and also took over ‘The Victoria Works’ – both in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. Nelson Ware and Lord Nelson Pottery was a trade name used by Elijah Cotton Ltd (E Cotton). They made wonderful products up until 1981 when it seems they closed down.
Melamine tableware (plates, bowls, cups; that sort of thing) seems to have gone out of fashion, in the UK at least (it remains popular in some countries such as Pakistan). Melamine tableware has the advantage of being very durable, but melamine cups get stained by tea and coffee (as does any plastic really) and I don’t think Melamine is dishwasher or microwave safe (although some modern plastics are). Melamine was popular in the 50s and 60s. More information about Melamine tableware can be found here. Gaydon Melmex melamine tableware was a big British made brand, made by British Industrial Plastics (BIP). British Industrial Plastics (BIP) are still going today, although they no longer use the Gaydon brand to sell their own Melamine tableware, they do still make for others. Another big British made brand was Melaware, but I don’t know who made this, perhaps it was manufactured by BIP too but the brand has now gone. Melamine is made from Melamine Formaldehyde. No-one seems to make Melamine plates and cups and so on in the UK these days, although a few companies still make Melamine trays and tablemats and so forth (click here for British made trays and placemats).
Kernewek of Goonhavern, Cornwall. There is not such about this firm on the internet (or about Fosters of Redruth which was apparently set up by the Foster brothers, Michael and Reg, possibly in the 1960’s, with Reg Foster then going his own way and setting up Kernewek pottery). Nice stuff – they did things like soap dishes, gurgle jugs and brown (and blue) jugs and so on. I understand both companies have now closed down.
AWS made in England teapots were nice. Again, I assume they have gone? I can’t find much about this company on the internet. Someone on the internet suggested it is a brand of Hornsea? Or possibly Arthur Wood Stoke? The latter I think. Or Arthur Wood and Sons? It is certainly Arthur Wood England as I have seen AWS and Arthur Wood England both written on the base of the same teapot. Arthur Wood was purchased by Price and Kensington and now part of the Rayware Group and made abroad if the brand is used at all.
Woods made very good quality durable tableware, such as the bowl pictured below. Does anyone know anything about Woods? Are they still going? Is this Wood and Sons who ran from 1865 to 2005? The bowl below has a broad arrow marking and says Woods and has the date 1983. The broad arrow marking denotes it is the property of the British Government and I assume this bowl was made in the UK.
EIT England made nice mugs. Does anyone know anything about them? I assume they have gone? I can’t find much about this company on the internet. English Ironstone Tableware?
Royal Kendal made beautiful things. Does anyone know anything about them? I assume they have gone? I can’t find much about this company on the internet.
The Welsh Beaker Company made very nice mugs – Does anyone know what happened to them? Closed down I assume? There’s not much about them on the net.
Brixham Pottery – Sadly this company has closed.
Hornsea Pottery – Sadly now closed down 😦 Hornsea Pottery, founded in 1949, was located in the coastal town of Hornsea in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. One could visit the pottery. For adults, there were several cafés, the Hornsea Pottery shop and factory tour and for children rides such as go-karts. The pottery closed in 2000.
Radnor bone china England. I can’t find any information about this company, but they made beautiful small bone china flower arrangements, like the one below, in Staffordshire, England.
Mason Cash made top quality bowls made in England; sadly now they are made abroad 😦 – I asked the company and they responded as follows “Many thanks for your enquiry; please be advise that none of the Mason Cash range are made in the UK.”
Moira Pottery. I don’t know much about this company, except I gather from the internet that they have closed down. They made good quality cookware, like this dish.
Camelot fine bone china made bells such as the one pictured below – as far as I know these are no longer made.
For information on historic pottery try: http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Main_Page or http://www.thepotteries.org/mark/index.html or http://www.figurines-sculpture.com/china-manufacturers.html and of course search engines.
Buy British Made Mugs – Check the base for the words “Made in England”, “Made in the UK”, “Made in Britain” and so on – If it does not say something like this on the base, then it is made abroad and you should not buy it!