Pictures of Stoke-on-Trent
Town known best as "the potteries" but in reality Stoke-on-Trent is a 1906 amalgamation of six towns, each of which still maintain their own individuality and character.
Of the other five towns, Tunstall, Burslem, Fenton, Longton, and Hanley, most have associations with the manufacture of fine pottery and porcelain, with Hanley being particularly noted as a substantial centre for shopping.
It could be said that Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) made the Potteries, he was the greatest single figure of his period to influence the area, he is best known for his classical blue and white Jasper ware. He was also a scientist and became a Fellow of the Royal Society for his invention of the pyrometer, which measures extreme heat.
Arnold Bennett, the novelist made Stoke-on-Trent famous, he used it as a back-drop for his rich portrayal of "Five Towns" he was born in Hanley in 1867. In many of his stories he recalls the potteries of his youth, he left the area when London and fame beckoned in 1889 at the age of 21.
Today, visitors to the area can visit a unique museum where they can witness how 19th-century potters worked. The Gladstone Museum in Longton is the only surviving complete Victorian pottery factory from the days when coal burning bottle ovens made the finest English bone-china. Decorative porcelain from this period continues to fetch high prices and gets shipped all over the world.
You can also see the famous statue dedicated to Stoke-on-Trent's 20th-century hero, Sir Stanley Matthews, the great football legend. Another "giant" of the region was Reginald Mitchell (1895-1937). Mitchell was born in a local village, he famously designed the Spitfire - the greatest of the World War II fighting planes. In Hanley, Mitchell is honoured with a theatre and a centre for education. At the City Museum there is an actual Spitfire and outside the museum is a statue of Mitchell.
Trentham Gardens is a superb visitor attraction, at its heart lie gardens laid out by Capability Brown, these overlook the mile-long waters of Trentham Lake. The whole of the pleasure grounds encompass over 700 acres, including woodland and a monkey forest!
The Festival Marina at Stoke-on-Trent is one of the Trent and Mersey canal's most popular destinations. It offers a wide range of facilities for boaters including narrow boat hire and moorings. The marina is amidst the re-developed National Garden Site, offering a range of activities including the exciting Water World, dry ski slope, cinema, ten pin bowling and a shopping centre.
Ford Green Hall is the oldest house in the city, it can be found in Thorne Green Road, it is the perfect example of an Elizabethan half-timbered manor house of around 1580. The house was the home of the Ford family for over two centuries. Today it is a museum with an outstanding collection of rich furnishings, including an Elizabethan four poster bed, ceramics and textiles.
The Victoria Hall and the Regent Theatre are great centres for culture, offering the very best of entertainment and suites for corporate entertaining.
Today, Stoke-on-Trent has a multi-cultural society. The city is proud of its history and heritage, and of the fact that people of all nationalities gather together to take the city forward into the 21st-century.
For those wishing to explore the Potteries there are excellent hotels, pubs, inns, and restaurants. Several museums tell the storey of Stoke-on-Trent and of the potteries in general. The town has spacious green areas for relaxing after a round sight seeing or shopping.
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