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Bottle Oven

1076 of 1169 nominations

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Bottle Oven

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Bottle Oven

The bottle ovens (or kilns) of the ceramics industry are so-called not because of what goes into them (clay) but the because of their shape. The outside structure of the oven, called a “hovel”, looks like a big bottle made of brick, with smoke coming out of the neck. The neck of the “bottle” could be up to 70ft high and was a nifty piece of design that took away the smoke, created a draught to keep the fire hot and yet protected the oven from the weather. That smoke didn’t go far, though, and pollution was a real problem. It was said in Longton "It's a fine day if you can see the other side of the road", but when the bottle ovens were firing it was almost impossible to see your hand in front of your face. In their heyday there were more than 4,000 bottle ovens, dominating the North Staffordshire skyline. These unique structures are an important part of England’s industrial heritage, though just 47 are still standing today.

NOMINATION 1076 OF 1169

Your comments

Symbol of Industrial Heritage, pottery "Made in England" and sent all over the world.

Angela Lee


At one time the skyline of Stoke-on-Trent was dominated by these bottle shaped building, it must be appreciated the contribution made through the artistic endeavours of the people who worked in the grit and grim of the "pot-banks".
Micheal Pritchard


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My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry

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