Museums & Other Transferware Displays England
Museums and Places of Interest With Displays and Collections of Transfer Printed Pottery
Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford
Extensive pottery and porcelain collections. Transferware unknown; contact museum for more information.
Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham
One of those eclectic British museums in a wonderful setting, featuring European fine and decorative arts from the Middle Ages to the present. Adjacent to historic castle ruin and town of Bernard Castle. Contact museum for more information.
Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton
Features the Willett Collection of Popular Pottery, which includes transferware. Contact museum for more information.
Cheddleton Flint Mill Industrial Heritage Trust, Staffordshire County
Not actually a museum, but a fascinating working twin water mill at a scenic location, dating from at least 1253. Flint, which comprised a large percentage of pottery, was ground at this mill. Situated on a narrow-boat canal connected to the Staffordshire potteries, this lovely site should not be ignored. In addition to the two working wheels and grinding basin are a model steam engine, millers cottage, and canal narrow boat.
Mill and wheels
miller’s cottage (with exhibits inside)
We visited the Cheddleton Flint Mill as part of our 2003 annual meeting. The Winter 2003 Bulletin describes the mill in more detail and provides additional photographs.
Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery, Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Reported collection, may include transferware. Contact museum for more information.
Etruria Industrial Museum, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire County
The focus of Etruria Industrial Museum is Jesse Shirley's Bone & Flint Mill, built in 1857 to grind materials for the pottery and agricultural industries. It is situated at the junction of the Trent & Mersey and Caldon canals. The mill ceased production in 1972 with the process and machinery virtually unchanged. The historic machinery is still in working order and on selected weekends the steam engine can be seen in operation. Excellent tie in with the transferware pottery manufacturing process.
Etruria Industrial Museum, showing former mill, bottle kiln, and narrow boat on canal.
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
The Fitzwilliam Museum houses an extensive collection of English transfer print pottery (445 pieces are shown on its web site). Featured are Wedgwood tea pots, jugs, dinner services; multi-colored transfer pot lids and plates by Pratt, Mayer, Ridgeway, etc; tiles by Sadler, Minton Hollins, etc; various Worcester, New Hall, Spode etc porcelain and bone china forms; and many forms and patterns of earthenware by Spode, Don Pottery, Turner, Hicks Meigh & Johnson, and others. Contact or visit to determine what is on display.
Gladstone Pottery Museum, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire County
The Gladstone is the finest remaining example of a working 19th century pottery. This is the place to visit if you are interested in viewing how the pottery was made. Exhibitions of pottery making.
Aerial view (below) and bottle kilns (right) at the Gladstone Pottery Museum.
Grosvenor Museum, Chester, Cheshire
Reported collection may include transferware. Contact museum for more information.
Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Telford, Shropshire
Scenic location of the first bridge constructed of cast iron (not the one pictured on so many pottery pieces, particularly pink lustre, which is located at Sunderland and was the second cast iron bridge). The bridge still stands, although it no longer carries more than foot traffic. Various museums, potteries, and other features of interest. Includes Blists Hill Victorian Town, Coalport China Museum, Jackfield Tile Museum, Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, Museum of the Gorge, The Iron Bridge and Tollhouse, Broseley Pipeworks, Tar Tunnel, and Darby Houses.
The Iron Bridge print was first produced to commemorate the completion of the first iron bridge in 1779. The print continued to be used at Caughley and later at Coalport. The cabbage leaf maskhead jug showing the Iron Bridge print is inscribed Mr. Jn Callcott 1792. Tiles displayed at the Jackfield Tile Museum (not transferware).
Displayed on the top floor of the Broseley Pipeworks in their original wooden box filled with chaff, are a gross of perfectly preserved Churchwarden pipes, delivered probably just before the First World War to Hughes tobacconists, High Street, Stroud but never sold. Pipes are part of displays of pipe making, housed in the original pottery buildings. Broseley Pipe Works
National Museums Liverpool
Collection reportedly includes transferware. Contact museum for more information.
Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Norwich, Norfolk
Known for its teapot collection! Contact museum for more information.
The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire County
Extensive collection of Staffordshire potters, including transferware. Over 5000 pieces of pottery (many in the reserve collection). Additional pottery highlights include the collection of 800 cow creamers and exceptional pieces from the Minton Museum collection. Excellent exhibit of pottery manufacture and history. Additional exhibits of arts, local and natural history. A required visit if you are in central England.
Spode Museum, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire County
www.spodemuseumtrust.org (website only)
Friends of the Spode Museum
The Spode Museum (including the Blue Room) is currently closed, while the fate of the property, which includes the historic manufacture buildings, is being determined. Manufacturing at the site has ceased, and therefore tours are no longer conducted. Check the web sites for current information on status and location of the collections. The extensive archives have been transferred to the City of Stoke on Trent (see Spode web site, above).
Representative Spode transferware (currently in storage). Blue Room (now closed).
Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Sunderland
(0191) 553 2323
Specializing in glass and pottery from the Sunderland district, particularly Sunderland Lustre Wares. Contact museum for more information.
Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London
(020) 8983 5200 (020) 7942 2000
Extensive collections of decorative arts. One of London’s “must see” destinations. Loads of fun
A large room on one of the upper floors exhibits hundreds of 19th century transferware and related period English pottery. An adjacent room features 19th century tiles, porcelain and stoneware. Web site states that ceramics galleries undergoing extensive “redevelopment, to reopen September 2009”. Photo courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum
Wedgwood Museum and Trust, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire County
(01782) 282 818
Small museum with an excellent collection of Wedgwood products, including some transferware. Displays on Wedgwood history. Exhibitions of pottery making, and tours of the facility. New facility currently under construction, with scheduled re-opening 2008.
Whitby Museum, Whitby, North Yorkshire
Varied collection of transferware, Staffordshire and other figures, Sunderland and commeratives. Contact to determine current displays.