Coleorton Pottery was established by Sir George Howland Willoughby Beaumont in 1835 at Lount and it was operated by several different companies until 1938. In 1842 it was known as the Wilson and Proudman Pottery, with Thomas and John Wilson, and George Proudman listed as pot makers. By the 1870s the pottery was trading under "Wilson Brothers" employing 17 men, 11 young women and 3 boys. (1881 Census)
Coleorton was a significant manufacturer of yellow wares and Rockingham ware during the 19th century. (You can see some examples of these at Ashby Museum.) Census returns suggest that the pottery was at its peak between 1851 and 1881, also listing brick makers and pipe makers as well as pot makers. It closed in 1938 after 100 years of production.
The pottery site was later used for various industrial and storage purposes and is now the site of a Bellway Homes "Glaze" residential development. It's on Nottingham Road, Lount, at the north of Coleorton Parish.
Before the recent development an archaeological dig took place on the site by the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS). See their report here (pdf) >>. Not a great deal of broken pottery was actually found within the various trench digs, but the remnants of a former mine shaft was uncovered and has needed to be capped.
Coleorton Pottery c 1915
The area is rich in clay and the clay for the pots was dug locally. There are several examples of pots made at Coleorton Pottery in Ashby Museum.
From Leicester Journal 15 January 1836:
A Pottery has been established on the Estate of Sir George H. W. Beaumont Bart. at Coleorton which promises to be of great benefit to this town at large; from the numerous variety of common-ware articles already produced, (and the cheap conveyance by the Rail-way,) they will be found of a superior quality to those of the Ashby Pottery, and much cheaper to the consumer.
The pottery provided employment for many people within Coleorton. The Stewart family who used to live in Stoney Lane had several members who worked at the pottery. For more information about the pottery see Trevor Stewart’s book Coleorton Pottery 1835-1938. This book covers the complete history of the pottery over the 103 years it was in existence. Free to download as a pdf here >>
An information board has been erected at The Glaze depicting the history of Coleorton Pottery. View the contents of the information board (pdf) >>
Information board at The Bellway Homes Glaze development in Lount on the former Coleorton Pottery site.
Small jug, just 4" high, in embossed cream ware marked Proudman on the base.
Examples of Coleorton pottery
Base of Coleorton Pottery vases