Clay mined further up the Torridge was transported initially by the Rolle Canal (therollecanal.co.uk) and then after 1872 by rail to East the Water. In 1896 the railway and the North Devon Clay Company deepened Railway Wharf to allow larger ships to load clay. Ball clay is still mined from the Petrockstow Basin in North Devon and transported to Bideford Quay by lorry from where it is exported by ship for the manufacture of sanitary ware. (clayheritage.org/pages/TheProductionandPropertiesofDevonBallclays.htm)

There have always been potteries around Bideford and East the Water. Lt. Denham’s chart of 1832 shows a pottery on Cross park Rock and the pottery on Torrington Lane (Potters Corner) was run by several generations of the Phillips family. They produced butter pots for the Irish butter glut and were especially renowned for their fine harvest jugs. It closed towards the end of the First World War, at least partly because of loss of skilled labour to the army. The Burton Museum, Bideford has examples of locally produced slipware and more detailed information about slipware exported to Newfoundland and Virginia. (www.burtonartgallery.co.uk ) Today the pottery in Rope Walk, Bideford continues to make traditionally decorated pottery. (bidefordpottery.co.uk)

Want more information?