Festival of Bottle Ovens 2018

August and September 2018, at Gladstone Pottery Museum, Longton


For the two months of August and September 2018 Gladstone Pottery Museum, Longton, will celebrate the rich and sometimes dark, heritage of The Potteries Bottle Oven.

At their peak over 2000 bottle ovens dominated the skyline of the City of Stoke-on-Trent. They created the very character of The Potteries. Today only 29 biscuit and glost bottle ovens remain standing. And two thirds of those are within a five minute walk of Gladstone Pottery Museum.

Gladstone’s Festival of Bottle Ovens aims to bring to life the rich, dark heritage of the Potteries Bottle Oven. The records, movies, products and people of the last bottle oven to be fired will form the backbone of the festival. An exhibition is being created to show what went on at the final firing forty years ago.

Throughout the two months, the festival will be punctuated with Gladstone Take Over Days when the museum will give way to special events:  Smokin’ Oven Days, Clay College days, Oven Firing days, Craft Potters days, Saggar Making and Bottom Knocking days, Dottling days, Wad Making days, Clog Making and Clog Dancing days, Meet the Workers days, and Throwing days.

There will be special film and photo days, heritage walks and ’78 vintage transport days. 

Special visits will be arranged to visit the last bottle oven to be fired. Experts will talk about how a bottle oven was built and fired. There will be potters’ food days - Oatcake days … the list goes on.

Gladstone’s Festival of Bottle Ovens is planned to be a major cultural event in the City of Stoke-on-Trent during 2018. It will celebrate The Potteries, what it creates and how it was created.

Clammins Down at the Last Bottle Oven Firing 1978