Category Archives: Goldenhill

NewsDesk: Abandoned Golf Course Faces An Uncertain Future

Goldenhill’s abandoned golf course could be sold to a property speculator from Birmingham who wants to develop the site.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council who own the land has refused to name the developer who is negotiating with it.

The golf course closed many years ago. In the past, local people called for it to be turned into a nature reserve. Now they fear that if the unnamed speculator acquires the property, it may be turned into a business park or used for house building.  

Focus on Goldenhill: St. John’s Church

St John's Goldenhill 163488_db9ff3b2At the beginning of 1840, the Rev. Charles Wade, the curate in charge of St. Thomas’s Church in Kidsgrove, launched a public appeal to build a church at Goldenhill, a mining village on the North Staffordshire Coalfield.

Wade asked North Staffordshire’s leading philanthropist, Smith Child, to help him raise money to build the church.

Smith Child agreed to support the project and became chair of the appeal committee. He donated £200 to the building fund and gave £1,000 to endow the living.

Miss Sparrow and her sister, Mrs Moreton, gave the committee a site where Elgood Lane joins High Street to erect a church, build a school and lay out a cemetery. After four months, the committee had raised enough money to start building the church whose foundation stone was laid by Smith Child’s wife, Sarah, on August 3rd, 1840.

Dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, the church was a plain Norman-style brick building. Designed by Shelton architect Thomas Stanley, the church cost £2,000. St. Johns had a square tower that was surmounted by a stone spire. The church, which could accommodate more than 550 worshippers, was consecrated on August 11th, 1841 by James Bowstead, the Bishop of Lichfield.

The church closed in 2014. If you worshipped at St. John’s and have memories of the church which you would like to share with other Spotlight readers, please email us at spotlightstoke@talktalk.net   

Photograph of St. John’s © Copyright Steve Lewin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 

The Potteries in 1795 (Part One)

In 1795, Dr J. Aikin published “A Description of the Country from Thirty to Forty Miles Round Manchester”. This book describes Newcastle and The Potteries as they were at the end of the 18th century. During the next few weeks, we shall be publishing a series of edited extracts from Dr Aikin’s book. The first extracts look at Goldenhill, Newfield, Greenfield, Tunstall and Longport. Later extracts will describe Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Longton and Fenton.

INTRODUCTION

About a mile from the borders of Cheshire, the Staffordshire Potteries commence at a village called Goldenhill, from whence to the other extremity of the pottery at Lane End (Longton), is something more than seven miles; a considerable part of which, by joining together, strikes the traveller as but one town, although under different names. The manufacturing of pottery wares is, the general and nearly sole business of this extensive and very populous area; and from the great increase in the number of inhabitants and houses in the last twenty years (it is assumed that for every inhabitant and house then, there are three now) in all probability, the various towns and villages of Goldenhill, Newfield, Smithfield (Greenfield), Tunstall, Longport, Burslem, Cobridge, Etruria, Hanley, Shelton, Stoke, Fenton and Longton will before long be so intermixed with buildings, as to form only one town with one name. People living a short distance away, already call them The Pottery.

THE VILLAGE OF GOLDENHILL

One should suppose this from its name to be a large and even splendid place, but on comparison, it is found to be the least so of any in The Pottery; however, its valuable mines of coal make ample amends for its other deficiencies, and from those mines, the name was given it. At the upper end of this village is Green Lane, which commands a most unbounded and beautiful prospect. On one side the greatest part of Cheshire shows itself with the Welsh Hills in the distance; and on the other, a complete and the best general view of The Pottery and the country beyond it.

NEWFIELD

Is well fitted for manufacturing purposes, having plenty of coal in its neighbourhood; but as the place belongs wholly to one individual, Admiral Smith Child, Esq. who has a handsome residence there, it is probable that he will not suffer himself to be inconvenienced by a consequence inevitable where there are a number of factories making earthenware together, the nuisance of the smoke and sulphur arising from them. It is therefore supposed that the number of factories will not be speedily increased here.

SMITHFIELD (GREENFIELD)

The situation of this place, in point of convenience for manufacturing earthenware, is not exceeded in The Pottery. It has several strata of coal and coarse clay, which the potters use much of close to its factories; but belonging solely to Theophilus Smith, Esq. this circumstance will doubtless prevent the erection of more works. The views it commands are very beautiful and extensive.

TUNSTALL

Tunstall including its environs is the pleasantest village in The Pottery. It stands on high ground and commands pleasing views. The manufacturers in it are respectable and do considerable business. There formerly was a church here, and various human bones have been dug up; but such is the effect of time, that not the least trace of either the one or the other remains now. A neat chapel has been lately built here. There are a considerable number of brick and tile works here, the clay being of a superior kind for such articles, so that with good management the tiles made from it are as blue, and look as well on the roof of a house as moderate slate. This place is four miles from Newcastle, and nine from Congleton, standing on the turnpike road from Lawton to Newcastle; another turnpike road also commences here and ends at Bosley in Cheshire.

LONGPORT

Longport situated in a valley between Burslem and Newcastle; has some good buildings in it and several large factories; but its situation thereby is rendered at times disagreeable, if not unwholesome, by the smoke hanging over it longer than if it was on higher ground. The Trent & Mersey Canal passes through Longport where there is a public wharf. This place was formerly called Longbridge, from a kind of bridge that ran about 100 yards (91.44 metres) parallel with a stream; on the completion of the canal, there was a rapid increase in buildings and businesses and about 20 years ago the inhabitants changed its name to Longport.

The Potteries in 1795 (Part One) – Edited by Betty Cooper 2010

To be continued