TACS Tile File

Introduction to the Tile File

The Tile File was established in the 1980s to record the ‘Who’, ‘Where’, ‘When’ and ‘What’ of British tile, terracotta and faience making and now has over 1600 entries. Linked to the Tile File are details of over 2500 designs registered from 1884 to 1909, and over 1500 different tile backs attributed to their maker and/or decorator.

Entries in the Tile File are not weighted by ‘importance’ or ‘impact’, so that small producers get the same style of entry as giants such as H. & R. Johnson. Thus, the particular strength of the Tile File is that it documents the breadth and diversity of tile making and tile makers.

A tile is taken to be a glazed wall or a floor tile. Roof tiles and bricks are not included, even if glazed on the outer surface. Only ceramic products are included. The Tile File lists commercial tile makers and designers, although a handful of unusual and exceptional amateur examples are included.

We hope to make an online fully searchable version of the Tile File available to TACS Members in 2024. Watch out for an article in a future Glazed Expressions.


The Tile File has been developed over forty years with three main phases of activity, namely the 1980s, the late 1990s and most recently 2020-1. The Tile File itself has been written by many people, particularly Francis Celoria, Peter Clegg and Chris Blanchett. The 2020/1 TACS Working Group is Rob Higgins, Hans van Lemmen, Chris Blanchett, Lesley Durbin, Penny Hampson and Dave Hutchins, with input and support from the TACS Committee.