Images from the published Tile Gazetteer

The inclusion of a site in the Tile Gazetteer does not guarantee any availability of public access nor that any listed site remains in existence or is unchanged. TACS Database & Web Site Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Use your browser Back button to return to an existing TACS Database Search, or click here to start a new search.

Although St George’s Hall, Liverpool, has one of the finest Minton encaustic pavements in the world, the buildings of Lancashire are better known for their architectural ceramics than their decorative tiles. The so-called ‘pot churches’ of Edmund Sharpe at Bolton and Rusholme (Manchester), built in the 1840s, presaged the wider production and use of terracotta, but were seen at the time as poor substitutes for stone-built churches. Only a mile or so up the road from Sharpe’s Rusholme church but over two decades later, terracotta was again introduced to church building in the Holy Name of Jesus R. C. Church, at the same time as it appeared in Waterhouse’s Manchester Town Hall. After that, terracotta played a growing role in the townscapes of Lancashire. Much of it was supplied by Ruabon firms, although it was the Leeds Fireclay Company who eventually introduced faience on a large scale to the warehouses of Edwardian Manchester, clothing the city’s mini-skyscrapers in gleaming Burmantofts ware.

Of course, the county’s own ceramics manufacturers, Pilkington’s (founded 1893) and Shaws of Darwen (founded 1897) had an important role to play. Two baths complexes, the Lister Drive Baths (1903), Liverpool and the Victoria Baths (1906), Rusholme, Manchester stand out amongst the work of Pilkington’s, along with their unique war memorial reredos (1919-21) at the Albion United Reformed Church, Ashton-under-Lyne. The loss of the five Pilkington’s tile panels commissioned for Liverpool Museum in 1913 is particularly sad.[1] Shaws of Darwen came to the fore in the 1930s when they gained an increasing number of faience contracts in Blackpool and for the Odeon cinema chain; the loss of their fine Derby Baths (1939), Blackpool in 1990 is deeply regrettable.

Lancashire is strong in post-Second World War ceramics, particularly those commissioned for the boom in Catholic church building during the late 1950s and early 1960s; Adam Kossowski’s Leyland tympanum of 1963 is the outstanding example. Secular work includes the splendid Festival of Britain-style Carter’s mural at Lewis’s Store (1953), Liverpool, and works commissioned around 1960 by the University of Liverpool. In the latter part of the twentieth century, the county’s hospitals were especially keen to include ceramic art in their new buildings.

Minor Lancashire highlights include the Minton pavement at Rochdale Town Hall and the same town’s remarkable variety of pub tiling; two churches with tile pavements by Carter, Johnson & Co of Worcester (in Preston and Standish); the ‘White Church’ at Fairhaven, Lytham St Anne’s; tiles and faience inside Blackpool Tower Buildings; and the Mersey Brewery, Liverpool, whose terracotta exterior and tiled interior is a match for any brewery in the country. Suggested reading: Kevin Gannon, ‘Refuge Assurance Company Offices, Manchester’, Glazed Expressions, 1990, vol 3, pp11-14; Robert Jolley, ‘Edmund Sharpe and the ‘Pot’ Churches’, Architectural Review, December 1969, vol 146, pp426-31; TACS Tour Notes Blackpool (1984), Liverpool (1994), Manchester (1985) and Rochdale (1991).

The Gazetteer entry for Lancashire covers the administrative areas of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackpool Borough Council, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council, Bury Metropolitan Borough Council, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Lancashire County Council, Liverpool City Council, Manchester City Council, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council, Salford City Council, Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council and Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council.


Ashton Central Library and Art Gallery, Old Street was built in 1893 as the Heginbottom Library and Technical College. Its reconstruction in 2000-1 included the formation of a fine gallery space on the first floor and the restoration (carried out by the Heritage Tiling & Restoration Company) of its mosaic floor and the pale brown relief tile dado which runs through the ground floor and stairwell. Just round the corner in Oldham Road is a pub now known as the Theatre Tavern; its light and dark green faience facade includes a sizeable plaque with good lettering in bronze-yellow faience reading ‘Gartsides Famous Ales & Stout’. At the east end of Old Street, on the St Michael’s Square roundabout, is a former pub with a striking facade made entirely of glass-like tiles, sky blue in colour above the dado and lime green below. On its fascia are brightly coloured small mosaic panels, some of which carry the letter ‘S’ on a red and yellow shield.

Cross the roundabout via the Memorial Gardens to reach the Albion United Reformed Church, marooned on the far side of the traffic island in Stamford Street East. With its tall spire, the church (built in 1890-5, architect John Brooke) could easily be mistaken for the parish church, which stands much less visibly on the west side of the roundabout, nearer the town centre. The interior is very broad, reminiscent of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral in its spaciousness and use of sandstone. The unexciting - and now rather worn - encaustic tiled pavement in the chancel dates from 1895.

At its east end is a surprising but fitting conclusion to this vast space: a ceramic war memorial reredos made by Pilkington’s in 1919-21 (Fig 107). It comprises twelve panels, each around three feet high by a foot wide, set within a leafy scrolling border in typical Pilkington’s orange vermilion. The four central panels and the pair at either end are figurative, while the remaining four bear the names of the fifty-seven fallen. All the figurative panels, which were designed by Gordon Forsyth, are tube-lined and vividly coloured. The central four-panel section depicts Christ offering the sacrament to those who made the supreme sacrifice in war; to its left is St George with an attendant angel, and to the right St Michael, also with an angel. The memorial’s strong colours were thought to successfully complement the brilliance of the east window. Two small tablets were added to the memorial following the Second World War, but by the 1960s it was felt that their design was inadequate, and Pilkington’s were asked to supply replacements. The resulting two black-and-white lettered panels were made by James Plenderleith, a craftsman who had been an apprentice to the maker of the original memorial, and were mounted in between the three large panels.[2]


The March Hare PH, Crowhill Road, was designed in 1959 and opened in 1960; the pub remains unaltered and the toilets have tiles showing two different designs of hare.

Guide Bridge

On the altar wall of St Paul’s Church, 285 Stockport Road, Guide Bridge is large, irregularly-shaped ceramic relief of the Conversion of St Paul, made by the artist Adam Kossowski and dating from 1966.


There is much ornate buff Burmantofts terracotta ornamentation on the College of Technology and Design (c1888, architects Smith, Woodhouse & Willoughby of Manchester), Blakey Moor. As Woodhouse & Willoughby, the same practice designed the equally huge Technical School (1900-3) at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria and a series of large-scale, often terracotta-detailed municipal buildings throughout Lancashire, culminating in the vast Manchester Police and Fire Station (1901-6), designed in collaboration with John Langham. John Henry Woodhouse (1847-1929) was in partnership with George Harry Willoughby from 1886 and was President of the Manchester Society of Architects in 1905-7.


Blackpool’s development as a resort began in the 1730s, but progress was slow until transport problems were overcome by the arrival of the railway, which reached the town in 1846 and soon had three large stations. The resulting influx of holidaymakers and daytrippers led to the first boom in building during 1860‑80, but it was in the developments of the 1890s onward that terracotta began to be used widely as a building material. Buff and red terracotta supplied by firms in Accrington and Wigan had become popular throughout Lancashire in the 1890s, but in Blackpool it was the superior decorative capabilities of the Burmantofts branch of Leeds Fireclay that was exploited for the most prestigious contracts such as the Tower Building.

The borough surveyor set an example in the use of faience, especially for indoor and outdoor swimming baths, and a small group of local architects designed most of the hotels, guest houses, shops and offices which used blocks or slabs of glazed clayware. The architect Halstead Best was probably the most successful figure in the late 1920s, and the Hathern Station Brick and Terracotta Company won the contracts to supply many of his buildings. However it was the more local firm of Shaws of Darwen which gained the largest contracts in Blackpool. In 1929, having previously undertaken only small schemes in the town, they won the contract to supply the Winter Gardens; following this they supplied the largest schemes undertaken in the resort during the late 1930s.[3]

Terracotta and faience were used with bravura and indulgence in Blackpool, but many of the variations in colour and style previously visible have been destroyed or hidden by development during the last two decades of the twentieth century. However, travelling the length of the Promenade still provides an insight into the architectural use of faience. To begin at the north end of Queen’s Promenade, the stylish Little Bispham Tram Station, in brick with cream faience, was built in 1935. Its architect was the borough surveyor John C. Robinson (1879-1954), who had previously worked in Banister Fletcher’s office. Shaws received a large number of orders relating to private hotels at Bispham and Norbreck during the mid and late thirties, while the vitreous glazed faience of the massive Miners’ Welfare Convalescent Home (1927, architects Bradshaw, Gass & Hope) may have been supplied by the Bispham Hall Colliery Company. The Cliffs Hotel, with Shaws cream faience detailing, was begun after the First World War and completed in 1936-7 with the addition of the north wing and central section designed by Halstead Best. The Savoy Hotel, just north of Gynn Square, is one of the series of large red brick and red terracotta hotels built around the turn of the century. The architect was T. G. Lumb and the hotel opened in 1915; the sun lounge in Hathern’s cream faience was added in 1935 by Lumb and Walton.

Before its demolition in May 1990 the Derby Baths stood on the Promenade to the south of Gynn Square; this exceptional modernist building, which opened in 1939, was designed by J. C. Robinson. Its yellow and lime green Shaws faience walls were cut through by porthole windows and decorated with fishy roundels. The loss of the Derby Baths was great in terms of architectural ceramics, environmental colour and seaside architecture, and followed the demolition of the South Shore Open Air Baths in 1983. The Open Air Baths, opened in 1923, were the largest in the world at the time and were completely clad in Shaws faience. But back to the present, and further down the Promenade is the Princess Cinema (1921-2, now a nightclub), one of Halstead Best’s first major designs; its white faience facade was Hathern’s second largest order in Blackpool. To the south of the North Pier is the Savoy Café (now a pub), carrying some of the nautical imagery fashionable in 1937 when Shaws supplied the cream faience to designs by Gorst and Crabtree.

The glory of Blackpool, and unusually in this resort a building which has retained most of its original ceramics, is Blackpool Tower (Fig 108). The Blackpool Tower Company began life in 1891, but the putative tower at first aroused little public enthusiasm, especially with residents who saw their tourist trade sliding downmarket. Only the influence of the Tower Company’s chairman, John Bickerstaffe, Mayor of Blackpool, enabled the Company to continue with its plans. An architectural competition for the design of the Tower Buildings was held in early 1891, the winners being the Manchester practice Maxwell & Tuke. The promenade site was almost rectangular; Maxwell & Tuke fitted the circus inside the Tower legs on the ground and first floors, located shops around much of the perimeter of the site, and filled the three‑to‑four‑storey bulk of the Buildings with an aquarium, menagerie, restaurant, Grand Pavilion (later ballroom) and a winter garden on the roof, as well as the necessary services for both animals and humans. The Tower opened to the public on Whit Monday 1894 (Fig 109).

The exterior design was conservative, using red brick and terracotta dressings supplied by the Ruabon Brick and Terra Cotta Company, but Tower Buildings made up inside for what it lacked in external flair, even mundane areas such as corridors and staircases sparkling with turquoise and grey low‑relief Burmantofts faience panels set in terracotta by J. C. Edwards.[4] The panel designs, showing birds, fishes and children, were modelled by E. C. Spruce. Along the corridor leading to the Grand Pavilion were more Burmantofts faience panels in blue and buff, showing a winged figure bearing cornucopia, while the upper galleries of the ballroom were lined with brown and maroon tiles. The circus was unique, with the four legs of the Tower wrapped in cascades of gilded, scalloped moulding and glittering tiles forming the backdrop to the gallery seats. There was an Oriental feel to the decoration, and the entire building was a showpiece of structural and decorative skills, from the engineering of the Tower (by R. J. G. Reade) and the flooding mechanism of the circus ring to the brilliant interior detailing.

In 1898 the Tower’s Grand Pavilion underwent conversion to the Tower Ballroom, Frank Matcham being engaged to outdo the decorations of the nearby Winter Gardens Empress Ballroom. It was completed in 1899 and was one of Matcham’s most important and unusual works; it was burnt out in 1956 but was reconstructed to exactly the original design and reopened in 1958. A 1991 tile panel by Caroline Bilson showing ‘World Towers’ decorates its interior. In addition, a number of large mosaic panels of stylized circus scenes, commissioned for the front of the building around 1970, now line a staircase.

South of the Tower, the Woolworth’s Store (now Pricebusters) represents one of the most dramatic uses of faience in Blackpool and a fully developed expression of the ‘streamlined’ style imported from America in the late thirties. It was rebuilt in 1936-7 by the Woolworth Construction Department employing direct labour. Over a steel frame and a brick cladding, cream faience was used to form a series of fin‑like mullions, with dark brown panels imitating lead or copper and forming infills between each storey of windows. The corner tower was decorated with wave patterns and originally had a sign advertising the first floor café. In 1978 Shaws were commissioned to supply new faience to make good extensive deterioration; about ten per cent of the store was clad in new material.

Near the Central Pier, the Lifeboat Station (1937) is one of Halstead Best’s most successful designs in faience, using material supplied by Hathern. Returning north and veering inland, it seems that the use of faience to clad building facades is almost as extensive away from the Promenade, although with less consistency in trying to create a seaside image or style. In Market Street is the elegant cream and blue thirties faience facade of Leonard Dews Jewellers, but this is only a trivial amount of faience in comparison to its dramatic use on the facade of the Winter Gardens in Victoria Street. The Winter Gardens began life in 1878 and had a complex history of additions and alterations as its management attempted to compete with the Tower. The reconstruction scheme undertaken from 1929 (completed around 1939) to the designs of J. C. Derham provided a massive order of £22,638 to Shaws, who supplied 30,000 cubic feet of faience; this marked their establishment as a major manufacturer of the material. White marble‑like faience is used for the exterior, with bright blue and yellow elements drawing attention to details (Fig 110). Inside, one of the many attractions is the Empress Ballroom (1896, architects Mangnall & Littlewoods), its original decoration including art nouveau Doulton faience panels of mermaids in rich, swirling blues, browns and greens.

One of the Church Street entrances to the Winter Gardens, dating from 1896, can be identified by its buff terracotta ‘WG’ above a blocked archway. Behind ran a corridor lined with a series of twenty-eight painted art nouveau Doulton tile panels designed by W. J. Neatby and showing female figures symbolising jewels; about eight of these panels still survive, although covered over. Further along Church Street is the former Regent Cinema, opened 1921, its large dome clad in white faience, actually Middleton Fireclay Company’s ‘Ceramo’. Stanley Buildings (1935, designed by J. C. Robinson), the municipal offices, on Church Street and Cookson Street, is clad in cream faience with reliefs of Viking ships. To the north is Topping Street, with the best concentration of thirties slab faience away from the Promenade; most was supplied by Shaws with J. C. Derham being a recurring architect. Don Chambers has stylish red lettering round its doorway, while the former Shakespeare Hotel has the characteristic combination of cream slabs with a black plinth.

Further north in Dickson Road is the Duke of York Hotel (1939, architect Halstead Best) clad in cream faience with circular plaques depicting the Duke of York. Finally to the former Odeon Cinema (1938-9, closed 1998), also in Dickson Road, which marks virtually the final development in the Odeon style of interwar cinema architecture. The majority of Odeons dating to the early or mid‑thirties were designed by George Coles and used ceramics from Hathern, but it was the combination of Harry Weedon and Shaws which was the most ubiquitous just before the Second World War. The Blackpool Odeon, designed by Harry Weedon and W. Calder Robson, was the largest built by the circuit, seating over 3,000. The centre of its cream faience front is decorated with wave‑like flutings, and set in a surround that aptly symbolises a proscenium; the cornice of red and black ribs is topped by a squat tower.


From the collection of buildings with terracotta facades in Bradshawgate, right in the centre of Bolton, the buff terracotta frontage of Yates Wine Lodge (1906) is perhaps the most striking, although the former Fleece Hotel (1907, at number 28) comes a close second. Turning the corner into Nelson Square is the red brick and terracotta Prudential Building of 1889, designed by a Bolton architect named Smith, although Alfred Waterhouse may have acted as consultant.[5]

Darcy Lever

The Church of St Stephen and All Martyrs (1844-5), Radcliffe Road, Lever Bridge was the first of three terracotta churches to be built by the architect Edmund Sharpe (1809-77) (Fig 111). It was mostly constructed from solid blocks of the material, unlike his second church, Holy Trinity (1845-6), Platt Lane, Manchester, which used a greater percentage of hollow blocks of terracotta, and his third, St Paul’s (1876), Scotforth, near Lancaster, which was built from small, solid brick-like terracotta blocks. St Stephen and Holy Trinity became known as the ‘pot churches’ - a reference to the hollow blocks - and were derided by the architectural press for their apparent attempt to pass off terracotta as stone.[6]

St Stephen’s came about through the initiative of Colonel John Fletcher, owner of the Ladyshore Colliery at Little Lever. He wanted to use fireclay, a by-product of coal mining, to build a church for which he would become the chief subscriber. Fletcher’s venture necessitated the construction of new kilns and workshops, and the engagement of ‘a capable and able modeller’. His prospective son‑in‑law, Edmund Sharpe, was commissioned to produce the design, in which five-inch deep blocks of terracotta (approximating to blocks of stone) were laid in courses. Their surface was scored in imitation of the tooling on ashlar masonry, and their buff, sandstone-like colour enhanced the sham stone effect. Sharpe had to prepare drawings for the entire church down to the tiniest detail to facilitate modelling and production, and had to devise techniques to overcome the novel problems of terracotta work, such as contending with warpage and differentials in shrinkage. To combat warpage he adopted the practice of hollowing out any large terracotta pieces which were necessary, and his solution to the problem of connecting the components of the spire and large windows was the manufacture of terracotta dowels. Despite criticism of the ‘pot churches’, Sharpe showed that the problems inherent in making terracotta and building with the material could be overcome; the same working practices were to be adopted by terracotta manufacturers and architects from the 1860s onwards.[7]

There is a profusion of ornament on the exterior of St Stephen, including an elaborate arched entrance with lettering, traceried windows and a pierced parapet, but the unique and intriguing interior is the most memorable part of the church, which has lost its tower and spire. The interior is almost totally terracotta, with a terracotta pulpit, organ‑case, octagonal font and well-nigh unbelievable traceried pew‑ends and backs, as well as much decoration on the terracotta blocks themselves. The interior terracotta work was splendidly restored in the late 1990s, with (amongst other items) replacement terracotta poppyheads being made for the pew ends. The repairs were carried out by Diana Hall, Axel Keim, John Winterbothom and Shaws of Darwen.[8]


Two miles north of Bolton’s centre on the Blackburn Road is Sir John Holdens Mill (1925-6, architects Bradshaw, Gass & Hope); its steel-framed structure is concealed by red brick and much terracotta detailing. There is no chimney as this was an innovative all-electric mill.


Burnley Town Hall (1884-8, architects Holtom & Fox of Dewsbury), Manchester Road, has an excellent interior decorative scheme running throughout its ground and first floors. It includes a Craven Dunnill mosaic pavement bearing the town’s coat of arms, along with a colourful relief-tiled dado. A Craven Dunnill trade tile is set into the mosaic floor at the top of the stairs.


St Cuthbert’s Church, Blackburn Road, was built in 1875-8 and designed by architects Paley & Austin of Lancaster; its sanctuary is floored with Godwin’s impressed and encaustic tiles, mainly in alternating four-tile groups. This type of pavement is found in several of Paley & Austin’s earlier churches.[9] The impressively large and colourful opus sectile reredos was installed in three parts, with the central Last Supper panel being supplied by Powell’s of Whitefriars in 1887; the cartoon was by Frank Mann. In 1900 the same firm provided nine further opus sectile panels (as a memorial to Charles Greenway of Darwen) and the reredos was completed in 1912 when the ornate frame was added, again as a memorial (Fig 112).


The improbable setting of the R. C. Church of the City of Mary Immaculate, better known as All Saints Church, on Redclyffe Road, Barton upon Irwell, just south of the point where the Bridgewater Canal crosses the Manchester Ship Canal by means of a swing bridge, is one of its great attractions. However, construction of the Ship Canal in 1885-94 proved disastrous for the church, which was designed by E. W. Pugin and built in 1865-8, as most of its parishioners lived north of the new canal and could reach the church only by crossing the swing bridge. The first part of the church to be built was the de Trafford family chantry, in appearance a miniature church, in 1863. The de Trafford family provided the site and funded construction of the chantry and the church; of the seventy or more churches built by E. W. Pugin, this was his most lavish, and it shows. Inside, the nave arcade and chancel arch are starkly banded in red and white sandstone; the de Trafford chantry, north of the chancel, is screened off by a complex arcade and has a superlative Minton encaustic tile pavement.[10]


Artworks at the Royal Bolton Hospital, Plodder Lane include a large glass and ceramic panel by artist in residence Gerald Buchanan of Bolton in the entrance hall. He was also responsible for a series of fourteen ceramic panels (each measuring 18” by 24”), showing flora and fauna from a variety of natural habitats; these date from 1997. In addition, there are mosaic panels by Rachel Cooke on the ground floor pharmacy.


The Church of St Michael and All Angels was designed by the Chester architect John Douglas (1830-1911) and built in 1878-9 at the expense of the Earl of Sefton. The tiny building itself is splendidly original, being entirely half-timbered, inside and out, and it has a very unusual tiled reredos, also of 1879. This has a central panel of Christ breaking bread, with St Michael to the left and Euphrasia to the right; it was painted and fired by Craven Dunnill from cartoons by Heaton, Butler & Bayne. The reredos is angled forward at the top, apparently to prevent reflections.


The Manchester architect Edgar Wood (1860-1935) built Royd House, 224 Hale Road for his own use in 1914-16 (Fig 113). The house, made from reinforced concrete and brick, was approached by a patterned brick path, and the centre part of its concave brick frontage was set with Pilkington’s tiles in colourful zig-zag geometric patterns.[11] This bold use of lozenge and zig-zag shapes continued inside the house, with mosaic panels in the hall floor and stencilling on several doors. This was a precursor of what became known as the art deco style, and certainly a departure from the decorative norms of the time in terms of materials and motifs.


St Catherine’s Church, Richmond Street was built in two phases to the design of the architect Frank Freeman. The nave and part of the chancel were put up in 1897-1902, then the chancel was completed in 1931-2. The interior is remarkable for its art nouveau fittings, including two unusual 3’ by 2’ high-quality glazed, tube-lined ceramic panels at the west end. They were installed around 1916 in memory of Catherine Ainsworth, who helped found the church, and show the flower garden at her home and a fiery scene of destruction with a quotation from Romans 16.20: ‘The God of Peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly’.


St Paul’s Church (1874-6), Scotforth was the third terracotta church to be built by the architect Edmund Sharpe, although it can hardly be called a ‘pot church’ as it was constructed using small solid terracotta blocks, in effect bricks, as well as stone and yellow brick. The terracotta was supplied by Joseph Cliff & Sons of Wortley, Leeds. The surround of the south door is made entirely of buff terracotta, while inside the church the terracotta details include scalloped capitals and wall brackets supporting the roof timbers. Sharpe, who lived in Lancaster, died in 1877; his memorial is in the chancel, beneath blank terracotta arcading.


The Polish-born artist Adam Kossowski’s gigantic Last Judgement high relief ceramic tympanum (1963), shaded by a broad canopy, dominates the exterior view of St Mary’s R. C. Church, Broadfield Drive (Fig 114). The church was commissioned in 1959 by the Benedictines of Ampleforth and opened in 1964, and was one of a large number of Catholic churches built throughout Britain between around 1953 and the mid-1960s. Its architects were Weightman and Bullen (project architect J. Faczynski), who produced a drum-shaped nave defined by fourteen Y-shaped concrete piers; the inner walls are lined with small relief tiles.[12] There is abstract glass by Patrick Reyntiens, a tapestry by Faczynski and bronze Stations of the Cross by Arthur Dooley, as well as a steel-framed monumental ceramic cross (1963) by Kossowski which is suspended above the centrally-placed altar. But it is the great rectangular tympanum, with its powerful figurative images, which remains longest in the mind. Christ the Judge is depicted in the centre, with the saved to his right and the devils and the condemned to his left.[13] Kossowski used a wide range of glaze colours for the tympanum, although golden-yellow, pale blue and red stand out, particularly the red of the stark, staring devils. The St Mary’s tympanum is one of his most important works (apart from his masterwork at The Friars, Aylesford, Kent, which took over twenty years), and is all the more significant in art historical terms because of its setting, with other artworks created for the postwar Catholic church.


Situated on the east bank of the Mersey, Liverpool occupies one of the most dramatic locations of any British city, with a centre about a square mile in size. It runs in a series of plateaux rising from the waterfront to a ridge in the east, on which the two Cathedrals stand. The city centre is essentially a nineteenth century creation, as earlier development was swept aside by the explosion of economic activity in the Victorian period, when the city was one of the biggest ports in the world. This description begins at St George’s Hall, opposite Lime Street Station, and continues west to the waterfront before returning through the main shopping area and finishing on and around the campus of the University of Liverpool; a list of suburban locations follows.

The sublimely classical St George’s Hall, Lime Street was designed as a concert hall by the architect Harvey Lonsdale Elmes in 1839, with a later revision of the plans to incorporate law courts. Work began in 1841, but following the death of Elmes in 1847, construction was continued by the building’s engineer Sir Robert Rawlinson in collaboration with the Corporation Surveyor. Initially, the floor of the Great Hall was to have been of stone, but after the appointment of C. R. Cockerell as architect in 1851, the decorative scheme planned by Elmes was changed to incorporate a tiled floor, which was in place when St George’s Hall was opened in 1854, although the building was only finally completed in 1856 (Fig 115).

The general form of the vast interior spaces, with their fine sculpture and plasterwork, is due to Elmes, but the Great Hall’s sumptuous tile pavement was commissioned by Cockerell and made by Minton’s in 1853 (Fig 116). The Great Hall is almost 170 feet long and 74 feet wide at its maximum, and the tile pavement occupies most of this area, as a sunken floor with raised walkway all around. Over 30,000 tiles were used in a complex arrangement based on interlocking circles with figurative borders, the basis of the design being provided by George Eyre (1816-87), superintendent of the drawing office at Minton’s.[14] He appears to have been the ‘superintendent from Mr Minton’, referred to in the Law Courts committee minutes of 1852, who produced two designs under Cockerell’s direction.[15] However, the architect found these ‘unsatisfactory and commonplace’ and brought in the sculptor Alfred Stevens, who designed a figurative band depicting Neptune amongst sea nymphs, dolphins and other nautical imagery.[16] According to Stevens’ biographer, this border was the ‘redeeming feature’ of the floor whose general design was ‘unquiet and ill-suited to the architecture’.[17]

Stevens’ near semi-circular band, with buff figures on a warm red ground, appears four times over, twice in the centre of the floor and once at each end. The floor’s major feature is the large circular arrangement, within which is the royal coat of arms, while two smaller circles contain the city’s arms; beneath the organ gallery is a circular panel bearing the crest of the Prince of Wales. It was (and remains) one of the finest tile pavements in the world, but within a few years of its installation it was found to be unsuitable for dancing and the central well was covered with a raised wooden floor, fitting flush with the tiled walkway. This has had the happy side-effect of preserving the main pavement in pristine condition, as may be seen on the rare occasions when the wooden decking (which was modernised in the early 1990s) is taken up.[18] In comparison the walkway tiles, which include geometric and encaustic tiles with lettered inscriptions and several circular dolphin panels, are very worn in places and some are to be renewed.[19] After the court elements of St George’s Hall became redundant in 1984, the whole building was closed and suffered years of neglect before restoration began in the 1990s; work continues in 2004

North of St George’s Hall is William Brown Street with its monumental parade of classical civic buildings, the easternmost being the County Sessions House (1882-4, architects F. & G. Holme, disused in 2003). There is dado tiling throughout, in an unusual design of alternating maroon and green squares, Burmantofts wall tiling in one courtroom, and in the barristers’ room is a Doulton tiled fireplace. The good mosaic flooring was laid by the local tile fixer and mosaic layer George Swift, whose own Swan Tile Works opened around 1900 at Binns Road, four miles east of the centre of Liverpool.[20] To the south, on the far side of the gardens at the rear of St George’s Hall, is St John’s Lane and the former Pearl Life Assurance office, its ground floor used as Doctor Duncan’s public house since 1999. The building was designed by Alfred Waterhouse and largely built in 1896-8; it has a Portland stone exterior, possibly to differentiate it from the rival (and earlier) Prudential Assurance building nearby in Dale Street. The interior of the lofty room which was the company’s public office is entirely clad, ceiling and all, with unusually colourful Burmantofts faience in brown, green, yellow and blue. There is also a large brown faience fire surround and a mosiac floor, the latter by Rust & Co.

Turn west into Victoria Street past the flat-iron shape of Imperial Buildings (1879, now Scottish Legal Life Asurance) at number 70. It was designed by E. & H. Shelmerdine and is faced in ornate grey terracotta by Gibbs & Canning, including two allegorical female figures of ‘Industry’ and ‘Commerce’ and - near the roof - a profile of Queen Victoria. This is a relatively early use of terracotta. In Dale Street, a block to the north, is the towered, rather French Renaissance form of the Municipal Buildings (1860-6), designed by the Corporation Surveyor John Weightman (although completed by his successor). The walls of the entrance corridors are lined with brown and ochre tiles decorated with what appears to be a printed wood grain design, the whole creating the effect of genuine wood panelling (Fig 117). These curious tiles were probably identical to samples shown by Minton’s at the 1866 Staffordshire Industrial Exhibition, held in Hanley. These tiles, ‘apparently converted into blocks of wood’, were produced by a process called nature printing, patented in 1865 by William Scarratt and William Dean of Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. It allowed a wood grain pattern, derived directly from an impression of the wood involved, to be printed on tiles or other surfaces. In the case of tiles, it would allow the substitution of nature printed wall tiling for expensive wood cladding, but it seems to have been a short-lived novelty, as the process was somewhat laborious.[21]

Further west at 30-38 Dale Street is the landmark former Prudential Assurance Building, designed by Alfred Waterhouse and built in 1885‑8, with later alterations by Paul Waterhouse. The hard red terracotta of its gothic exterior was supplied by J. C. Edwards of Ruabon; a terracotta figure of Prudentia stands in a niche above the slightly art nouveau main entrance. The subdued interior faience work by Burmantofts is mostly overpainted. A diversion of a further block north via Moorfields is required to visit the Lion Tavern, which stands on the corner with Tithe Barn Street. The pub, which was built about 1865 and remodelled around 1905, has good art nouveau dado tiling, in bright colours on white ground.

Return to Dale Street and continue west to find the Town Hall, the city’s third, designed by John Wood the Younger of Bath and built in 1748-55. The ground floor was originally open and was intended to act as an exchange for merchants to transact business, while the upper floor was used for civic purposes. The building was severely damaged by fire in 1795, after which James Wyatt and John Foster Senior reconstructed the interior, then added the impressive dome on its high drum (1802) and the two‑storey portico (1811). The dome is crowned by a Coade stone figure of Britannia, sometimes referred to as Minerva as she lacks trident and shield. The figure, made in 1801-2 by J. C. F. Rossi at a cost of £4295, was fired in pieces and delivered in several shipments; it is covered in 87,000 square inches of gold leaf. The entrance hall has an excellent Minton tile pavement dating from the 1860s, which was restored by H. & R. Johnson during the early 1990s (Fig 118). The design, by George Eyre and reminiscent of his St George’s Hall floor although rather less complex, includes blue hand-painted pictorial roundels of Neptune and the Liver birds, and the city’s coat of arms.[22] The gentlemen’s toilets, in the basement, have lavish ceramic work with a dado, fireplace and columns in green and pale green relief decorated tiles. The ladies toilet merely has a fireplace with yellow lustre glazed tiles.

Head westward along Water Street to The Strand and Tower Buildings (1906-10, being converted to apartments in 2004), designed by the architect W. Aubrey Thomas, who was also responsible for the Royal Liver Building (1908-11) which stands opposite. Thomas was a highly individual architect whose buildings show stylistic variety and unconventional use of materials; the greyish-white Doulton faience of Tower Buildings was self‑cleaning. Its battlements refer the ancient Tower of Liverpool which once stood on the site. Hidden away at the back of this massive block, and facing on to Tower Gardens, is Ma Boyle’s PH, which retains its early 1960s interior ceramic mural by Rhys and Jean Powell; the partly abstract design shows nearby buildings and the Mersey. Rhys and his wife Jean Powell trained at Wallasey School of Art, producing their first tile murals as early as 1954. Opposite the pub is Reliance House; in its Tower Gardens side entrance are two colourful mosaic panels of ships (galleons of 1492 and steamers of 1905), both dating from around 1905 and about 15 feet in length. They were salvaged from Colonial House, which formerly stood on the site but was destroyed by enemy action in 1941. Just south along the Strand, with its entrance in James Street, is Albion House, the former White Star Line offices (1895-8, Richard Norman Shaw), its Portland stone and red brick bands a notable landmark. The ground floor general office has a fireproof ceiling - now mostly hidden - of terracotta panels by J. C. Edwards of Ruabon; the building was mentioned in their 1903 catalogue.

Return to the centre via Water Street, Castle Street and Harrington Street, which once contained John Sadler’s printing premises. Sadler and his assistant Guy Green discovered a method of printing on tiles in 1756 and rapidly built up an extensive trade in printing on earthenware tiles and vessels which carried on until shortly after 1780. Harrington Street incorporates the rear elevation of Cavern Walks, Mathew Street, which stands near the site of the Cavern Club (demolished 1973), the venue which launched the Beatles. The present structure was designed by the Liverpool architect David Backhouse and built in 1982-4. It contains a re­building of the Cavern Club in the basement, shops, offices and an internal nine‑storey atrium. The slightly tacky post-modern facade includes individually sculpted terracotta reliefs of doves and roses (symbolising peace and love) designed by Cynthia Lennon and made by Hathernware. The terracotta keystone in the archway over the Harrington Street car park entrance depicts a ‘gorilla applying lipstick’; the inspiration for this image was the aphorism ‘Art is to architecture like lipstick to a gorilla’. The building has a high craft content, with stained glass and cast iron as well as terracotta; this type of detail was then almost revolutionary in the context of plain modernist architecture. More visually interesting is the Cavern Wall of Fame, also in Mathew Street and opposite the site of the original Cavern Club. The Wall, in highly fired deep reddish-purple bricks, was opened in 1997 to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Cavern Club. It bears the name of every band that played there during 1957-73 as well as some of the bands who played at the club in the 1990s.

Just south along Dorans Lane in Lord Street is an attractive turn-of-the-century shopfront with white, orange and brown glazed and matt bricks in patterns, as well as much terracotta enrichment including initials in the gable; the architect was Edmund Kirby. Continue east into Church Street; leading north from it is Tarleton Street and the Conway Castle public house. This was formerly a branch of Yates’s Wine Lodge. It had been a run‑down pub and was bought by Yates’s in 1931. The original plan was to ‘preserve the old world exterior’, but in 1933 consent to rebuild was obtained and a restrained art deco design adopted. The cream slab faience of the facade, with its high relief coloured panel of the castle, was supplied by Shaws of Darwen during 1935-6.[23] Further east along Church Street is the junction with Hanover Street; at its far end, turning the corner with Paradise Street, is Church House (1885), with multicoloured brick and good red and yellow terracotta decoration including terracotta mullions; the architect was George Enoch Grayson. Opposite is 12 Hanover Street (1889-90, refurbished in the 1990s), which makes the curve round into Duke Street; the building was designed by Edmund Kirby as offices and warehouses for shipowners Eills & Co, and features rich terracotta detailing from the Ruabon Brick & Terra Cotta Company.[24] Leading east from Church Street is Bold Street, where Coopers has a jazzy interwar faience facade and an interior tile panel by Catherine Smyth dating from 1966. A block east on Renshaw Street is the huge, multi-domed former Central Hall of the Liverpool Wesleyan Mission (Bradshaw & Gass, 1905, now a nightclub) with much buff terracotta ornament.

Almost opposite, occupying the corner site on Renshaw Street and Ranelagh Street is Lewis’s Store, rebuilt in the early 1950s after its predecessor was destroyed in a 1941 air raid. On the fifth floor were three restaurants opened in 1953 and decorated in varying degrees of luxuriousness; one, designed by Misha Black, was widely publicised but the largest, the cafeteria, recived little notice at the time. The fifth floor is now used as a storage area and is not open to the public, but the restaurant spaces remain. The best-preserved is the cafeteria, a stunning space complete with original light fittings (a colourful horizontal grid) and tiling by Carter’s of Poole; to enter is to step back into the world of the Festival of Britain.[25] The largest area of tiling is a mural, some 65 feet long and 10 feet high, originally situated behind the servery counter (Fig 119). This slip-outlined mural includes hand-printed and hand-painted tiles with strong, colourful imagery of outsize items of food, drink and cooking utensils, and was probably designed by A. B. Read; it appears to be the earliest extant postwar Carter’s mural and is in pristine condition. The seating area and supporting columns are also tiled, the columns in a mainly grey and white horizontal-striped design, which is also used on the walls in another colourway, where a single red or yellow stripe is introduced. Another design features a knife and fork, the motif running across two tiles and being mostly black and white (one tile is the reverse of the other) or a more complex red, black and white; there is only one small area of the latter. The tiling has survived very well, with only a few tiles on a single column having become detached; the reverse of one of these patterned tiles carries the date 1953 and the Carter’s name. 

The University of Liverpool campus lies east of Lewis’s, up Brownlow Hill. Towards the far (eastern) edge of the campus is the Mathematical Sciences Building (1959-61, on Peach Street). In its foyer are five reliefs designed by the sculptor John McCarthy and installed in the year the building was opened. Their theme is the essence of mathematics and the material is terrossa ferrata, that is clay strengthened with resin. Each of the panels, a uniform turgid brown in colour, comprises several mostly rectangular segments depicting a mathematical idea in visual terms. The installation is impressively large but visually uninspiring, a result of its colour and perhaps its too-literal imagery.

At the heart of the University Precinct is the landmark tower of the Victoria Building on Brownlow Hill, designed by Alfred Waterhouse and built in 1889‑92 (Fig 120). The building originally contained a hall, library and lecture rooms as well as the Jubilee Tower, which is resplendent in red brick and bright red Ruabon terracotta; the terracotta detailing on the tower’s exterior was modelled by Farmer & Brindley, church furnishers and suppliers of architectural sculpture, and includes a fine coat-of-arms. The interior has a breathtaking Burmantofts faience-clad hall, brown up to dado level and pale green and yellow above in chequerwork and stripes. The hall leads on to an equally fine faience staircase with sturdy brown faience balusters. Across the Quadrangle is the Thompson Yates Building (1894-8), also by Waterhouse; on the exterior is an elegant terracotta relief panel dated 1896 and designed by Charles John Allen (1862-1956). Allen worked for Farmer & Brindley during 1879-89 and was instructor of sculpture at Liverpool’s School of Architecture and Applied Art from 1894. This large (over 6 feet high and 16 feet long) panel showed flowing female figures representing ‘Physiology and Pathology’ and was made at the Ruabon terracotta works of J. C. Edwards (Fig 121).[26]

West of the Quadrangle on Brownlow Street is the Civil Engineering Building (1958-9, architect E. Maxwell Fry), instantly recognisable by the gigantic concrete mural of the names of engineers covering the whole vertical slab face of the structure. Covering one wall of the foyer is a large enamelled tile mural by the St Ives artist Peter Lanyon (1918-64) entitled ‘The Conflict of Man with the Tides and the Sands’ (Fig 122). Lanyon, a painter of landscape-inspired abstracts, did many months of investigation into hydraulics before designing the mural, which is a visualisation of research into fluids and solids; an early sketch of the design was shown in the exhibition Mural Art Today held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1960.[27] Lanyon also had to familiarise himself with the technique of enamelling tiles, the medium having been suggested by the building’s architect as one which would stand up to university life better than a conventional canvas.[28] The mural consists of 750 standard six-inch white glazed tiles, which were set out on a 30° ramp to be painted after which they were fired in a small kiln at St Ives. Many of the resulting tiles were found to be unusable due to cracking, shattering and poor paint quality; the work was eventually completed over six months during 1959-60.[29] The mural is strongly coloured and the design very powerful, but the dull quality of the low-fired enamelled surface detracts from its impact.

At the north end of Brownlow Street, on Pembroke Place, is the former Liverpool Royal Infirmary (1886-9, architect Alfred Waterhouse), to which a new outpatients’ department was added in 1909-11 (architect James Francis Doyle); its centrepiece was a galleried hall lit from above and clad in cream and deep green Craven Dunnill tiling. The hospital closed in 1978 and was vacated completely in 1981. Several development proposals were put forward but eventually the University of Liverpool and the North West Regional Health Authority joined forces in 1992 and came up with a scheme which retained all the Waterhouse buildings along with Doyle’s outpatients’ department.

The buildings, which were in an advanced state of decay, were renovated from 1994, the former outpatients’ department becoming part of the University of Liverpool’s Foresight Centre. Restoration of the galleried hall involved the construction of a new entrance arch in MDF, which was then painted by John Hogg, a local sculptor, to resemble tiling. Some moulded plaster replacements were made for damaged tiles, while substitute ceramic tiles were obtained from H. & R. Johnson; the original tiles were 12mm thick, whereas the Johnson replacements were mostly 5 or 6mm. The large number of different sizes and shapes of tiles in the building made restoration difficult, and resin moulds were made for several of these specials. Overall, the restoration is certainly a visual success, giving an impression of a totally ceramic-clad room, although the pre-existing loss of the whole height of the main hall, due to the insertion of upper-level rooms, was unfortunate. Even though ceramics were not used throughout due to the prohibitive cost, the renovated building is now popular and so distinctive as to be remembered by those who use it. This one is not for purists, however. The restoration of Waterhouse’s neighbouring Infirmary Chapel was much more successful. It has a Moorish feel, with large areas of grey, blue and green relief tiling and a roof supported by a series of circular cross-section columns. There were faced in unusual triangular tiles which curve three ways; replacements for some were made by Johnson’s.

Back on Pembroke Place, note the green and yellow tiled facade of Galkoff’s kosher butcher’s shop, complete with Hebrew lettering. Nearby is the Dental Hospital (1965-9); in its entrance hall is a large, low-relief abstract ceramic mural by Rhys and Jean Powell. Finally, and slightly west, on the corner of London Road and Hart Street, is the elaborate bright red terracotta form of the NatWest Bank (1899, W. Hesketh & Co), erected for the Liverpool Furnishing Company. The terracotta was supplied by Jabez Thompson of Northwich, makers of bricks, chimney pots and ridge tiles as well as terracotta of all hues.

To explore the area south of the city centre, begin at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King (1962-7, architect Sir Frederick Gibberd), Mount Pleasant; in the Lady Chapel is a statue of the Madonna and Child by Robert Brumby (b1934) which dates from the 1960s. The basement below the main foyer has a buff and brown tiled floor in a geometric design by David Atkins, who was also responsible for the layout of the marble flooring of the Cathedral itself. Then south to Hope Street and the Philharmonic Hotel, designed by Walter W. Thomas and built around 1898-1900. Its interior is one of the most lavish in Britain, with lashings of mahogany, copper, plaster and stained glass, although little in the way of ceramics apart from in the fairly decorative gentlemen’s toilets. Just south-east is the R. C. Church of St Philip Neri (1914-20) in Catharine Street; its richly decorative, domed interior includes several mosaics. Chinatown lies to the west, past the Anglican Cathedral, and centres on Nelson Street. Its Chinese Arch (completed 2000) has ceramic bronze-yellow roof tiles with figures and animals worked into them; the arch was designed and made in China by the Shanghai Linyi Garden Building Co Ltd, and erected in Liverpool by Chinese craftspeople (Fig 123).[30] The nearby Golden Yuen restaurant sports a large Chinese-themed tile panel.

But the great ceramic surprise of the Cathedral area stands slightly further to the south: the mighty red terracotta towers and stack of the Mersey Brewery in Stanhope Street (Fig 124). Like many Victorian breweries this is a complex structure erected over several years, although bright red Ruabon terracotta and red brick covers most of its exterior. The rear section was begun for the brewer Robert Cain around 1875 and completed in 1887; the terracotta bears repeats of one of Cain’s symbols, hops above five crosses (a unicorn was also used by Cain’s). The front section was completed in 1902, and its interior faced throughout with glazed bricks, all now overpainted apart from those in the top floor hop store, which is a wonderful showpiece. Its wall surfaces are completely of glazed brick, basically in white but with a pale blue dado and arched openings picked out in brown. The brewery was sold to Higson’s in 1923, and the new owners changed the terracotta work to include their name; this can easily be seen from the side elevation where plain bricks have been substituted for the previous lettering. But Higson’s could not get rid of all the Cain’s symbolism, as three unicorns remain, one over the gateway and two high up on the facade. These red terracotta unicorns, which must have been very difficult to make, are beautifully preserved with their horns intact. There is also good terracotta lettering for the Grapes Inn, the brewery tap, which forms one corner of the brewery. Altogether this is an outstanding building, which still performs its original function.


St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s Road, Grassendale was built in 1853‑4 and designed by the architect Arthur Hill Holme; the church has a Minton tile pavement.


St Columba’s Church (1932), Pinehurst Road was designed in art deco style (hence its nickname the ‘Anfield Odeon’) by the Liverpool architect Bernard Miller. It was built from small, handmade grey bricks, a favourite of Miller’s, and roofed in bright green pantiles. Inside are several works by the Liverpool potter Julia Carter Preston, who first collaborated with Miller when she was a student during the 1950s.[31] The wall plaques in the sanctuary, the door to the aumbry in the Lady Chapel, and the bowl of the font and its ewer were all carried out in sgraffito by Julia Carter Preston, who also designed one of stained glass windows. The plaques commemorate the golden and diamond jubilees of the church, while a further plaque installed during 2002 marks the seventieth anniversary of the consecration of the church, as well as its recent restoration. The latter plaque is located in the entrance hall, which links the church with its new community centre.

Edge Hill

Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Crown Street opened in 1995; its wide range of artworks includes three ceramic installations by Gerald Buchanan dating from around 2002. The lozenge-shaped ‘Rock Pool’ and seven lancet-shaped panels can be found in the central corridors of the building, while a further eight lozenge-shaped abstract panels hang in the rear entrance. All use brightly coloured glazes in mainly greens and blues, along with small glass insets; the overall theme is water. To the east in Smithdown Road, opposite Toxteth Park Cemetery, is the Royal Hotel with ornate exterior tilework by Maw & Co, mostly in floral relief patterns including a pomegranate design which appeared in the firm’s 1883 catalogue.


Bryant & May’s match factory (architects Mewes & Davis) on Speke Road is an art deco structure dating from the 1920s; it has a colourful frieze of six-inch tiles running along its entire length between the ground and first floor windows. The factory closed in 1994 and was partly refurbished as offices - the Match Works - around 2001 by Urban Splash.

Mossley Hill

Sudley House, Mossley Hill, was built in the early 1800s and was the home of the shipping magnate and art collector George Holt and his family. In 1944 his daughter Emma Holt bequeathed the house and the collection of paintings assembled by her father to the City of Liverpool. Sudley is now part of the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, and houses a unique survival, a Victorian picture collection in its original domestic setting. There are several tiled fireplaces: in the Library fireplace are panels depicting Music and Painting by W. B. Simpson, while other fireplaces have (mainly Dutch) tin‑glazed earthenware tiles and the Classical Ladies series by Minton China Works.


Speke Hall (NT), which dates from about 1530, stands on the north bank of the Mersey at the end of The Walk. It is home to a large Delft tile panel conserved in 1999 at the NMGM Conservation Centre in Liverpool. On the far side of Speke in Heathgate Avenue is St Ambrose R. C. Church, designed by Weightman & Bullen and built in 1959-61. Its rectangular openwork tower is as dramatic as its lofty interior, which houses Stations of the Cross (1960) by the artist Adam Kossowski. The colourful, unglazed ceramic plaques are all about three feet square.


The Princes Road Synagogue was opened in 1874 and designed by the Audsley brothers, the architects George Ashdown Audsley (1838-1925) and William James Audsley (1833-1907), who practiced as partners in Liverpool from 1860. Its vestibule is floored by an excellent geometric tile pavement whose layout is based around repeats of the six-pointed Star of David, while a strip of brown tiles bearing white Hebrew lettering - ‘Blessed Art Thou Who Enter Here’ - forms the border between the vestibule and the synagogue proper (Fig 125). Inside, the sumptuous Moorish decoration, restored after damage by fire in 1978, is the best remaining example of the decorative work of the Audsleys, who were also leading pattern designers. The slightly earlier restoration by the Audsleys of Bebington parish church in Cheshire (reopened 1872) featured Prussian-made tiles designed by the architects.[32]

Next door to the Synagogue at 5 Princes Road is Streatlam Tower (1871), a Scottish Baronial-style pile designed by the Audsleys with an interesting (if small) encaustic tile pavement in the circular entrance hall. Just north of the house is St Margaret’s Church (1868-9, G. E. Street); its rich anglo-catholic interior, which includes an opus sectile reredos, was undergoing renovation in 2003.

Tue Brook

The Public Baths on Lister Drive opened in 1903; it was one of a number of baths and washhouses built in the city around the turn of the century. The baths closed in the early 1980s, but after six years of neglect restoration began and the building was eventually reopened by businessman Bob Allen in 1992 as the Lister Drive Fisheries and Pet Centre. Nearly 2,000 koi carp now swim contentedly in the thirty-metre pool, while songbirds inhabit the changing cubicles and all around are pet accessories, crammed into every nook and cranny of the superb Pilkington’s faience and tile interior, shown in the firm’s trade literature and a precursor of Manchester’s Victoria Baths (see below).[33] The facade is in unremarkable red brick, but the entrance hall is all green and yellow faience, with a good green faience stair ascending to the rear. Repeats of the Fish and Leaf tile, designed by the architect C. F. A. Voysey for Pilkington’s, in two shades of green feature on the tile and faience arcade surrounding the pool, while more fish appear as motifs in the stained glasswork.[34] Low lights, glistening tiles, reflections from the water and the presence of the fish, from regal carp to mere goldfish, make for a uniquely atmospheric setting.

West Derby

Inside St James Church, Mill Lane is an impressive war memorial which includes an image of the Lusitania; it is one of only two such memorials in the country to depict the liner. This unusual memorial, which measures around 15 feet high by 6 feet wide, is made from a glazed ceramic, possibly opus sectile, and glass mosaic. It records the dead of the First World War in a roll of honour topped by a female head, and includes images of a soldier and sailor as well as the liner; beneath is an additional section recording names of the fallen in the Second World War. Its maker is unknown; it is not in the style of Powell’s of Whitefriars, who made many opus sectile memorials. The memorial is in poor condition and the church hopes to be able to fund its conservation.


Twenty-four glazed ceramic relief panels were made by the artist Adam Kossowski in 1962 for the courtyard of St Francis Xavier’s College, Beaconsfield Road. They are all about six feet in height and eighteen inches wide and their designs represent religion (ten panels), art (seven panels) and science (seven panels). The three themes also have different combinations of glaze colours.


The town of Lytham St Anne’s stretches round the Fylde coast from the suburb of St Anne’s in the north-west through Fairhaven to Lytham at its eastern end. The main road running through the town, parallel to but a little inland from the coast, is Clifton Drive.


Fairhaven Congregational Church (now United Reformed Church), Clifton Drive South and Ansdell Road South, is often referred to as the White Church because of its striking white faience exterior; a 90 feet high domed, octagonal campanile adds to the exotic effect. It was built in 1904-11 and designed in vaguely Byzantine style by the architects Briggs, Wolstenholme and Thornley of Blackburn, who were also responsible for the Palatine Bank, Manchester, put up in 1908-9. Its banking hall had a remarkable interior faced with white Doulton

Carraraware and including several pictorial tile panels. It was not Doulton, however, who supplied the faience for the White Church but the Middleton Fireclay Works, founded as an offshoot of the Leeds Fireclay Co Ltd in 1909; the faience, tradename Ceramo, has already required substantial restoration and is still in poor condition. Inside the church is unusual stained glass by the Lancaster firm Abbott & Co, featuring a portrait of Oliver Cromwell and showing his part in the history of the reformed tradition, as well as attractive arts and crafts style furnishings.

St Anne’s

The St Anne’s Hotel used to stand on St Andrew’s Road North, close to St Anne’s railway station; it has been replaced by the Crescent PH but the original basement bar, once known as Burlington Bertie’s, still remains as a nightclub by the name of Tiles. The bar, which can be seen from the street, is an excellent example of complete fitting out by Craven Dunnill, and includes a good geometric tiled floor, moulded wall tiling (some plain, some flowers and patterns) and an exceedingly long ceramic barfront in one of the firm’s two standard designs. It is identical to the barfront at the Red Lion, Erdington, Birmingham and in colour is mostly yellow, brown, green and pink, with some floral motifs.


Manchester is not such a ceramic city as Birmingham or Leeds. The only local tile factory - Pilkington’s, whose works are four miles north-west of the city centre at Clifton Junction, Pendlebury - was established near the turn of the century and quarries producing durable stone were nearer to the city centre than any major terracotta works. But two suburban churches provide significant examples of the early use of terracotta: Holy Trinity Church, Platt, Rusholme (1844-6), one of Edmund Sharpe’s ‘pot churches’, albeit something of a false start, and Holy Name of Jesus, Chorlton on Medlock (1869-71), one of several 1860s churches where experimentation with the material resumed. Manchester saw many terracotta and faience buildings erected in the Edwardian era, with Burmantofts faience in particular coming to the fore as cladding for the city’s mini-skyscrapers; in addition, tiled entrance halls from this period are almost ten-a-penny. The otherwise unspectacular Albert House (1903) for instance, in Bloom Street just west of Piccadilly Station, has a lovely glazed faience foyer in deep lime green and rich turquoise. This description follows a broadly circular route around the city, beginning and ending at Piccadilly railway station, and is followed by a listing of suburban locations.[35]

From platform level at Manchester Piccadilly, descend through the brick-arched bowels of the station to the Metrolink platforms and thence the pedestrian exit; once across London Road, the towers of Whitworth Street beckon. The first of the monumental structures which inhabit this grand terracotta canyon is the former Police and Fire Station (1901-6, architects Woodhouse, Willoughby and Langham). Here Renaissance forms are modelled on a Baroque scale with enormous sculptural figures and corner cupolas; the buff terracotta and darker brown faience is by Burmantofts, the various symbolic pictorial panels - on judicial and firefighting themes - being modelled by J. J. Millson of the Manchester firm of architectural sculptors.[36]

Next in line is the Main Building of the University of Manchester (1895-1902, architects Spalding and Cross). Another behemoth, its exterior is lavishly endowed with tawny-red Burmantofts terracotta panels with Renaissance motifs. Inside, stairs with terracotta balustrades lead down to the main hall, which has large, square cross-section terracotta columns ending in massive brackets, and there is yet more terracotta on the main staircase at the rear. The architects Bradshaw, Gass and Hope, who made extensive use of architectural ceramics through the Edwardian and interwar periods, designed the extension (behind the Main Building) in 1927; its red brick and terracotta must have appeared quite outlandish by the time the block was completed in 1957. Continue a few blocks west to find Asia House (1906-9, architect I. R. E. Birkett, now apartments) at 82 Princess Street; the warehouse’s complex of entrance passages are lined with much green faience while a fabulous relief-tiled frieze of art nouveau trees and fruits runs up the stairwell.

Still further west, past the junction with Princess Street, is a series of warehouses built for Lloyd’s Packing Warehouses Ltd, a firm which built some of Manchester’s largest warehouses in the first three decades of the twentieth century, before the cotton trade began to decline. Lloyd’s offered space to individual merchants and supplied the necessary loading and packing machinery. The Blackburn architect Harry S. Fairhurst moved his practice to Manchester in 1905 after gaining his first Lloyd’s commission, and went on to build most of their warehouses.[37] Those in Whitworth Street, with their facings of Burmantofts faience and their steel frames, are probably the nearest English equivalent to the skyscrapers being built in New York and Chicago just after the turn of the century. Fairhurst designed Lancaster House, with its glazed terracotta wedding-cake style tower on the Princess Street corner, in 1907-10; the 150 feet high tower made the warehouse the tallest building in Manchester. Just beyond is India House (1905-9, also by Fairhurst) with its yellowy-buff vitreous glazed terracotta and red brick, while opposite is Fairhurst’s Bridgewater House (1912-14), clad in Burmantofts Lefco. When complete, Bridgewater House was the tallest building in Britain and the largest packing house in the world. At this point, a diversion south into Charles Street (via Princess Street) will bring you to the Lass O’Gowrie, a pub built on almost as grand a scale as the nearby warehouses. It has a facade (probably late Victorian) of rich dark brown faience, mostly plain but with good lettering and improbably tall doorcases.

Return to Whitworth Street for its culmination, the former Refuge Assurance Building, now the Palace Hotel, much of it clad in dark red Doulton terracotta.[38] The massive towered structure was built in three phases: firstly the Oxford Street and Whitworth Street corner (1891-5, Alfred Waterhouse), then a second building on Oxford Street (1910-12, Paul Waterhouse) including the tower above the main entrance, and finally the third element on Whitworth Street (1932, Stanley Birkett). Burmantofts wares decorate the interior of the first building. Its corner entrance is now closed but the excellent golden-brown, cream and green faience arcaded vestibule is still visible, and there is a miniature turreted castle - symbolising a refuge - in terracotta on the facade above. After the death of Alfred Waterhouse in 1905 his practice turned to J. C. Edwards of Ruabon for terracotta supplies, and ceramics for the building’s interior decorative scheme were supplied by Edwards along with Burmantofts and Doulton. The main entrance courtyard is in buff glazed material and parts of the slightly disappointing interior are richly decorated with cream, red and green faience.[39]

A little south of the Palace Hotel, and across Oxford Street, is the former Regal Cinema (1929-30, architects Pendleton & Dickenson), now the Dancehouse Theatre. Its classical buff faience facade has orange highlights and the letters ‘EN’ for Emmanual Nove, for whom the cinema was built. Turn north again to find J. & J. Shaw’s warehouse in New Wakefield Street, just before the railway bridge; its fine ceramic doorcase incorporates the date 1924 and the firm’s name. The manufacturer was probably Carter’s of Poole, to judge from the distinctive blue glaze and the style of lettering. Return to Oxford Street, turning left to find the Palace Theatre (1891), its facade of pale yellow Shaws of Darwen faience being an addition of 1956 by architects Wilfred Thorpe and H. Hirst Smith. A close inspection of the facade reveals that the Shaws ‘Sunshine’ mottled faience has a rich variety of surface patterning, a type of finish popular in the fifties. Frank Matcham’s 1896 internal redecoration (not in a publicly accessible area) included extensive glazed tiling featuring plaques of nymphs. The faience cladding is described as ‘ugly beige tiles’ in Clare Hartwell’s Pevsner Manchester (2001), while Parkinson-Bailey’s Manchester (2000) suggests the facade looks ‘like a public lavatory’. Clearly appreciation of twentieth century architectural ceramics is still lacking amongst some architectural historians.[40]

Across Oxford Street is Churchgate House, all red brick striped with buff glazed terracotta; it was built in 1896-8 (architect J. Gibbons Sankey) as warehouses and offices for the Bolton firm of textile manufacturers Tootal, Broadhurst and Lee. Briefly left into Great Bridgewater Street for Canada House (now offices), a packing warehouse built in 1905-9 (architects W. & G. Higginbottom) with acres of shining, ornate buff faience. Just beyond is the Peveril of the Peak public house, a little ceramic jewel on a triangular site, refaced around 1900 with much yellow glazed brick in two shades with some relief patterning. Its completely ceramic exterior includes good lettering, green faience window surrounds and colourful relief-tiled doorcases. Further along, near the Bridgewater Hall, is the Britons Protection, a pub remodelled in the 1920s with an unusual amount of tiling in the bar and corridors. Return to Oxford Street for all that remains of Prince’s Building (1903, I. R. E. Birkett), the facade in shiny dark buff terracotta with a scalloped roofline, and the nearby Picture House (1911, now McDonalds), an early cinema for Provincial Cinematograph Theatres by architects Naylor and Sale, with pretty buff terracotta dressings.

Oxford Street runs into Peter Street where the Midland Hotel (now Crowne Plaza), a gargantuan essay in terracotta and faience, stands on the south side of St Peter’s Square (Fig 126). This massive block, in red brick and Leeds Fireclay’s brown vitreous faience (even the chimney pots are glazed), was built for the Midland Railway in 1898-1903 to designs by their architect Charles Trubshaw (1841-1917), an enthusiast for terracotta which can also be seen on his slightly earlier London Road station in Leicester. The Midland Hotel provided accommodation in the form of 400 bedrooms for the adjacent Central Station (1880, now GMEX) to which it was linked by a glazed canopy. The hotel was the counterpart of the Grand Hotel at London’s St Pancras Station, where Midland trains from Manchester terminated. Unlike St Pancras, the Central Station never had a proper frontage; wooden offices were erected as a temporary measure, but after the hotel was put up across the street, the ramshackle offices continued to disfigure the great trainshed, which closed in 1969.

The frontages of the Midland Hotel use French Renaissance forms, such as pediments and arcades, but worked to a huge scale with a range of figurative sculpture including several of the Midland Railway’s wyverns on the north facade. On the Lower Mosley Street side are four high relief semicircular panels in golden-brown Burmantofts faience signed by E. C. Spruce, showing female figures representing the Arts; architecture is illustrated by a figure holding a pair of dividers over an ionic capital and holding in her left hand a Renaissance building. Along with a stained glass window, these tympana are the last vestiges of the hotel’s first floor concert hall, which was reconstructed to provide more bedrooms in 1922. On the Mount Street side is a pitch-roofed and double-arched secondary entrance, again in ornate brown faience, which leads to a spiralling stairwell lined with unusual, probably continental, glittering white rectangular tiles with a delicate floral motif. This area was originally the entrance to the German Restaurant. In the St Peter’s Square entrance is a red terracotta wall plaque (1999) by the sculptor Lynda Addison depicting the meeting of Charles Rolls and Henry Royce at the hotel in 1904.

Northward across St Peter’s Square is the Town Hall (1868-77, architect Alfred Waterhouse), a hollow triangle in plan with its main entrance on Albert Square. The magnificent interiors have a complexity in part resulting from the triangular site, but also from the use of a wide range of decorative materials and finishes, including tiles and terracotta. The main entrance and the waiting hall are dominated by a variety of stone finishes, but the walls of the waiting hall have a six feet high dado of tiles in two colours, capped by a stone moulding and carried up to terracotta arches. Some of the ground and first floor corridors have a groined roof covered by ribs of moulded terracotta manufactured by Gibbs & Canning of Tamworth; the walls down to within about five feet of the floor are also of terracotta, in blue and buff bands, below which is a dado of glazed tiles. The design and colour of the tile dados varies throughout the building, giving identity to the important but otherwise rather gloomy circulation areas. The buff and pale blue colours of the terracotta supplied by Gibbs & Canning present a fascinating antecedent for the facade of Waterhouses’s Natural History Museum, completed in 1881. It seems likely that the architect’s experience of working with Gibbs & Canning, and in achieving a blue colour through the use of a cobalt slip over the buff body at Manchester, gave him the confidence to use this supplier for the polychromatic terracotta on the facade and the interior of the Museum.

Alfred Waterhouse is known to have designed tiles for Craven Dunnill, and these probably include the encaustics of the Town Hall’s first floor corridor and possibly the more elaborate designs in the reception room chimneypiece. There is a very wide range of designs and forms in the chimneypiece tiles of the state rooms and mayoral apartments. Some of the best tiles are in the banqueting hall, in blue and white colours and depicting fruit; the nearest equivalent to these designs are those in the Poynter room at the Victoria and Albert Museum.[41] The Town Hall Extension (1934-8, E. Vincent Harris) stands to the south of the Town Hall, fronting on to St Peter’s Square. Its facing is mostly of sandstone but there are decorative faience panels by Shaws of Darwen below the top storey windows; these were mentioned in the firm’s list of contracts executed during 1935-6. Their designs, complex tree-like forms, seem rather too detailed for distant viewing.

Return to Peter Street for a contrast to both the gothic Town Hall and slightly overblown Midland Hotel, the gaudy facade of the YMCA Building (now St George’s House), which is almost unique in its exploitation of the decorative possibilities of faience in a modernistic manner. Designed by Woodhouse, Corbett and Dean and built in 1907-11, it represents an attempt to combine a structure of reinforced concrete (the first in the city) with appropriate facings by Burmantofts. The faience blocks and slabs were fixed directly to the reinforced concrete, which was used for both frame and walls. The ground floor is of deep chocolate coloured material, rusticated with rounded corners appropriate for moulded rather than carved material. Brown and buff material is used for the upper floors, with the decoration at second floor level being in vertical strips of spiralling acanthus set between plain blocks of faience. When the building was converted to offices in 1993 by Austin Strzala Turner and Ove Arup & Partners, many faience blocks with distinctive spirals of fruit and vegetation were lost, as incursions were made to treat rusted reinforcements. However, replacement blocks by Shaws of Darwen proved a good match for the colour and gleaming surface of the originals.[42]

Turn north now to head for Victoria Station, which can be reached by Metrolink tram as an alternative to the walk along Deansgate. The tram route takes in the High Street and the Arndale Centre (1972-9, Wilson & Womersley), once the largest covered shopping mall in Europe, which was damaged but not completely destroyed by a terrorist bomb in 1996. The Arndale’s tower and external walls were faced with pre-cast panels of Shaws Twintiles in a deep buff, almost bronze, colour. Twintiles, manufactured during the 1960s and 1970s, were 9 inch by 3 inch tiles made specifically to be used on a concrete surface, either prefabricated or in situ. The vast tiled walls of the Arndale almost inevitably gave rise to its nickname, ‘the largest public lavatory in the world’, and its 1998-9 refurbishment banished tiling from the most popular pedestrian routes.

The walking route to Victoria Station continues along Peter Street, passing the former Albert Memorial Hall, a methodist hall built in 1910 for the local Wesleyan Mission. The exterior includes some decent Burmantofts buff terracotta detailing, while the fine art nouveau tiled foyer seems quite appropriate for its present use as Brannigans, a public house; the building underwent conversion in 1999. Turn right into Deansgate, coming almost immediately to the red brick and buff terracotta Onward Buildings at 205-9 Deansgate. It was designed by the architect Charles Heathcote, best known for his lavish bank interiors, and built in 1903-5 for a wealthy temperance organisation, the Band of Hope. No expense was spared on the Onward Buildings interior (no public access), which includes an unusual top floor meeting room with completely tiled walls and faience-lined porthole windows. The dado, about nine feet in height, is of relief tiles in shades of green, possibly made by Pilkington’s; they record the names of towns throughout Lancashire, beginning with Accrington, presumably wherever the temperance societies had a presence.

At the crossing with John Dalton Street is the Sawyer’s Arms pub, its elaborate early twentieth century red and yellow faience facade including grotesque capital heads. Slightly west on Bridge Street is the former Manchester and Salford Street Children Mission (1896, W. & G. Higginbottom); its pretty green and cream faience facade has good lettering and panels of children’s heads. Return to Deansgate, turning left then right along King Street to reach Cross Street and Mr Thomas’s pub (formerly the Chop House), its rear facade refaced in buff terracotta in 1901. Inside is an unusual green-tiled archway dividing two rear rooms. To the east at 10 Norfolk Street, on the corner with Brown Street, is the former Palatine Bank (1908-9, architects Briggs, Wolstenholme and Thornley), recognisable by its massive circular towers. The street is now something of a backwater and the bank’s exterior gives no clue as to the existence of three superb Doulton pictorial panels in the domed banking hall; they came to light during the building’s conversion to offices in 1991-3. This remarkable interior had walls faced in Doulton’s Carraraware, into which were set, at a high level, three semicircular painted tile panels, each about ten feet wide and five feet in height. The panels, by the Doulton designer Arthur E. Pearce (who worked for Doulton of Lambeth during 1873-1930, becoming chief draughtsman at the Lambeth Pottery) and the artist John Henry McLennan, are on the themes of shipping, trading and the arts. The basic form of the banking hall was retained during the conversion work, with the addition of a high-level circular walkway to allow access to the panels.[43]

At the north end of Cross Street is Exchange Square and the former Corn Exchange, rebuilt after damage from the 1996 bomb blast as The Triangle shopping mall. The original building, which was put up in two phases, 1889-90 and 1904-14, had a large interior tiling scheme of which a substantial amount survives. At the south (Hanging Ditch) entrance plain, highly glazed wall tiles, mostly in shades of green, can still be seen running upward through several floors of the stairwell, with some relief tiles on the upper floors.

A block north, past the glass block of Urbis, is Victoria Station on Victoria Station Approach. With Piccadilly Station having been rebuilt and Central Station closed, Manchester Victoria is the only station to survive in much of its original form. It is something of a conglomeration, partly due to the fact that it was located adjacent to Exchange Station which is now closed; it was also altered during the 1990s to provide for the Metrolink trams. Victoria Station was given a lengthy stone frontage block in 1909 when the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway employed William Dawes to bring some order to a rather rambling collection of platforms and offices. Much of the concourse is still lined with glazed bricks, with faience blocks being used as signs for the offices. Other signs, such as for the lavatories, are executed in gold and turquoise mosaic, and the ladies toilet has interior tiling featuring a relief of the Tudor rose. One wall of the station, in the double-height opening to Victoria Station Approach, is almost completely covered with a railway map showing the routes of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. The lines (in red) appear to have been painted on white glazed bricks rather than fired into the glaze. The most impressive ceramic feature of the station is the refreshment room which was originally the first class restaurant and grill room. Above its glazed bricks is a cornice of vitreous buff faience with mosaic lettering and sweeping acanthus decoration in green and white; the interior is also highly decorative.

To return to Piccadilly, head east along Hanover Street, passing the ice blue and cream Baroque faience facade of Holyoake House (architect F. E. L. Harris), built in 1911 for the Co-operative Union, one of several Co-op buildings in this area. Continue south-eastward, eventually crossing Tib Street after about a quarter mile. Centred on Tib Street is a public art trail including pavement poetry, ceramic birds perched on window ledges (a reminder of eighteenth-century bird sellers) and new ceramic street signs - white on blue for east-west streets and blue on white for north-south - which help give the district its own identity. The artworks continue at 1-5 Dorsey Street, where small blue and gold ceramic insets decorate a new building, and along Village Way, where tiles depict historical images. Finally there are ceramic murals in Foundry Lane - Mr Tib (1997) by Stephen Dixon, in glazed stoneware and reduction-fired red earthenware, occupies a building niche - and on the Silver Jubilee Walk and Tib Street corner, whose gable end displays Duck and Potts Mill (1997), a ceramic mural by Liz Scrine who based the design, which shows the ghost of the old mill, on textile patterns. At the top of Tib Street, on the east corner with Swan Street, is an interwar office building with an excellent white faience facade including green decorative elements; just west, at 8 and 10 Swan Street (the latter the former office of the print union NATSOPA), are two more interwar buildings with mostly yellow faience facades and egyptianate detailing.

Slightly east on Oldham Street is the Castle Hotel, a small pub with a brown faience facade dating from around 1897 and including white ‘Castle Hotel’ lettering with an emphatic full stop; the entrance mosaic shows a castle while a colourful, curved faience barfront survives inside. Nearby is the overpowering interwar white faience facade of the former Dobbins store. Turn left into Dale Street, heading towards Piccadilly, but for an interesting diversion go left into Port Street then right into Hilton Street; here Hilton House, a 1960s office block, displays prodigious areas of bluish-purple twintiles, as facing on its Port Street facade and as a huge rectangular mural on its Tariff Street side. Continue east along Tariff Street, crossing the Rochdale Canal to see, standing alone in Laystall Street, the former warehouse (1880, M. Seanor) of Armstrong’s, a firm of terracotta and firebrick manufacturers established in 1838, whose works stood near the site of Piccadilly Station.[44] Not surprisingly, its facade has much terracotta enrichment.

Return to Dale Street; near the Rochdale Canal Basin is Langley Buildings (1909, R. Argile) in gleaming brown faience, bloated neoclassical in style with much ornate decoration. Take Lena Street to reach Piccadilly; on the corner, at 107 Piccadilly, is the former office and warehouse of Sparrow, Hardwick & Co (1899, Charles Heathcote) with an open tiled entrance in typical Burmantofts colours, pale browns and greens, including a good shell niche. Almost opposite is the flamboyant red brick, buff terracotta and olive green faience facade of the Malmaison Hotel, which incorporates Joshua Hoyle’s steel-framed warehouse (1904, Charles Heathcote). Piccadilly Station is straight ahead along Station Approach.


The Marble Arch at 73 Rochdale Road (the junction with Gould Street), less than a mile north of the city centre, was built in 1888 for the local brewers, McKenna’s Harpurhey Brewery. McKenna’s were taken over by Walker & Homfrays of Salford in 1903, and the pub went through further changes of ownership before closing in the early 1980s and being sold off, by which time its interior was a mass of plasterboarding. It eventually reopened and the interior was slowly restored, a process which took until the late 1990s and revealed a magnificent ceramic interior. The pub, which was designed by architects Darbyshire & Smith, has a sloping, patterned mosaic floor over huge cellars, which extend beyond the confines of the pub and were used for maturing casks of McKenna’s porter. The walls are of glazed brick in shades of brown, with a top-level frieze of floral relief tiles bearing the words ‘Gin’, Porter’, ‘Brandy’ and so forth. The unusual jack-arched ceiling has exposed cast-iron beams supported on faience-clad brackets; Darbyshire was an expert in fireproof construction.


The Apollo Theatre (1938, architects Peter Cummings and A. M. Irvine), originally a ‘super cinema’, Stockport Road, is now a concert hall. Its modernist white faience facade has rounded front corners and some art deco ornament.

Chorlton on Medlock

Just south of the city centre, on Oxford Road at its junction with Grosvenor Street, is the neoclassical green and white faience facade of the former Grosvenor Picture Palace (1913-15, now a pub); its canted corner tower, open at top and bottom, is a minor landmark. The cinema was designed by the architect Percy Hothersall and said to be the largest outside London; it seated almost 1,000. Hothersall went on to design the Piccadilly ‘super cinema’ (opposite Piccadilly Gardens) in 1922, which was faced in Doulton’s Carraraware; this closed prior to the Second World War although part of the facade remains.

Across Oxford Street is Grosvenor Square and the campus of Manchester Metropolitan University. On the south side of the square is the Grosvenor Building, part of which was originally the Municipal School of Art, and to the rear in Higher Ormond Street its 1897 red brick and salmon-pink Doulton terracotta extension designed by J. Gibbons Sankey (architect of Churchgate House). A range of nine semicircular-headed windows each comprise a pair of lancets with an angel spandrel; the angels, designed by W. J. Neatby, hold shields on which is a date or image, including a coat of arms. The chimneys are corbelled out on delightful angel heads, and green men lurk in foliage. A large plaque records the gift of £10,000 towards the erection of the new wing by the council and guarantors of the Manchester Royal Jubilee Exhibition held in 1887. Inside is more Neatby detailing on terracotta arcades in the upper floor corridors. Opposite is the Righton Building (1905), built as a draper’s shop in rich ochre terracotta and white brick, but impossible to enjoy because of the hideous replacement corner section.

Slightly north, on the west side of Grosvenor Square in Lower Ormond Street, is the Ormond Building, built in 1881 as offices for the Poor Law Commissioners, and now part of Manchester Metropolitan University; the architects were Mangnall & Littlewoods of Manchester, who later became well known for their seaside buildings. Its extensive interior wall tiling, some (possibly all) by Minton’s, was overpainted in the 1930s and revealed during its 1996-7 refurbishment.

Immediately north of the Ormond Building is St Augustine’s R. C. Church, the Catholic parish church of Chorlton on Medlock and the chaplaincy of Manchester Metropolitan University. The parish was established in 1820; the previous church was destroyed in the Blitz of 1940, and the present St Augustine’s was built in 1967-8. The architects were Desmond Williams & Associates. Inside this dark brick box is a massive Christ in Glory reredos by Robert Brumby, a huge floor to ceiling installation centred on the grey figure of Christ amidst manic whirls of blue, green and brown stoneware tiles, set on edge and at all angles; there are also some glazed elements (Fig 127). Despite the muted colours this is a very powerful piece, but its method of construction, with the individual pieces jammed together higgledy-piggledy, may cause conservation problems eventually as some tiles have already become loose. 

About half a mile further south along Oxford Road, just south of Dover Street, is the vast Holy Name of Jesus R. C. Church (1869-71), a Jesuit foundation notable for its internal use of terracotta by Gibbs & Canning. Experimentation with terracotta in a church context had almost ceased after the criticism of Edmund Sharpe’s two ‘pot churches’ in the 1840s, but by the 1860s a few architects were prepared see what possibilities were offered by the material. The Holy Name of Jesus was designed by the architects Joseph Aloysius Hansom and his son Joseph Stanislaus Hansom, who used lightweight polygonal blocks of terracotta to form the rib-vaulting which runs throughout the church (Fig 128). The rib-vaults were very like those of Manchester Town Hall, being put up by Waterhouse at much the same time and using terracotta by the same manufacturer. In the church, the supporting piers were thinner than normal stone piers, and as a result the church seems airy and open; the tracery is noticeably more delicate than stonework, with an almost frilly feel. Terracotta was also used as an internal facing material, for instance in the diamond-patterned columns of the baptistery. The interior lightness extends to the colour of the terracotta, which was sandblasted in 1972, taking off its buff surface and rendering it much paler.

A further half mile south on the east side of Oxford Road is the Royal Eye Hospital (1886), which has much bright red terracotta with unremarkable decoration. The exception is a well-modelled relief panel high up at the north end of the facade, entitled The miracle of Jesus healing a blind man; the subject and style suggest this may be by George Tinworth of Doulton’s.[45] Almost opposite the hospital is the Whitworth Art Gallery, built between 1894 and 1908; the architects were J. W. Beaumont & Sons. Again red terracotta (here by J. C. Edwards)  dominates, with yards of hefty balustrading and runs of large, semicircular decorative panels in arcading on the north and south sides of the building.


Stretching along the front of Hulme Library and Adult Education Centre, Stretford Road (just south of the city centre) is the Hulme Millennium Mural, an irregularly-shaped ceramic mural over ninety feet in length. Its bold, colourful images, including the nearby Hulme Arch of 1997, show the history of Hulme and its regeneration. The mural, which was unveiled in 2002, took two and a half years to make and used over two tonnes of clay; it was the work of Hulme Urban Potters, a collective of students and tutors based at the Centre.


The Victoria Baths, Hathersage Road, was a luxurious bathhouse built by Manchester Corporation in 1903-6 to serve the whole of the city; it was designed by the City Architect, Henry Price (Fig 129). The building cost £59,000 and was described by the Lord Mayor on its opening day as a ‘water palace’. The exterior, with its fine clock turret, makes a strong statement in red brick with buff terracotta dressings by J. C. Edwards including a mermaid relief and signs for ‘Males 1st Class’, ‘Males 2nd Class’ and ‘Females’. Inside are three swimming pools (the first-class males bathed in the water before it was recycled for other users!), a complete Turkish Baths suite, a laundry and much tiling and stained glass. The most lavishly tiled entrance was for the first-class males, with floor-to-ceiling art nouveau relief patterned tiling in green and yellow, a wonderfully fishy mosaic floor and a green faience balustrade on the main staircase. Pilkington’s were almost certainly responsible for the faience; they supplied a similarly elaborate faience staircase for Liverpool’s Lister Drive Baths, completed in 1903 (see Liverpool, Tue Brook, above).[46] There is also tiling in the second-class male entrance, but the female entrance is rather more basic, although still with a tiled dado. The tiles were made by Pilkington’s and designed by Frederick C. Howells, who was taken on by the firm to carry out large-scale tiling contracts.[47] The unusual stained glass windows include some with images of sportsmen by William Pointer of Manchester. The Baths closed in 1993 and since then has been cared for by the Victoria Baths Trust, which is hoping to re-open the main swimming pool and restore as many of the building’s original features as possible.

About half a mile south of the Victoria Baths is Platt Lane and Holy Trinity Church, Platt, the second of the architect Edmund Sharpe’s terracotta ‘pot churches’; his first was built on the outskirts of Bolton in 1844-5. In 1844, well before the Bolton church was complete, Sharpe was commissioned by Thomas Worsley of Platt Hall to design a second terracotta church. Holy Trinity was erected in 1845-6 using (as before) terracotta from the Ladyshore Colliery, Little Lever; it was much less profusely decorated than the Bolton church, although almost twice the size with a handsome tower and tall spire. Sharpe encountered fewer difficulties in its construction, partly due to the experience gained at Bolton, but also to the fact that the Platt design called for less detailing; the decoration was designed to be worked in smaller pieces, thus ensuring the wall blocks were properly fired. Also, owing to the earlier experience where underfired and porous blocks had to be cut out and replaced, more of the Platt terracotta was hollow, leading to The Builder's comment that ‘Every piece is hollow, being as it appeared, afterwards filled or backed up with concrete. They are nothing more than pots...’.[48] Unfortunately neither Sharpe nor The Builder had the imagination to see that this method of construction would become standard practice; Sharpe’s main concern was authenticity rather than innovation.

Whalley Range

St Bede’s R. C. College (now St Bede’s Preparatory School), Alexandra Road South, was built in 1878-84 incorporating the former Manchester Aquarium; the architects were Dunn & Hansom (Fig 130). This eleven-bay Italianate structure of red brick and bright orangey-red Doulton terracotta has some unusual decorative features including giant terracotta bees (a Manchester symbol) buzzing about on the upper part of the facade, modelled terracotta heads in the window pediments, and a pair of blue glazed Doultonware columns supporting the porch. The main entrance is flanked by four vitreous enamelled terracotta panels representing scholarly and academic disciplines and modelled in high relief by John Broad; these are the only known examples of this striking technique.[49]


The Victoria Pavilion was built on Marine Road Central, right at the centre of Morecambe’s seafront, in 1897. The architects of the music hall, which was an extension of the Winter Gardens (1878, demolished 1982), were Mangnall & Littlewoods of Manchester, who had just completed the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens; Frank Matcham was a consultant. The music hall has a distinctive bright red brick facade with terracotta detailing and a broad crow-stepped gable. In the tile and faience-lined entrance are a pair of pictorial panels - cornucopia figures in pale green and yellow glazes - above a mosaic floor (Fig 131). The exterior of the music hall, which is often known as the Winter Gardens, was restored in 1997 by Lancaster City Council. The currently inaccessible interior has dado tiling and stairs with faience balustrades.

Close to the Victoria Pavilion is a good pair of interwar white faience facades, those of Woolworths and the former Burtons, while inland on the corner of Thornton Road and Euston Road is the unmistakable brick-built slab tower of the former Odeon (now a DIY store). It was built in 1937 (architect W. Calder Robson of Harry Weedon’s office) and closed in 1976. The facade - partly in white faience with green stripes, probably by Shaws of Darwen - has a strange glazed protuberance, in fact a pier-like observation deck at third floor level.


The tiled floor of the hexagonal gazebo at Parklands House, opened in 1999 and part of the Royal Oldham Hospital, was made by Jane Knowles with the assistance of the Occupational Therapy Pottery Group. Its design, which depicts various herbs, was created by rolling thin white clay images of the plants on to a red clay base. After biscuit firing, copper carbonate was rubbed in and then the tiles were fired at 1280°C; vitrifying clays were used to ensure that the floor was frostproof.[50]


The Grey Horse Inn at 723 Oldham Road has a pretty blue-tiled facade probably dating from the early interwar years. Beside the front door is a fine polychrome plaque depicting a flat-capped chap contemplating a pint of ale from the local brewer J. W. Lees; the legend reads Mine’s a “John Willie”.


Tile production began in 1893 at the Clifton Junction works erected by the Pilkington family of colliery owners. The firm was incorporated in 1891 under the name Pilkington’s Tile & Pottery Co Ltd, and made encaustic and other floor tiles, printed, majolica and hand‑decorated tiles and panels, as well as Lancastrian pottery. In 1937 production of pottery ceased and the firm became known as Pilkington’s Tiles Limited. Tile production still continues on the site (at the end of Rake Lane), which is about four miles north-west of Manchester in the beautiful rural setting of the Irwell valley, albeit with the railway and other factories close by and the M60 in the distance.

The first floor stairwell of the office block is lined with cream tiles incorporating a handpainted tile panel showing a map of the works and the immediate area. This jolly pictorial panel, which is framed by step moulded tiling, was designed by T. B. Jones (Head of the Design Department following the retirement of John Chambers), painted by G. Ormrod and installed in 1948. The remainder of the cream wall tiling is of a later date, but the curved, faience-clad wall at the head of the stairs probably also dates from 1948 or earlier. The black and white matt faience centres on an opening which was originally the receptionist’s window. Set on the black ground are eight small white relief figures depicting different stages in tile making. There are also several small tile panels by John Chambers and Gordon Forsyth in the firm’s conference centre.


Right in the centre of Preston is the Miller Arcade, a cross-plan arcade with its southern entrance on Fishergate. The architect was Edwin Bush, who won a competition for its design in 1895; the building, which included turkish baths below the ground floor shops and a hotel above, was completed in 1901 and restored in 1972. There is faience and buff terracotta by Gibbs & Canning on its exterior, while the upper floor of the interior is clad in ornate green and cream faience. Almost opposite the arcade at 6 Fishergate is Waterstone’s, formerly Booth’s grocery store; the upper floors of the shop were refaced with heavily decorated white faience in 1915. Just off the south side of Fishergate in Chapel Street is the basilica-style St Wilfrid’s R. C. Church, rebuilt in 1879-80 but with a hugely elaborate Ruabon terracotta facade added in 1892.

Slightly north of Fishergate in Friargate is the Black Horse public house, its interior dating from around 1900 with a fine curved faience barfront in cream, brown and yellow, whose manufacturer is something of a puzzle. The earliest of these rare faience bars were produced by Burmantofts in the early 1890s; they were fairly plain, and by the mid-1890s Craven Dunnill were making an elaborate polychrome floral barfront, followed by (from around 1902), a simpler version with grotesque heads for decoration. Doulton and Minton’s also produced the occasional ceramic bar, but none of the designs resemble the Black Horse bar, which could perhaps be attributed to Burmantofts on grounds of colour alone. Another possibility is the nearest faience manufacturer, Pilkington’s.

A quarter mile north-east and just beyond the ring road is St Ignatius R. C. Church, Meadow Street, designed by J. J. Scoles and built in 1833-6. Its chancel was added by J. A. Hansom in 1858 and further alterations were made in 1886 by the practice M. E. Hadfield & Son of Sheffield. These latter alterations must have been supervised by Charles Hadfield, as his father, Matthew Ellison Hadfield, died in 1885. The works included the installation of a very fine chancel encaustic pavement made by Carter, Johnson & Co of Worcester.[51] This rare pavement displays a wide range of buff and brown designs and large IHS monogram panels.


Rochdale’s main claim to fame - apart from Gracie Fields, who was born in a small room over a fish and chip shop in Tweedale Street on the 8th January 1898 - is as the birthplace of the Co‑operative Movement. The Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society opened its first shop in Toad Lane on the 21st December 1844. In the nineteenth century Rochdale was a major textile centre in its own right, its status reflected in the size and grandeur of the Town Hall, which stands on The Esplanade. The Town Hall was built in 1866‑71 and designed by William H. Crossland, once a pupil of Sir George Gilbert Scott. Its interior has lavish painted and sculpted decoration, with a rich Minton encaustic tile pavement in the main ground floor hall, originally known as the Exchange (Fig 132). The entire floor is tiled, mainly with elaborate panels of specially-made tiles including the Royal Arms, lions, roses, thistles and shamrocks, all laid out in an arrangement designed by Heaton, Butler and Bayne; fifteen panels of tiles show either the Royal Arms, the arms of the County of Lancaster or the Borough of Rochdale. The latter includes a ceramic spelling error, with Rochdale’s motto Crede signo (Believe in the sign) rendered as Credo signo (I believe in the sign).[52]

South of the Town Hall on Dowling Street, opposite the railway station, is St John Baptist R. C. Church, a concrete-domed edifice built in 1924 by architects Hill, Sandy & Norris. Inside, its tall apsidal chancel is covered by a brightly coloured mosaic centred on the figure of Christ; this was designed by Eric Newton (1893-1965) and executed by L. Oppenheimer Ltd of Manchester in 1933. Newton was born Eric Oppenheimer but later changed to his mother’s maiden name. Oppenheimer’s, a tile importing business, was set up by Eric Newton’s grandfather; Newton designed mosaics for the firm from around the early 1920s.

Rochdale has retained a good variety of tiled shops and pubs dotted about the area to the north and west of the Town Hall. The town’s inter-war pubs developed a local style of decoration: the tiny lobby has wall tiles giving a visual rendition of the pub name or brewery logo, and the doorway mosaic shows the pub name. Examples are the Merry Monk, 234 College Road, with the Phoenix Brewery logo in its lobby wall tiling; and the Globe, Whitworth Road and Princess Street, with tiling showing delightful floating globes. Other good tiled pubs are the Cemetery Hotel, 470 Bury Road, where the art nouveau tiles appear in a Maw & Co catalogue dating from around 1907; the Healey Hotel, 172 Shawclough Road, redecorated in 1920 and including unusual speckled, lustred mosaic panels highlighted in reds; the Brown Cow, Edenfield Road, Norden, with Craven Dunnill handpainted panels of local rural scenes; and the Two Ships Hotel (now Tap and Spile), Hope Street and Goose Lane, built during the 1920s for the Bury Brewery Company with an external tile panel of two galleons with orange‑yellow sails (Fig 133). This last could be by Pilkington’s, who produced several panels with similar ship motifs.[53] There are fewer tiled shops to choose from, but The Bouquet, Spotland Road has two good tube-lined panels showing fruit and fish, and there are handpainted pictorial tile panels at the butcher’s on Market Street, Whitworth.


The Church of St Mary Magdalene, Harboro Road, Ashton upon Mersey was built in 1874 but its surprisingly lavish chancel decoration was not completed until the installation of a reredos, supplied by Powell’s of Whitefriars, in 1923. The reredos includes a figure of Christ carried out in opus sectile and designed by the draughtsman W. Read. Powell’s also provided ten opus sectile panels of saints for the chancel walls in 1905; these were designed by Read and Frank Mann.[54]


To explore Salford on foot, begin near Salford Crescent railway station and walk eastward through the centre; four rather more distant locations are also described. The route runs along The Crescent past Salford University’s Peel Building, built in 1896 as the Royal Technical College by the architect Henry Lord and refurbished in 1999. Its elaborate red Dennis Ruabon terracotta facade includes several large high-relief figurative plaques by the architectural sculptors Earp, Son and Hobbs, while inside is tall dado tiling in olive green and turquoise.[55] Just east of the Peel Building on the lawn is a little domed gazebo, also of red terracotta and built around 1895; its original purpose was to hide a ventilation outlet.

Directly opposite is the Working Class Movement Library at 51 The Crescent, a Queen Anne Revival style house with a large red terracotta cartouche reading ‘1897 Queen’s Jubilee Nurses Home’. Continue into Chapel Street for the R. C. Cathedral of St John Evangelist (1844-8), from which much of the decoration has been removed, although encaustic tile pavements remain in two chapels, notably the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the south transept, where the 1884 fittings by Peter Paul Pugin include large tiles depicting a pelican in her piety.[56] Next door is the huge buff Doulton terracotta facade of Salford Education Offices, built in 1895 as a Board School by the architects Woodhouse & Willoughby, who later designed Manchester Police and Fire Station. There are several panels of elaborate scrollwork and masks by W. J. Neatby. Just east is the Town Hall (1825-7) in Bexley Square; its entrance hall has bright geometric paving and good dado tiling, all by Craven Dunnill and perhaps installed when the Town Hall was extended around the turn of the century. Continue east along Chapel Street to the former Salford Cinema (1912,  now New Harvest Christian Fellowship) on the corner with St Stephen Street; its jolly buff terracotta facade is topped by an open cupola. After passing beneath the railway bridge turn right into Blackfriars Street (towards Manchester’s centre) for the former Crown Hotel, with a pleasant Craven Dunnill facade of green and yellow tiles, mostly plain but with details including the pub’s name.

Higher Broughton

The rather plain nave of the Church of St John Evangelist, Murray Street, Higher Broughton was privately-endowed and erected in 1836-9, with the chancel, in contrasting ecclesiological style, being added in 1846. This was probably a memorial to the patron of the church, the Rev. John Clowes, a noted gardener and botanist, who died in that year; his monument is in the church. The architect of the chancel was the Dumfries-born Manchester architect John Edgar Gregan (1813-55). The design of the colourful Minton encaustic tile pavement, which was probably installed when the chancel was built, centres on a circular tile showing a pelican in her piety. The stone-traceried reredos is flanked by a pair of Minton tile panels, nearly twenty feet in height, edged with decorative border tiles and bearing the ten commandments and the apostle’s creed. The lettering is in white on brown ground, while the relief moulded tiles are coloured with majolica glazes in yellow, green, brown, black and white.[57] Although ceramic text panels are not uncommon in churches, the sheer size of these examples is out of the ordinary.


St Paul’s Church, Moor Lane, Kersal Moor was built in 1851-2 then reordered in the mid-1880s and early 1900s. The original ornate wall decorations were overpainted in 1924, but the following year two murals depicting scenes from the life of St Paul were installed, one at either side of the east window. The murals were designed and supplied by Walter J. Pearce Ltd of Manchester, who specialised in ‘Vitremure’ mosiac made from glass tiles embedded in concrete; this was very similar to the opus sectile work produced by Powell’s of Whitefriars. The murals survived the dramatic fire of 31st January 1987, following which the church was rebuilt and the restored murals returned to their positions flanking the east window.


In the chancel of St Clement’s Church (1877-8, architects Paley & Austin, normally no public access), Hulton Street, Ordsall are Doulton murals of religious scenes. These may have been installed some years after the church was built, as Paley & Austin generally did not work in the High Anglican decorative style, which often included lavish tilework.[58]


St Wilfrid’s Church, Market Place, is a rare late sixteenth century church, with equally unusual encaustic floor tiles by Carter, Johnson & Co of Worcester; these probably date from 1878 when alterations were made to the chancel. There is also a colourful opus sectile reredos of the Baptism of Christ, probably by Powells of Whitefriars.


Tottington has two pubs of ceramic interest, the Old Dungeon Inn at 9 Turton Road and the nearby Hark to Towler. The Old Dungeon has porch tiling by Pilkington’s, tiled fire surrounds, ceramic doorframes and a complete tiled staircase and landing, while the Hark to Towler, which also has Pilkington’s porch tiling, boasts an unusual ceramic barfront with large panels in imitation of dressed stone.


In Whiston Hospital, on Warrington Road, is a long, irregularly-shaped ceramic mural by Robert Nicholson and Magdalene Al Tayyr; it was commissioned by Whiston Hospital Trust installed in 1993. The colourful mural shows the sun shining brightly on various local scenes including the Mersey, the Dee, Formby, Crosby, Liverpool, the Wirral, Chester and North Wales.

Lancashire Roundup

The extensive Coppull Mills (1906, architects Joseph Stott & Sons), at Coppull, south-west of Chorley, have yellow glazed brick and buff terracotta decoration with a good Byzantine-style tower; some of the building materials were supplied by Dennis Ruabon.[59] At St Joseph’s R. C. Church, Warren Road, Blundellsands, Crosby is a baptismal font (1970) with ceramic reliefs by Adam Kossowski, and a ceramic plaque of the same date. There is extensive interior tilework at the Victoria PH (1905), St John’s Street, Great Harwood. The font of All Hallows Church, Great Mitton stands on a large platform paved with Victorian encaustic tiles. A tile panel showing a woman spinning is mounted in the foyer of the Town Hall, Market Place, Leigh; it came from a shop in Spinning Jenny Street, Wigan and was restored during the 1990s by the Jackfield Conservation Studio. The parade of three shops at 33-37 Manchester Road, Middleton, designed by Edgar Wood and built in 1908, are decorated with Pilkington’s ‘Parian faience’ in green and white chevrons; to the north in the Cemetery on Boarshaw Road is the chevron-tiled grave designed by Wood for his friend, the Middleton artist Frederick William Jackson (1859-1918).[60] Tilework at Gawthorpe Hall (1600-5, NT), Padiham includes an encaustic pavement in the vestibule, probably dating from the 1849-51 restoration, and De Morgan tiles in the long gallery fireplace. The wrought iron gates, with their inset ceramic plaques, of St Helen’s Church, Sefton were designed in 1997 by the potter Julia Carter Preston. The office building at the Waterside works of Shaws of Darwen was built in 1927 using the firm’s own grey and white faience. There is elaborate red terracotta detailing on the former Technical College (now Municipal Buildings), Library Street, Wigan, which was built in 1901-3; the architects were Briggs and Wolstenholme.


1.^         Barry Corbett and Angela Corbett, Tiles Tell the Tale (Pilkington's Lancastrian Pottery Society, 2004).
2.^         Information from Pilkington's Lancastrian Pottery Society Newsletter, 1998, vol 1, pp41-4; and Albion United Reformed Church guidebook.
3.^         Michael Stratton, Shaws of Darwen and a Ceramic Tour of Blackpool (TACS, 1984).
4.^         Michael J. Dillon, Bricks, tiles and terracotta from Wrexham and Ruabon (Wrexham Maelor Borough Council, Wrexham, 1985).
5.^         Colin Cunningham and Prudence Waterhouse, Alfred Waterhouse, 1830-1905: Biography of a Practice (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992).
6.^         Robert Jolley, 'Edmund Sharpe and the 'Pot' Churches', Architectural Review, 146 (1969) December, pp426-31.
7.^         Alan Swale, Architectural terracotta - a critical appraisal of its development and deployment, 1998, MA dissertation, History of Ceramics, University of Staffordshire.
8.^         Diana Hall, 'The Terracotta Restoration Work at the Church of St Stephen and All Martyrs, Lever Bridge, Bolton', Glazed Expressions, (2001) 43, pp7-9.
9.^         Philip and Dorothy Brown, 'Lancaster architects - church terracotta and tiles', Glazed Expressions, (1990) 21, pp8-10.
10.^       Paul Atterbury and Clive Wainwright, Pugin: A Gothic Passion (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1994), pp264-7.
11.^       Pilkington's Lancastrian Pottery Society Newsletter, vol 2, p105.
12.^       Elain Harwood, 'Liturgy and Architecture: The Development of the Centralised Eucharistic Space', Twentieth Century Architecture, 3 (1998), pp49-74.
13.^       Adam Kossowski: Murals and Paintings,  (Armelle Press, London, 1990).
14.^       Paul Atterbury and Maureen Batkin, The Dictionary of Minton (Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, 1998), p266.
15.^       Loraine Knowles, St George's Hall, Liverpool 2nd ed (Liverpool City Council, Liverpool, 1995), p33.
16.^       Kenneth Romney Towndrow, Walker Art Gallery Monograph Number 1: Alfred Stevens (University Press of Liverpool, Liverpool, 1951).
17.^       Hugh Stannus, Alfred Stevens and His Work (The Autotype Company, London, 1891).
18.^       Donald Insall, Historic floors at risk: St George's Hall, Liverpool, in Historic Floors: Their history and conservation, ed Jane Fawcett, (Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 1998) pp194-197.
19.^       Tony Herbert and Kathryn Huggins, The Decorative Tile in Architecture and Interiors (Phaidon Press, London, 1995), pp165-6.
20.^       Penny Beckett, 'George Swift and Liverpool's Swan Tile Works', TACS Journal, 10 (2004), pp24-31.
21.^       Lance S. Fuller, 'Nature Printing', Glazed Expressions, (2002) 44, pp2-4.
22.^       Atterbury and Batkin, Dictionary of Minton, p266.
23.^       Shaws Glazed Brick Co Ltd, Darwen, List of Contracts executed 1935-1936.
24.^       Joseph Sharples, Liverpool, Pevsner Architectural Guides (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2004).
25.^       Lynn Pearson, 'Postwar Tile Panels: An Endangered Species?' Glazed Expressions, (2003) 46, pp3-5.
26.^       Terry Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Liverpool (Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, 1997), pp228-9.
27.^       Mural Art Today,  (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1960).
28.^       Margaret Garlake, Peter Lanyon (Tate Publishing, London, 2001).
29.^       Mo Enright, Peter Lanyon: The Mural Studies (Gimpel Fils, London, 1996).
30.^       Sharples, Liverpool (2004).
31.^       E. Myra Brown, Julia Carter Preston (National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside, Liverpool, 1999).
32.^       Building News, 12th April 1872, p303.
33.^       Pilkington's Tile & Pottery Co. Ltd., Clifton Junction in British Library, Trade Literature, OM06y. This brochure, comprising twelve photographs of interiors with Pilkington's faience and tilework, was probably produced shortly after the opening in 1903 of two buildings featured: Corporation Baths, Lister Drive, Liverpool and the Stock Exchange, Bristol. It includes two photographs of Lister Drive Baths, one showing the entrance hall and staircase which is captioned 'Faience Balustrade & Wall Tiling'; the other shows the main baths. Seven out of the twelve photograph captions mention faience, suggesting that Pilkington's was a major producer of coloured slab faience during the early 1900s.
34.^       A. J. Cross, Pilkington's Royal Lancastrian Pottery and Tiles (Richard Dennis, London, 1980), p22.
35.^       The Pevsner City Guide for Manchester by Clare Hartwell (Penguin, London, 2001) has provided much useful general information for this section.
36.^       Clare Hartwell, Manchester, Pevsner Architectural Guides (Penguin Books, London, 2001), pp168-9.
37.^       Simon Taylor, Malcolm Cooper and P. S. Barnwell, Manchester: The Warehouse Legacy (English Heritage, London, 2002).
38.^       Paul Atterbury and Louise Irvine, The Doulton Story (Royal Doulton Tableware, Stoke on Trent, 1979), p80.
39.^       Kevin Gannon, 'Refuge Assurance Company Offices, Manchester', Journal of the Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society, 3 (1990), pp11-14.
40.^       John J. Parkinson-Bailey, Manchester: An Architectural History (Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2000).
41.^       Michael Stratton, Tour of Manchester (TACS, 1985).
42.^       Michael Stratton, Clad is bad? The relationship between structural and ceramic facing materials, in Structure and Style: Conserving Twentieth Century Buildings, ed Michael Stratton, (E. & F. N. Spon, London, 1997), pp164-92.
43.^       John Malam, 'A newly recognised Doulton interior, Manchester', Glazed Expressions, (1993) 27, pp1, 12.
44.^       Hartwell, Manchester (2001).
45.^       Rosemary Cochrane and Alex McErlain, Architectural Terracotta (Manchester Metropolitan University Slide Library, Manchester, 1999).
46.^       Lynn Pearson, 'Faience at the Victoria Baths, Manchester', Glazed Expressions, (2004) 51.
47.^       Prue Williams, Victoria Baths: Manchester's Water Palace (Spire Books, Reading, 2004), pp73-5.
48.^       The Builder, vol 3, 29th November 1845, pp571-2.
49.^       Atterbury and Irvine, Doulton Story, pp78-80.
50.^       Ruth Pavey, 'Parklands House, the Royal Oldham Hospital', Crafts, (1999) 159, pp20-23.
51.^       The Builder, vol 51, 2nd October 1886, p482.
52.^       Herbert and Huggins, Decorative Tile, p167.
53.^       Pilkington's Lancastrian Pottery Society Newsletter, vol 3, September 2003, p132.
54.^       Dennis W. Hadley, James Powell & Sons: A listing of opus sectile, 1847-1973, (2001).
55.^       Terry Wyke and Harry Cocks, Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester (Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, 2004), pp179-81.
56.^       Clare Hartwell, Matthew Hyde and Nikolaus Pevsner, Lancashire: Manchester and the South-East (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2004), p618.
57.^       Peter Skinner, 'Wall Tiles in Churches', Glazed Expressions, (1987) 14, p6; Hartwell, Lancashire: Manchester and the South-East (2004), pp630-1.
58.^       James Price, Sharpe, Paley and Austin: A Lancaster Architectural Practice, 1836-1942 (Centre for North-West Regional Studies, University of Lancaster, Lancaster, 1998), p46.
59.^       Dennis Ruabon Catalogue, (1908).
60.^       Pilkington's Lancastrian Pottery Society Newsletter, vol 2, pp36-7; Hartwell, Lancashire: Manchester and the South-East (2004), p513.

The Tile Gazetteer is Copyright © 2005 Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society and Lynn Pearson, Richard Dennis.