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Yorkshire’s major producer of tiles and architectural ceramics was the Leeds Fireclay Company, based at Burmantofts in Leeds, whose first catalogue was published in 1882. Their large blocks and slabs of architectural faience, with the brand name Burmantofts Faience, were used widely until the early 1900s. From 1908 Burmantofts produced Marmo faience, in direct competition with Doulton’s Carraraware; the works closed in 1957. The firm specialised in brightly coloured tile and faience for both interiors and exteriors, and York retains one of the few remaining late nineteenth century complete Burmantofts faience rooms in its Royal York Hotel. The city also offers a wide range of high quality ceramic locations within its walls, from the early Minton pavement in York Minster’s chapter house to rare hand-painted exterior tile panels (1887) on the City Art Gallery.

Kenneth Beaulah’s 1979-81 survey of around 250 parish churches in the East Riding revealed that encaustic tiles dating from the period 1842-98 were present in about one hundred of them. He identified the products of seven tile manufacturers, with Minton’s being the only tiles used in the area before 1862. For churches where the pavements dated from after 1870, tiles by Godwin’s were found in over twenty-six and by Maw’s in over a dozen. The architect George Edmund Street, who designed or restored fourteen East Riding churches (as well as being consultant architect to York Minster between 1868 and 1881) particularly favoured Godwin’s products.[1] Many of his churches were designed for Sir Tatton Sykes, fifth baronet, of Sledmere House, one of the great Victorian church builders. The entries for East Yorkshire reflect this preponderance of churches, other highlights mainly being in Kingston upon Hull (hereinafter referred to as Hull), with some excellent pub tiles, including two rare faience barfronts, a wealth of porch tiles and good ceramic interiors at Holderness Road Baths (1897-8) and Beverley Road Baths (1903-5). Finally for the east there is the unique tiled house Farrago in Hornsea, erected by the Hull master builder David Reynard Robinson in 1908-9.

As well as its share of Victorian church tiles, North Yorkshire has a broader range of ceramic locations including Britain’s earliest medieval pavements, relaid at Fountains Abbey, and the best in situ pavements, at Byland Abbey. Other highlights are the early terracotta dressings of Scarborough’s Grand Hotel (1863-7), and a series of fine ceramic interiors from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: spectacular but little-known Craven Dunnill tiling at the Zetland Hotel (1893), Middlesbrough; masses of glazed brick at Harrogate Turkish Baths (1894-7); extensive wall tiling combined with colourful Powell’s opus sectile panels at the Brunswick Room (1895-8), Whitby; and the Burmantofts faience of the former Pump Room at Ripon Spa Baths (1904-5). Lastly for the north, the unusual Burmantofts terracotta facade of Richmond’s Fleece Hotel (1897) brings Scottish Baronial style to North Yorkshire. Apart from the Brunswick Room, which was used for Methodist teaching, all these turn-of-the century sites are associated with commercialised leisure and pleasure buildings, mostly in the north’s resort towns.

South Yorkshire is rather different, with an almost exclusive emphasis on urban areas - Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield - and several interwar sites, notably Doncaster’s array of white faience shop facades. The Cooperative movement provides some memorable buildings, the pick of their facades being Barnsley’s hulking baroque Burmantofts faience store (1911) and Doncaster’s 1936-49 modernist Co-op. The best Co-op interior is their early sixties Sheffield store, which retains fine Carter’s geometric-patterned tiling on the stairwells; unlike the Doncaster and Barnsley Co-ops, the Sheffield store is still in use by the Co-op. The undoubted ceramic star of South Yorkshire is also in Sheffield: St Marie’s R. C. Cathedral has extensive encaustic, pictorial and memorial tiling, a display of Victorian ecclesiastical ceramics unrivalled in Britain yet little known outside the city itself.

Tile and architectural ceramic locations in West Yorkshire are dominated by the products of the Burmantofts works in Leeds, which began to produce tiles and architectural faience from about 1880; by the late 1880sthe firm was making large blocks and slabs of architectural faience under the brand name Burmantofts Faience. From 1889 the company was known as the Leeds Fireclay Company Ltd; it developed into the largest clay‑working business in the north of England, its best-known designers being W. J. Neatby, the main artist from around 1880 to 1890, and the sculptor E. C. Spruce, principal designer and modeller by the late 1890s. Brightly coloured tile and faience went out of fashion in the early 1900s, and from 1908 Burmantofts began the production of Marmo faience, continuing until the early 1950s; the works closed in 1957 and was demolished. Good examples of Burmantofts architectural wares in West Yorkshire include the Midland Hotel (1890), Bradford; the Garden Gate (1903), Hunslet, Leeds; Atlas Chambers (1910), Leeds; and the Public Library (1905-6), Morley.

Another local producer of architectural wares was the Clayton Fireclay Works in Bradford, whose owner’s house, The Towers, was built in the 1880s partly as a ceramic advertisement for the firm. St Bartholomew’s Church, Armley, Leeds and Christ Church, Todmorden have two of the best displays of Powell’s opus sectile work in Britain, but the future of the latter is threatened by plans to convert it for residential use. Already lost is the 85’ long ceramic mural Life in West Riding by Philippa Threlfall and Kennedy Collings, which was installed at Leeds-Bradford Airport, Yeadon, in 1969 but perished during 2002-3 rebuilding work. Also currently (2004) at risk is Queensgate Market (1969-70), Huddersfield, with its huge external stoneware mural by Fritz Steller.

Suggested reading: Hans van Lemmen and Jose Montgomery, Dutch Tiles at ‘Farrago’ and A History of the House and its Tiles (Leeds Polytechnic, 1990); Christopher Ketchell and Jose Montgomery, Tiles Tour - Hull (Hull College of Further Education, 1990); Hans van Lemmen, TACS Tour Notes: Tiles, Terracotta and Faience in Leeds (2003); Jennie Stopford, Medieval Floor Tiles of Northern England: Pattern and purpose - production between the 13th and 16th centuries (Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2004); and Burmantofts Pottery (Bradford Art Galleries and Museums, 1983).

The Gazetteer entry for York covers the administrative area of York City Council. The Gazetteer entry for East Yorkshire covers the administrative areas of East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Kingston upon Hull City Council. The Gazetteer entry for North Yorkshire covers the administrative areas of Middlesbrough Council, North Yorkshire County Council and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council. The Gazetteer entry for South Yorkshire covers the administrative areas of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Sheffield City Council. The Gazetteer entry for West Yorkshire covers the administrative areas of Bradford City Council, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council, Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council, Leeds City Council and Wakefield Metropolitan Borough Council.


York’s Railway Station, with its dramatically curved iron-and-glass trainshed, was built in 1871-7; those responsible were the North Eastern Railway’s architect Thomas Prosser and engineer T. E. Harrison, with Prosser’s successors Benjamin Burleigh and William Peachey. On the wall just left of the main exit from the trainshed is a Craven Dunnill tiled map of the North Eastern Railway’s network, installed in 1900 and showing the company’s lines as they were at that time, apart from the addition of the Beverley to North Frodingham line. This was the proposed North Holderness Light Railway, which was never built but which is shown on the map.[2] These tiled maps, comprising sixty-four tiles within a substantial ceramic frame, were later installed at fourteen other NER stations. Apart from the York example, eight other maps remain in situ: those at Beverley, Bridlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Saltburn, Scarborough, Tynemouth and Whitby. The maps from Hexham, Hull, Morpeth, Normanton and Tyne Dock have been removed, two of them now being on display at the National Railway Museum in York and Jackfield Tile Museum in the Ironbridge Gorge. The status of the fifteenth map, at South Shields, is unclear.

Adjoining the station to the north is the Royal York Hotel, Station Road, built as the Royal Station Hotel for the NER in 1877-8 to the designs of Thomas Prosser and William Peachey. It was extended in 1896, and although most of the massive structure is of yellow brick, some terracotta dressings are visible on the east (garden) front. The octagonal foyer which forms the direct entrance from the station has a pretty geometric and encaustic tile pavement. Inside, a tiled stairwell leads down to the basement and a splendid ceramic room by Burmantofts, where faience in browns, cream, yellow and green covers the walls and ceiling; the chunky fire surround is particularly ornate (Fig 294). It seems likely that the room dates from around the time of the 1896 building work, as the firm only began to supply this type of faience in the early 1880s, with ceiling fittings being later still.[3] Originally the room would probably have been a public restaurant or refreshment room. It was later used as a bar, necessitating some alteration, but damage to the faience was made good, using a surprisingly convincing mixture of wood and resin, during restoration in 2004. Unfortunately the floor level has also been raised, thus obscuring the bottom few inches of faience; however, it remains a fine room.

From the hotel, head towards the Minster, crossing Lendal Bridge to reach Museum Street; on the right is Pizza Express, housed in a former gentlemen’s club (the Yorkshire Club) built in 1868-70. The toilets are decorated with superb turn-of-the-century Medmenham Pottery tiles with a distinctive fish motif. At the end of Museum Street turn left into St Leonard’s Place, soon reaching the City Art Gallery (1879, architect Edward Taylor) in Exhibition Square. On its facade are two overglaze-painted tile panels, one depicting Leonardo da Vinci dying in the arms of Francis I, the other showing Michelangelo with his statue of Moses for the tomb of Pope Julius II. Poor cleaning technique has resulted in the images becoming faint. The facade was originally to have had seven tile panels, two large and five small, all of historical subjects relating to art and science. In 1883 the London firm Gibbs & Howard provided an estimate for this work of £250, the addition of carved reliefs over the panels bringing the total to £425. Alderman Agar of York provided £100 to purchase two large tile panels, the Leonardo and the Michelangelo, which were ready in 1887, but no further decoration of the facade was ever undertaken. The stained glass and tile painting business Gibbs & Howard had been set up around 1878 by Isaac Alexander Gibbs (1849-89) and William Wallace Howard (b1856).[4] Gibbs was the younger brother of Alexander Gibbs (c1831-86), who supplied a series of tile panels designed by William Butterfield for All Saints Church, Margaret Street, Westminster, in the mid-1870s; although Alexander Gibbs took full responsibility for the Margaret Street panels, the actual painting was mostly carried out by Isaac Alexander Gibbs.[5] Gibbs & Howard also produced a series of large tile paintings for Wyfold Court (1874-84), Oxfordshire.

Further west along Bootham is Bootham Park Hospital (no public access), a purpose-built psychiatric hospital which opened in 1777 and is still fulfilling its original function. The hospital has a complex building history: the main block was designed by John Carr and built in 1772-7, but additions and alterations were made throughout the nineteenth century, especially during the 1880s and into the 1890s when the fine Minton floor tiles were laid. These unusually extensive tile pavements, and the tiled dados lining many corridors, form part of the impressive public spaces within the hospital. The most elaborate pavement is in the main corridor, with encaustic tiles in the area below the light well having up to seven different types of coloured clays. The floors were restored and relaid during 1990-1, when a small number of modern replacement tiles were introduced.

Return to the centre along High Petergate, soon approaching York Minster, where the main ceramic interest lies in the large octagonal chapter house, built around 1275-91 and notable for its lack of a central pier. Restoration by the architect Sydney Smirke in 1844‑5 included the installation of its Minton tile pavement. The tiles have a red body (some black) and the buff inlaid decoration has been covered with yellow enamel; many of the designs appear in Minton’s first printed tile catalogue of 1842. The complex layout of the floor - which was ignored by the 1995 Pevsner and is sometimes covered by seating - begins with an octagonal outer rim of four-tile groups within floral border tiles. Inside this are eight segments, narrowing towards the centre, with nine-tile and sixteen-tile groups tiles laid on the diagonal, that is not square to either the outer border or the segmental dividers. The central octagonal section includes green, blue and white tiles with floral motifs.

Apart from the chapter house pavement, there are also medieval tiles in the crypt and the former treasury (now consistory court, near the south transept). In St Stephen’s Chapel, at the east end of the north aisle, is a Doulton reredos by George Tinworth set in an elaborate wooden surround designed by G. E. Street in 1875. The grey terracotta reredos, made in 1876 and showing The First Hour of the Crucifixion, was Tinworth’s first major architectural commission. It has been overpainted to resemble carved wood.[6]

North of the Minster in Minster Yard is the Treasurer’s House (NT), originally home to the treasurers of York Minster but restored for the local industrialist Frank Green around 1898-1900. This work involved the addition of decorative fittings dating from the sixteenth century onward, including the late nineteenth century Dutch delftware tiles which line the kitchen walls (Fig 295). The blue and white tiles, made by Ravesteijn of Utrecht, show children’s games and landscapes; at least ninety-six different children’s games have been featured on Dutch tiles and many of these can be seen in the kitchen. The green landscape tiles running along the top border were made by the firm Van Hulst of Harlingen, Friesland.

Just south of the Minster is Stonegate, a long and narrow street with many good shop fronts. The facade of 10 Stonegate dates from about 1875 and is covered with encaustic and geometric tiles made by Maw & Co; this is an unusually complete and early attempt to add colour to buildings by using ceramic cladding (Fig 296). At the end of Stonegate turn left into Davygate which leads to St Sampson’s Square and the Three Cranes PH, which has an interesting ceramic pub sign panel above its entrance, probably dating from the 1930s. Continue south-east to the end of Parliament Street, where the striking, pinky-red terracotta Barclays Bank occupies a corner site. It was put up in 1901 and designed by the Liverpool architect Edmund Kirby (1838-1920), who was a keen user of terracotta in his home city. Turn left into Pavement then right along Fossgate to see the former Electric Theatre (1911, now Macdonalds furniture shop), the city’s first purpose-built cinema. The yellowy arched Doulton faience facade was designed by local architect William Whincup for the London chain National Electric Theatres.

Continue east along Walmgate to St Denys Church, whose sanctuary has unusual late nineteenth century hand-painted wall tiling including symbols of the evangelists and panels bearing the commandments and the Lord’s Prayer, all probably carried out by a church decorating firm (Fig 297). From St Denys Road turn right along Piccadilly, heading left down Coppergate just before Barclays Bank. The facade of 5 Coppergate (1908) is of Burmantofts Marmo and shows fine architectural detailing and classical figures. Left on Castlegate, beside Fairfax House, is the remains of the ornate, classical mottled browny-grey faience facade of the former St George’s Hall Cinema (1921). At the end of Castlegate go right into Tower Street and then Clifford Street where the former Technical College (1883-4, architect Walter G. Penty) is now a bar. It was built for the York Institute of Art, Science and Literature and the mixed motifs on the impressive greyish-buff terracotta columns of its entrance appear to have been inspired by the Natural History Museum, which was completed only a few years before the Technical College in 1881.[7]

Turn left along Low Ousegate to cross the Ouse Bridge and continue on Micklegate, passing through Micklegate Bar, the gateway in the city wall. The Bar Convent, opened in 1686 for the education of Catholic girls, stands on the far side of the crossroads in Blossom Street. Flooring the glazed courtyard is a mosaic and encaustic tile pavement by Maw & Co dating from around 1870; it has an especially ornate central motif (Fig 298).


The reredos of St Clement’s Church (1872-4, architects J. B. & W. Atkinson), Scarcroft Road is a terracotta relief of the Last Supper by Mr Thrupp.[8]


The Church of St Edward the Confessor (1847-9, architects Vickers & Hugall of Pontefract), Tadcaster Road, was put up by Mrs Frances Leigh in honour of her husband, the late Reverend Edward Trafford Leigh, local Lord of the Manor. The church, which was consecrated on Edward Leigh’s birthday and dedicated to St Edward the Confessor in his memory, has good glass by William Wailes and a Minton tile pavement.

York Roundup

Seven miles south-east of York is Wheldrake, where St Helen’s Church has a tile pavement by Robert Minton Taylor dating from 1875, just before his firm was bought out by his cousin Colin Minton Campbell.

East Yorkshire


St Peter’s Church is the only one in East Yorkshire with a tile pavement by Craven Dunnill, in this case chancel tiling of 1885 including armorials of the donors.[9] Two other churches in the former East Riding - Thorpe Bassett and Willerby (near Filey) - both now over the border in North Yorkshire, also have Craven Dunnill pavements dating from the early 1880s. The Thorpe Bassett is much more restrained in colour than Anlaby’s, using mostly line-impressed tiles.


St Catherine’s Church was the recipient of gifts of tiles from Herbert Minton in 1849 and 1851, the latter comprising tiles for the nave and aisles; the chancel is also paved. The church was medieval, but was rebuilt in 1850-2 to the designs of R. D. Chantrell. The incumbent in 1850 was the Reverend Robert Taylor, brother-in-law of Herbert Minton, and the church contains inscribed tiles recording Minton’s donation and commemorating members of the family, including Catherine (1805-61), the wife of Robert Taylor; she was Herbert Minton’s youngest sister. There is also a Minton-tiled Royal arms dating from 1850. Robert Minton Taylor - who went into partnership with Michael Daintry Hollins in 1863 before setting up his own tile business at Fenton in 1869 - was the child of Catherine and the Revd. Robert Taylor, and was probably born in the 1830s. His father appears to have assumed the name Minton, as he was referred to as Revd. Robert Minton Taylor at Fangfoss Church, for which he was also responsible.[10]


The best of Beverley’s ceramic locations is the 1867 Godwin sanctuary tile pavement at St Mary’s Church, which stands almost in the centre of the town on North Bar Within. It was installed by Sir George Gilbert Scott after his refitting of the nave in 1864-7. East in Saturday Market is the former Corn Exchange (1886) with good red terracotta dressings; continue east to the Railway Station, Station Square, where there is one of the series of Craven Dunnill NER tile maps, installed shortly after 1900. Also of interest is the Maw pavement at St Nicholas Church (1879-80, architect F. S. Brodrick), Holme Church Lane.


St Edith’s Church was restored by the architect John Loughborough Pearson in 1858-9 for Sir Tatton Sykes, fourth baronet, of Sledmere House. It was one of a handful of churches built or restored by Pearson for Sir Tatton during the 1850s, although the impetus behind the work may have been due to his son, Sir Tatton Sykes (1826-1913), fifth baronet, who succeeded to the Sledmere estates in 1863 and became one of the greatest of the nineteenth century English church builders. St Edith’s Church has an elaborate interior, its flooring being part mosaic and part tiling; the mosaic, by Salviati and dating from 1902, was designed by the architect Temple Moore. The rich sanctuary tile pavement of 1859 is by Godwin’s and includes a row of interconnected circular arrangements based on medieval tiles found at Jervaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire (Fig 299).


The Minton encaustic floor tiles (1849) in the sanctuary of St Martin’s Church are of interest largely because they were, according to the church guidebook, ‘provided for the Church by a relative of the Revd. Robert Minton Taylor, whose photograph is located in the vestry’. Fangfoss is about four miles north of Barmby Moor, and the two village churches share the same vicar. St Martin’s was rebuilt in 1849-50 by the architect R. D. Chantrell, who rebuilt St Catherine’s, Barmby Moor, shortly afterwards; there, the tiles are known to have been donated by Herbert Minton, brother-in-law of Revd. Robert Minton Taylor.


Within two years of Sir Tatton Sykes, fifth baronet, succeeding to the Sledmere estates in 1863, the architect J. L. Pearson - who had worked for Sir Tatton’s father, the fourth baronet - was commissioned to prepare plans for new churches at Thixendale and Wansford. However, it seems the designs did not please Sir Tatton, who dispensed with Pearson and brought in the rather more Tractarian architect G. E. Street, who made his first visit to Sledmere in autumn 1865.[11] St Mary’s Church (1869-71), Fimber, was the third new church built by Street for Sir Tatton on the Sledmere estates, and the smallest. Its decorative tilework includes Godwin’s dust-pressed tiles with black body and yellow inlay.[12]


St Nicholas Church was restored for Sir Tatton Sykes, fourth baronet, in 1856-7 by J. L. Pearson, but it is the unparalleled decorative scheme, designed by G. E. Street for Sir Tatton’s son, the fifth baronet, in 1872-8 and completed by Pearson in 1879-81, which makes this church one of the wonders of the Victorian age (Fig 300). A unique series of wall paintings (restored in 1987-91) carried out by Clayton & Bell illustrates the creation story and relates to the images of the stained glass, made by the same firm. It seems this theme was chosen to combat increasing public disbelief in the biblical version of the creation.[13] The ceramic interest in this superlative interior is provided by the Spanish-style cuenca-tiled dado, the tiles having been supplied and fixed by Frederick Garrard of Millwall at a cost of £166.12.0; the tiles are now known to have been made by Garrard himself rather than imported.[14] The church is floored with Cosmati marble work and mosaics, the latter made by George Trollope & Sons of London.


Farrago, at 6 Wilton Road, roughly halfway between Mere and sea, is indescribably odd. The house (no public access) was designed and built by the Hull master builder David Reynard Robinson (1843-1913) in 1908-9 as his own retirement home, and is more artwork than architecture.[15] The bolted steel frame, brick walls and mass-concrete floors were run of the mill, but the cladding and layout of the rooms were most definitely not: what appears to be the front door leads into a garage (into which it is impossible to drive a car), the bathroom projects from the front of the house, there is an upstairs back yard complete with outside toilet, and almost every internal surface - apart from the walls of the octagonal drawing room, which are stencilled - is clad in ceramic tiles or glazed bricks. The front facade has bright, polychrome zigzags of glazed brick, while the tiles used internally are Dutch, Spanish and English, some broken and laid in wild patterns on the floors, others used more decorously in dados and wall panels (Fig 301). Robinson himself remains an enigmatic figure about whom little is known, apart from the fact that he was a successful commercial builder whose major contract was Hull’s City Hall (1903-9). He was born at Skirlaugh, about eight miles south-west of Hornsea, and he died at Farrago in 1913; he was buried at Skirlaugh Church. Farrago was listed, although only at grade II, in 1985. The house is a monument to Robinson’s creativity, skill at improvisation and sense of constructional fun; and perhaps also to a profitable City Hall contract.


There were significant losses from Hull’s stock of ceramic locations during the 1980s and 1990s. The Hull Daily Mail Building (1923), with an interesting assortment of mostly Dutch tilework inside and out, closed in 1989 and was demolished shortly afterwards. The Madeley Street Baths (1885), off Hessle Road, had fine Craven Dunnill art nouveau tiling, but was demolished in the early 1980s, and several of the city’s tile, glazed brick and faience pubs were lost around the same time. However, much remains, including two of only fourteen turn-of-the-century curved ceramic bar counters left in England, at the White Hart and the Polar Bear. Many of the city’s tiled street names have also survived, as have most of the amazing array of Victorian, Edwardian and interwar porch tiles; this is probably the best collection of in situ porch tiles in Britain, only rivalled by those of Crewe, Cheshire.

This tour begins on the west of the city centre at Paragon Station, Paragon Square, and ends in the Old Town near Holy Trinity Church in the Market Place. The railway reached Hull in 1840, terminating at the Humber Dock, with the first station on the present site being completed in 1848. William Bell, the North Eastern Railway’s chief architect, made large extensions to the station, including the construction of a new booking hall, in 1903-4. This unusual space has arcaded walls in cream, green and brown Burmantofts tiling, and centres on the large oak-panelled former ticket office, whose window labels include ‘1,000-mile Tickets’ and ‘Pleasure Parties’.[16] The booking hall tiling was carried out by Whitehead of Leeds, and the terrazzo mosaic floor, with its NER motif, is by Hodkin & Jones Ltd of Sheffield.[17]

From the station, before crossing Paragon Square, turn right into Anlaby Road to see the now-disused Tower Cinema (1914), a notably early purpose-built cinema designed by the Hull architect Horace Percival Binks (Fig 302). The jolly classical faience facade is topped by twin golden, glass mosaic-covered domes, between which is a female figure - claimed to be Mary Pickford - holding a cinematograph camera and a roll of film. The surface of the green and white faience, which was probably made by Burmantofts, has been damaged by over-zealous cleaning. Now cross Paragon Square, heading into Paragon Street where one of the local chain of William Jackson’s shops stands on the corner with South Street; it was probably designed by the local architectural practice begun by Sir William Alfred Gelder (1855-1941). Its 1920s white faience facade includes blue mosaic advertising panels. Many of the Jackson’s shops in Hull have similar mosaic advertisements for ‘Wedding Cakes’ and the like.

Just north on Jameson Street is the brick and white faience King Albert Chambers (1923, architect T. Beecroft Atkinson); its foundation stones - actually glazed faience blocks - bear the builder’s and architect’s names. Inside the entrance hall are four hand-painted tile panels (on dust-pressed 6” blanks) depicting Belgian scenes including Bruges, Brussels and King Albert of Belgium. These tiles were probably produced by the firm Les Majoliques de Hasselt (also known as Manufacture de Céramiques Décoratives) from Hasselt in north-east Belgium, as one of the boats shown has ‘MH’ as its registration letters.

The junction to the east, where Jameson Street joins King Edward Street, is dominated by a vast mosaic mural, occupying the concave, square ‘gable end’ above the entrance to the BHS store (1963, formerly the Hull & East Riding Co-op). The mural was designed by the Wolverhampton artist Alan Boyson and its theme is ships and the sea. Follow King Edward Street south to Queen Victoria Square; on the north side is the Yorkshire Bank (1898, architect B. S. Jacobs, originally the Yorkshire Penny Bank). Its renaissance-style terracotta was a warm orangey‑pink until cleaning removed the terracotta fireskin, and it is now a paler yellow. Jacobs was responsible for several similar terracotta buildings in Hull.

The west side of the square is occupied by the City Hall (1903-9), built by David Reynard Robinson, creator of the tiled house Farrago in Hornsea and builder of the nearby Punch Hotel (1896). Its extravagant, mock Tudor Burmantofts terracotta facade was designed by the local architects Smith, Brodrick & Lowther, a practice begun by the Hull-born Cuthbert Brodrick (1821-1905) in 1845 (Fig 303). Brodrick is best known for his 1852 competiton-winning design for Leeds Town Hall, and for Scarborough’s Grand Hotel (1862-7). Brodrick ceased to practice in 1869 but the firm was continued by his nephew, Frederick Stead Brodrick, in partnership with Richard George Smith by 1875 and Arthur Lowther from the early 1890s, after which the firm produced some of Hull’s most memorable ceramic pubs.[18] As well as good lettering, the Punch Hotel has decorative panels above its entrance by the Burmantofts artist E. C. Spruce.

From Queen Victoria Square, head east into the Old Town along Whitefriargate; at its end, on the right, is Trinity House Lane and the Bonny Boat Inn. Its green-tiled exterior by David Reynard Robinson features a small panel depicting a punt-like craft. Return to Whitefriargate, turning right into Silver Street to find (down an alley on the north side) the Old White Harte pub. Around the fireplace are late nineteenth century Dutch tin glazed tiles showing landscapes and biblical scenes; they were probably made by Ravesteijn of Utrecht. Two blocks north on Alfred Gelder Street is the White Hart PH (1904, architects Freeman, Son & Gaskell); it was built by David Reynard Robinson. Although its tiled back room and blue Minton Hollins ceramic barfront were destroyed in 1981, a semicircular bow-fronted olive green and yellow ceramic bar remains in the front room. It is one of only fourteen such faience barfronts left in Britain, and is almost identical to the Burmantofts example at the Garden Gate PH, Leeds.

Continue east towards the River Hull along Chapel Lane, turning right into High Street. At 40 High Street is the red brick and buff terracotta facade of the former Pacific Club (1899), whose architect Benjamin S. Jacobs of Hull was an enthusiastic user of architectural ceramics; here the lintels are made of faience blocks fitted together jigsaw-puzzle style. Nearby at 25 High Street is the mid-seventeenth century facade of the Wilberforce House Museum, birthplace of the anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce. Inside are several fireplaces with Dutch tin-glazed tiles, mostly showing landscapes, biblical scenes and animals; the majority date from the eighteenth century but some are from the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.

To the south in the Market Place is the massive Holy Trinity Church; its transepts, built in the early fourteenth century, represent the earliest substantial use of brick for church construction in England. The Godwin tile pavement in the sanctuary was installed in 1870 as part of Sir George Gilbert Scott’s restoration. Just south-east, in the shadow of the church and almost beneath the gilded statue of King William III on horseback (1734, Peter Scheemakers), is the gentlemen’s public convenience known as the ‘King Billy’ toilets. A glazed brick stairway leads down to this lavish art nouveau underground gents, which was built in 1902 and designed by the City Engineer W. H. Lucas; it has hardly been altered. J. C. Edwards of Ruabon supplied the terracotta, the tile and faience work - including friezes and ornate columns with scalloped and swagged capitals - is by Burmantofts, and the shield on the coping came from the Accrington Brick & Tile Company.[19] Even the urinal stalls are of transfer-printed ceramics. The sanitary fittings were provided by B. Finch & Co of Lambeth, sanitary engineers. To return to Paragon Station, head west past Prince’s Dock and along Paragon Street.

Of the many interesting ceramic locations in Hull’s suburbs, the Beverley Road Baths (1903-5, designed by the first City Architect, Joseph H. Hirst) is the best-known; it stands about a mile north of the city centre at 250 Beverley Road. The baths survived threats of partial demolition during the early 1990s, and after a two-year closure for refurbishment around 2002, now functions as a swimmimg centre. It has a magnificent art nouveau tiled entrance hall by the Campbell Tile Co, as well as good tiling and mosaic work along the corridors and in the baths, where the individual cubicles still retain their tiles.[20] There are several good ceramic pub facades nearby on the Beverley Road, notably the Bull (1903, architects Freeman, Son & Gaskell).

North-west of the centre in Spring Bank is the Polar Bear PH, which has a semicircular brown faience bow-fronted barfront. It might well have been made by Burmantofts, as it resembles their earliest known example, which was installed at Newcastle upon Tyne’s Station Hotel in 1892-3. On the right at the end of Spring Bank is Prince’s Avenue, the four streets running west from it being known as The Avenues, an area of broad tree-lined streets of middle class housing laid out from 1874; here there are many tiled porches, dados, steps, entrance halls and paths. On the corner of Prince’s Avenue and Thoresby Street is a former butcher’s shop with four animal heads on its stall riser and an excellent tiled interior.

There are more ceramic pubs west of Hull’s centre along Hessle Road. First, near the east end, is the turn-of-the-century Alexandra Hotel (Smith, Brodrick & Lowther) with a lower facade of nicely detailed glossy baroque Burmantofts faience in brown and yellow, set off by glazing bars in unusual star-shapes.[21] Just over a mile further west near the junction with Hawthorn Avenue is the Dairycoates Inn (1874), its green-tiled exterior featuring an elegant panel of an anchor; this refers to the pub’s original owners, Hull’s Anchor Brewery, known from 1888 as the Hull Brewery Company. Many Hull Brewery pubs were built or rebuilt by the builder and tile enthusiast David Reynard Robinson, which probably explains their profusion of tilework, particularly the unusually high number of ceramic barfronts, of which there were at least eight in the city’s pubs.

From the north-east edge of the city centre, North Bridge leads across the River Hull into Witham. On the south side at 119-127 Witham are the livery stables (now shops) of T. S. Annison & Sons, built around 1900 and still retaining the ususual upper floor stabling; the facade is of red brick with white brick and faience dressings. Further along is the polychrome Burmantofts faience lower facade of the Windmill Hotel, which includes reliefs of windmills and dates from 1902. The continuation of Witham is the Holderness Road; about a quarter-mile along is East Hull Pools, built as the Holderness Road Baths in 1897-8 and probably designed by J. H. Hirst. There is much red and yellow brick outside and a superb tile and faience interior, with ornate cream, buff and pale green mouldings. Just over a mile along Holderness Road in the East Park area are many houses with tiled porches; those in Westminster Avenue (east of the park) are notable for their use of Spanish tiles.


The extensive tile pavements at All Saints Church were installed during the 1861 restoration by the architect G. Fowler Jones, who was also responsible for the unusual reredos: a stone arcade on marble columns, behind which is very bright Minton wall tiling with lots of red and blue geometrics. A mile to the east of the village is Thorpe Hall, where the octagonal dairy (1821, no public access) is faced with coloured glazed tiles.


Sledmere House was begun by Richard Sykes in 1751 then much enlarged by Sir Christopher Sykes during 1783-1800; seven armorial and figurative Coade stone plaques from the late 1780s still ornament the exterior. A fire in 1911 nearly destroyed the house, which was rebuilt for Sir Mark Sykes, sixth baronet, and his father Sir Tatton Sykes (1826-1913), fifth baronet, in 1912-17, its appearance being maintained almost exactly as before. Some changes were made to the interior, including the installation of the Turkish Room for Sir Mark Sykes (d1919), who was a noted orientalist. The Turkish Room, whose walls are completely tiled, was designed by an Armenian artist, David Ohanessian, and based on a room in the mosque of Yeni Valideh Djami, Istanbul; it was intended as a cooling room for a Turkish bath. The tiles were made in Damascus under the supervision of Ohanessian.

East Yorkshire Roundup

Ayres butcher’s shop at 25 Prospect Street, Bridlington, has a stall riser (probably interwar) sporting two fancy blue pig heads. In the north chapel of the exuberantly classical R. C. Church of St Mary and St Everilda (1836-9), Everingham, are good encaustic tiles; the church stands next to Everingham Hall in Everingham Park. In the churchyard of St Augustine’s Church, Skirlaugh (south-west of the church) is the grave of David Reynard Robinson (1843-1913), builder of ‘Farrago’, Hornsea; around the low, stone tomb runs a band of pseudo-mosaic tiles. 

In addition the following churches have tile pavements: St Margaret, Beswick (Minton, 1871); All Saints, Brantingham (Godwin, 1872); St Oswald, Flamborough (Minton, 1869); St Augustine, Hedon (Minton, 1844 and Godwin, 1869); All Saints, Hessle (Maw, 1870); St Peter, Hutton Cranswick (Minton, 1877); St Andrew, Kirk Ella (Minton, 1860); St Andrew, Middleton-on-the-Wolds (Minton); St Stephen, Newport (Godwin, 1898); All Saints, North Ferriby (Minton, 1848); All Saints, Rise (Minton, 1844); St Leonard, Scorborough (Minton, 1859) and St Mary, South Dalton (Maw, 1861).

North Yorkshire


The architect William Butterfield built much of the village of Baldersby St James for his frequent patron, the seventh Viscount Downe of Baldersby Park, including the Church of St James the Greater (1855-7). Encaustic tiles in the chancel, probably by Maw & Co, include four-tile armorial groups of Viscount Downe’s family, the Dawnays. Also in the chancel is a monument to the Viscount, who died shortly before completion of the church.


Inside North Hall (no public access), Silver Street, is an unusually extensive series of tile murals by Carter’s dating from 1913. The finely-detailed medieval hunting scene was designed and painted by James Radley Young (1867-1933).


The architect William Eden Nesfield (1835-88) restored St Mary’s Church around 1877. His work included the installation of a cuenca tiled dado which runs from the sanctuary into the Carpenter Chapel. Spanish-style tiling was popular with several architects during the 1870s and into the early 1880s, notably G. E. Street (1824-81), whose Some account of Gothic Architecture in Spain was first published in 1865. Street’s chief assistant in 1859 was Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912), who worked with Nesfield from 1863; Shaw and Nesfield were in a formal partnership during 1866-9. All three architects used very similar cuenca tiles in church restoration work.[22] Street stated that the tiles which he specified for Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, during his 1868-78 restoration were made by Frederick Garrard of Millwall, who was described by the architect as ‘that most exact and perfect maker of majolica - my old assistant and friend, Mr Garrard’.[23] The tiles were copies of original Spanish majolica wall tiles found during the restoration work. It is almost certain that the cuenca tiles used by all three architects were manufactured by Garrard.

The Carpenter Chapel is also of interest for its series of 1905-6 cement reliefs by the sculptor Mary Ellen Rope, who also designed for Birkenhead’s Della Robbia Pottery from 1896 until the firm closed in 1906. The reliefs were commissioned as a memorial to Admiral Talbot Carpenter and his wife; the Admiral was naval aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria and one of Rope’s most distinguished patrons. The design, based on psalm 104, shows farming and seafaring scenes.[24]


The Cistercians moved to Byland Abbey (EH) in 1177. The monastery prospered until the end of the thirteenth century, but was pillaged by the Scots in 1322 and only twelve monks remained by 1381; its dissolution took place in 1538. The site today is dominated by the remains of the great west front and its wheel window. The whole church was originally tiled in green and yellow geometrical patterns, and some tiles remain in the south transept chapels and parts of the crossing; although other Yorkshire abbeys had similar tiling, these are some of the finest medieval pavements which remain in situ (Fig 304). The tile pavement in the nave was divided into east­-west bands two to three yards across, but in the south transept chapels the design is in smaller sections of differing patterns, including a complete roundel. The risers of the steps in the chapels and presbytery are faced with unworn tiles which show how bright the pavement would have looked when originally laid, either at the end of the twelfth century or near the middle of the thirteenth century. The tiles were probably made at the nearby Old Byland tilery, or possibly in Ryedale, near Rievaulx.[25]


The architect Christoper George Wray, sometime chief architect to the Government of Bengal, restored Holy Trinity Church in 1878, installing two striking but rather different areas of wall tiling (Fig 305). The reredos is by Minton & Co and includes much highly glazed pink, green and yellow tiling centred on an agnus dei tile. The majolica tiles by Maw & Co which cover the east wall of the south aisle are mostly in pink, blue, green and white with scroll and anthemion patterns, and were presented by the patron of the church, Thomas Topham, who also gave the chancel’s encaustic tile pavement. The nave and aisle flooring was of patent polished concrete bordered by glazed encaustic tiles.[26] This remote church is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.


The terracotta tombstone of Michael Stratton (1953-99), author of The Terracotta Revival (1993) and founding secretary of the Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society in 1981, stands in the churchyard of St Michael’s Church. It was designed by the architect Ptolemy Dean and made by Shaws of Darwen (sculptor Norman Scanlon), its production taking around four weeks in order to avoid warping. The headstone was erected in 2002, after a long battle with the Church of England concerning the use of terracotta rather than stone.


By the end of the twelfth century there were more than fifty Cistercian monks and at least two hundred lay brothers at Fountains Abbey (NT), and much building work took place in the first half of the thirteenth century; the site is now the largest monastic ruin in Britain. It is probable that the decorative tile pavements at the abbey were the first in Britain; they were laid between 1220 and 1247 and were probably made at Fountains by tilers from Cistercian houses on the continent. Some of the tiles, which are unusually thick, have been relaid near the site of the high altar of the abbey church, where they can still be seen.[27]


St Mary’s Church was rebuilt in 1866 by the York architect George Fowler Jones. The floor is of unremarkable, mostly geometric, tiling but the apsidal chancel has a dado of zigzag tile bands in bright blue, red and green, topped by a pretty yellow and green floral frieze (Fig 306). The whole is certainly a shock, but attractive; was it a case of trying to outdo Butterfield? The church records show that Minton & Co were paid £32.1s.6d for the chancel tiling.


Harrogate developed as a spa town after the discovery of medicinal springs in 1571, but by the 1880s the town’s bathing facilities were seen as less attractive than those of competing British and Europan resorts. A competition was held in 1889-90 to produce a design for a completely new baths establishment; from twenty-six entries, the winners were the architects Frank Baggallay and Fred Bristowe of London. Their plans were amended to include Turkish baths, which in England comprised three progressively hot rooms where dry heat was interspersed with cold showers or dips in a plunge pool. The true Turkish bath uses wet heat (steam) and is normally referred to in England as a Russian bath. The foundation stone of what was intended to be the finest hydrotherapy treatment centre in Europe was laid in 1894, and the Royal Baths was opened in 1897; the cost was around £120,000. It is now known as Harrogate Turkish Baths and Health Spa, and stands on Crescent Street and Parliament Street.

The interior, where Turkish baths and more than a dozen other types of treatment were available, was a glazed brick nirvana with Moorish-style arches, columns and screens, terrazzo floors and walls of colourful brickwork. The tiled walls of the inhalation room were by Wedgwood, who featured the scheme in their catalogue, but the extensive glazed brickwork, which ran throughout a series of rooms in varying patterns, would have been supplied by another manufacturer, possibly Craven Dunnill.[28] Initially the Royal Baths were hugely successful, but changing fashions resulted in the closure of the treatment rooms in 1969, after which the complex became known as the Assembly Rooms. However, a revival in the popularity of hydrotherapy led to its refurbishment in two stages, during 2002 and 2004, the latter works including complete restoration of the Turkish baths.

Also in Harrogate, on East Parade, is the Odeon Cinema, opened in 1936 and designed by W. Calder Robson of the Harry Weedon practice. Its design, with a finned facade and much buff faience by Shaws of Darwen, was almost exactly the same as that of the Odeon, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, whose architect J. Cecil Clavering had left the Weedon practice in 1935, soon after completing the iconic Odeon, Kingstanding, Birmingham, which combined streamlining, faience and the vertical feature or fin.[29]


All Saints Church was rebuilt in 1866‑9. Immediately afterwards a new vicar, Charles Norris Gray, arrived in Helmsley. At the time church attendances were small and the village a rural backwater, but Gray rapidly changed this, starting a parish magazine, studying the history of the town, and rebuilding local churches; he also became famous as a trainer of clergy. Gray gave All Saints its extravagantly colourful interior, which includes dramatic wall paintings (notably a dashing dragon), stained glass and encaustic tiles (Fig 307). The tiled floor is fairly plain but in the choir is a cross-shaped installation of decorative glazed encaustics centred on a mosaic of a pelican in its piety.


St John the Baptist Church was restored by Richard Norman Shaw in 1876-8; it has a chancel dado of cuenca tiles made by Frederick Garrard of Millwall. (See above, Bolton-on-Swale, North Yorkshire.)


At the Railway Station on Zetland Road is a Craven Dunnill tile map of the North Eastern Railway network dating from soon after 1900 (for further details, see above, York Railway Station). Opposite the station at 9 Zetland Road is the Zetland Hotel; its 1893 back bar extension (by local architect John M. Bottomley) has spectacular polychrome wall tiling by Craven Dunnill including pictorial panels of local scenes, a variety of classical mouldings and faience-framed mirrors.[30] Nearer the centre of Middlesbrough on Corporation Road is the eclectic salmon pink Doulton terracotta facade of the former Empire Theatre (1897-9, now a pub); its architect was the theatre specialist Ernest Runtz.


The entrance to Mount Grace Priory (EH), the fourteenth-century remains of a Carthusian foundation, is through the manor house built in 1654 in the ruins of the fifteenth-century monastery guest house. In 1900-1 the manor house was carefully rebuilt, using traditional techniques, by the Middlesbrough industrialist Sir Lowthian Bell and his architect Ambrose Poynter. The tiles of the fire surrounds in the entrance hall and the northernmost room of the upper floor date from this rebuilding work, and were probably made at the Garrard & Co works in Millwall, which produced copies of Delft tiles during 1895-1920. The polychrome tiles in the upper room have colours different from the Delft originals on which they are based, and their fleur-de-lys corner motifs are broader and truncated.[31]


The tiled altar platform at All Saints Church is the only known example of a medieval tile pavement in a Yorkshire parish church; it has a circular geometric pattern.[32]


The Fleece Hotel, Friars Wynd (just off the market place) is a miniature castle in yellowy-brown terracotta, all turrets and battlements. The pub was built in 1897 and designed by G. Gordon Hoskins, once clerk to Alfred Waterhouse. Hoskins had just completed work on Darlington Technical College (1893-6), which used quantities of buff Burmantofts terracotta; it therefore seems likely that the same firm supplied the terracotta wares for the Fleece, including plaques bearing the date and the brewer’s arms. The pub was put up for the Sunderland brewer Robert Fenwick, whose brewery had become a limited liability company as R. Fenwick & Co in 1896, with an estate of sixty-three houses. Possibly the Fleece, which must have been expensive to construct, proved too great an investment for the brewery, as the firm was acquired by the Alloa brewer George Younger in 1878.


The magnificent ruins of Rievaulx Abbey (EH), the first of the northern Cistercian foundations, lie deep in the valley of the River Rye about three miles west of Helmsley. The site was granted in 1131 and colonised the following year by monks from Clairvaux. The church, which was completed in the thirteenth century, was built on a north‑south axis due to the constraints of the site. In the remains of the nave chapels and elsewhere are small areas of mosaic tiles dating from the mid-thirteenth century; they were probably made nearby in Ryedale (Fig 308). These were first exposed to view in the 1920s and are in fairly good condition, some still retaining their original glazed surface.

Rievaulx Abbey was dissolved in 1538. After several changes of hands, the site was bought by Sir Charles Duncombe, a London banker, in 1687. After his death in 1711 the estate was inherited by his brother‑in‑law, Thomas Brown, who changed his name to Duncombe and began to build Duncombe Park, just south-west of Helmsley, which was completed in 1713. He also laid out a gently curving terrace to the east of the house and erected a temple at each end. Duncombe’s grandson inherited the estate in 1746 and set about making his own terrace overlooking Rievaulx in 1751-61; he may have intended to connect it with the Duncombe terrace using a viaduct. His Rievaulx Terrace (NT, access from the B1257), on the valley top, well above the abbey, has a rectangular Ionic temple at its north end and the circular Tuscan temple, built about 1758, at the south end. The interior of the Tuscan temple has rich plasterwork decoration and is floored with part of a medieval tile pavement supposedly found near the high altar of Rievaulx Abbey in 1821; alternatively the tiles may have come from Byland Abbey. By the early 1990s the tiles were in poor condition and suffering from salt action.


The elaborate, almost pale orange terracotta facade of the Spa Baths (1904-5, architect S. Stead) in Park Street is vaguely art nouveau in style (Fig 309). Inside is an even more splendid Burmantofts faience and tile-lined foyer, originally the Pump Room, with good stained glass windows showing scenes from Ripon’s past (Fig 310). The faience is mainly olive green but with rich ornament - scrollwork, female heads, fabulous monsters - in bright red and yellow. There is also a faience fountain supported on corbels in the form of female heads.


At Saltburn’s Railway Station is one of the Craven Dunnill tile maps of the North Eastern Railway network; it dates from soon after 1900. Just seaward of the railway station, on the corner of Milton Street and Ruby Street (one of the ‘jewel streets’) is Gosnay’s butcher’s shop, with a fully tiled 1920s interior including a colourful ornate frieze with swags and scrollwork in menu-like motifs.


Scarborough was a flourishing spa resort by the late seventeenth century, and its sea bathing season had begun to develop by the 1730s. The arrival of the railway in 1845 was followed by weekend invasions of trippers in the early 1850s, and by 1881 Scarborough was the sixth largest resort in England and Wales. A jolly clock tower of 1883 marks out the much-extended Railway Station on Westborough, which still retains a Craven Dunnill tile map of the NER network dating from soon after 1900. Opposite is the Stephen Joseph Theatre, formerly the Odeon Cinema (1935-6), designed by J. Cecil Clavering and Robert Bullivant of the Harry Weedon architectural practice. The ground floor is clad in black faience, with cream faience, picked out in red and black, above and on the tall fin. Conversion to a theatre during the early 1990s entailed the loss of much of the interior, but the exterior was changed only slightly, with alterations to the signage and replacement or repair of a few previously damaged faience slabs.

Continue along Westborough towards the sea. Shortly on the left is Albemarle Crescent and the Capitol Cinema (1928-9, now Mecca Bingo) with an ornate classical white faience facade including figures, musical instruments, fish shells and other motifs. Further along Westborough, and again on the left, is Aberdeen Walk and the Scarborough Evening News office. Inside, but just visible from outside when closed, is an exquisite frieze of Pilkington’s galleon tiles interspersed with plain lustre tiles, all probably dating from renovation of the building around 1900.

Now for the seafront. Head south along Huntriss Row (almost opposite Aberdeen Walk), emerging on to St Nicholas Cliff, where the massive bulk of the Grand Hotel (1863‑7, architect Cuthbert Brodrick) obscures most of the sea view. This mountainous structure is said to be a calendar building, in that it has four towers (the seasons), rises twelve floors above the promenade (the months), has 52 chimneys (the weeks) and 365 bedrooms (the days). In fact the number of rooms is debateable, but the hotel was certainly the most advanced in Europe once complete. Its construction took around 6.25 million bricks, all made at Malton’s brickworks, about a mile west of the hotel on the Scalby road.[33] In addition the Grand’s facings include much tawny terracotta, mostly used as string courses and in unusual spiralling dressings around the doors and windows. These have worn well, in contrast to the red sandstone of its ornate porch, which has decayed badly; the source of the terracotta is unknown. The Grand Hotel is an example of the increasing use of terracotta during the 1860s; another is the Duke of Cornwall Hotel in Plymouth, also built in 1863-7, where Blashfield’s provided the terracotta dressings.[34]

South of the hotel is the Cliff Bridge, beneath which stood the Aquarium (1874-7), an extravagant entertainment centre designed by Eugenius Birch and demolished in the late 1960s. Most of the floors and dados of its exotic interior were tiled: there were red, buff and black encaustics with a hawthorn blossom pattern, and floor tiles with shells, seaweed, starfish and dolphin motifs. Still surviving, however, below the Esplanade on South Bay, is the Spa Complex, which can be seen from Cliff Bridge. A new ballroom, clad in faience from the Hathern Station Brick and Terra Cotta Company, was added to the 1877-80 spa building in 1925.[35]

The view north from Cliff Bridge is dominated by the Castle, just west of which, overlooking the North Bay, is the Castle by the Sea, Mulgrave Place, off Castle Road. This low, castellated house (now an hotel) was built for the painter John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-93), and was his home during 1876‑9. In the dining room is a composite fireplace built by Grimshaw from found architectural elements. Its two tiled panels were painted by Grimshaw, and are probably the only tiles he ever painted. They show medieval figures, flowers, birds and insects in great and colourful detail, and in true Grimshaw style.


All Saints Church (1849-50) was designed by the architect E. B. Lamb and built for Lady Louisa Frankland-Russell as a family mausoleum and memorial to her husband Sir Robert, seventh baronet, of Thirkleby Park. The buff, blue and brown encaustic tiles flooring the Frankland Chapel bear complex, intertwined Frankland monograms and were designed by Lamb, as were most of the furnishings.[36]


St Barnabas Church (1851-3) was designed by George Gilbert Scott for the third Earl of Harewood (Fig 311). This lavishly appointed church benefited from several donations: Scott provide the star-spangled chancel roof, while Herbert Minton gave the reredos tiles, a brilliant display in red, blue and yellow featuring repeats of the Pugin-designed agnus dei roundel.[37] The sanctuary encaustic pavement, with roundels of the evangelists, is also by Minton.


On the east side of the River Esk, below the Abbey, there are many minor ceramic locations, particularly in Church Street and Sandgate. Most notable are the Black Horse PH, Church Street, which has late nineteenth century embossed tiles on its exterior, and the interwar tiled shopfront of J. Storr Jet Manufacturer at the top end of the street; in Sandgate is a former butcher’s shop with tile panels of bull and sheep heads. Across the bridge, the Railway Station, New Quay Road, has one of the Craven Dunnill tiled maps of the North Eastern Railway network, dating from soon after 1900.

Just west of the station is Bagdale Hall, Bagdale, built in 1516 as a manor house and now an hotel and restaurant (Fig 312). It has many fireplaces with Dutch tiles, either consisting of a mixture of seventeenth century and eighteenth century tiles, or a more homogeneous arrangement of what appear to be early twentieth century tiles. The most interesting examples are in the dining room, where one large fireplace has early twentieth century Dutch tiles painted in green (an unusual colour) and made in Harlingen, Friesland, while another has English tiles made by Carter, Stabler & Adams of Poole around 1920, with blue hand‑painted scenes designed by the Belgian refugee Joseph Roelants. Near Bagdale Hall at the rear of 4 Bagdale, now a solicitor’s office, is an entrance tiled from top to bottom with late seventeenth and eighteenth century Dutch tiles, showing landscapes and biblical scenes. This is probably a nineteenth century installation and is still in good condition.

Immediately north on Brunswick Street, also accessible from Baxtergate, is the Brunswick Methodist Church, designed by architects Waddington & Son of Burnley and opened in 1891; the adjoining Brunswick Room opened the following year. In 1895 Alderman Robert Elliott Pannett of Whitby, who believed that an air of reverence was best created in a place of beauty, paid for the interiors of the Brunswick Room and the associated spaces (including a smaller classroom known as the Pannett Room) to be lavishly decorated with tiles; the tile-lined walls are mostly pale green and primrose, with elaborate borders and a frieze of relief angel heads with wings.[38] In the Brunswick Room, on either side of the organ, which was finally installed in the 1920s, are tall, lancet-shaped panels of Powell’s opus sectile work dating from 1898. They show Christ blessing children and Christ healing the sick; the cartoons were by John W. Brown and the cost was £150.[39] The combination of these large and colourful panels with the fine wall tiling is impressive and attractive, and is a rare example of the use of decorative ceramics within a Methodist building. Despite this, in 1996 the church was the subject of a planning application which would have involved demolition of the Brunswick Room. However, this was rejected following objections by many heritage bodies, and the room is now used for events such as antique fairs and the like.

North Yorkshire Roundup

The four-panel tiled reredos of St Oswald’s Church, Askrigg, includes biblical quotations and is probably by Minton Hollins. As well a magnifient Minton encaustic pavement, the Church of St Thomas the Apostle, Birstwith, has a Powell’s reredos of 1883 with mosaic panels flanked by glass tiles. The encaustic tile pavement in the sanctuary of St James Church, Boroughbridge, was donated by Herbert Minton in 1852; the tiles are a mixture of brown/buff and blue/buff designs. The chapel of Giggleswick School (1897-1901, architect Sir Thomas G. Jackson) has a copper-covered dome made of terracotta and faced internally with Powell’s mosaics to a design by Jackson including the four evangelists; the cost of the mosaics was over £3,150.[40] Thirteenth century mosaic tiles from the adjacent Guisborough Priory have been relaid in St Nicholas Church, Guisborough. St Paul’s Church (1854, William Butterfield), Hensall, built for the seventh Viscount Downe, has Minton encaustic floor tiles including Downe armorials and a very ornate tile and mosaic reredos (restored 1970), also by Minton’s, featuring symbols of the passion. The sanctuary walls of All Saints Church, Kirk Deighton, are decorated with a broad band of Minton tiling including a series of roundels showing Christian symbols including those of the evangelists; it probably dates from 1874. The excellent green and white classical faience facade of the butcher’s shop (formerly Freer’s) on Commercial Street, Norton, dates from 1912, and includes a three-dimensional bull’s head above the doorway; inside, the tilework features lozenge-shaped panels of animal heads (Fig 313). A tiled war memorial of 1920 by Jones & Willis of London may be seen at Selby Abbey, and there are interwar tiles by Candy & Co at the nearby New Inn on the main street of Selby. The Minton sanctuary tile pavement at Holy Trinity Church, Skipton, includes roundels of the four evangelists and probably dates from the 1850s or 1860s. The odd purple and green tiled reredos at St John the Baptist Church, Stanwick St John, was probable installed during its 1868 restoration by Anthony Salvin. The Craven Dunnill tile pavement at All Saints Church, Thorpe Bassett, was installed by Lancaster architects Paley & Austin during 1879-80 restoration work, and like many of their churches features line-impressed designs, which they first used in 1873.[41] There is dado tiling throughout the Church of St John the Evangelist (1858-60, architect G. E. Street), Whitwell-on-the-Hill. In St Martin’s Church, Womersley, on the wall by the font, is a Spanish tile panel measuring about 5’ by 3’ and showing the Last Supper; it probably dates from the eighteenth century and was bought in Barcelona by Cassandra, Countess of Rosse, whose family held the Lordship of the Manor.

South Yorkshire


In the centre of Barnsley, on Wellington Street and New Street, is the massive faience-clad form of the former Barnsley Cooperative Store (1911, architect A. H. Walsingham, listed II but disused in 2001). Its aggressively baroque facade is strongly articulated with shiny buff and matt green faience, the latter having a buff body and appearing so odd that it could simply have been overpainted (Fig 314). The ground floor was ruined by the insertion of new shopfronts during the 1970s, but above this, all is intact, with numerous cartouches, some with female heads and one bearing the words ‘Barnsley British Co-operative Society Ltd’; a reclining lion looks down from the corner. While this is not a pretty building, it is a fabulous example of the external use of Burmantofts wares.[42]

To the north in Shambles Street is the mid-1960s Central Library; its dark brick walls were brightened in 1999 by the addition of three pictorial tile panels, the Barnsley Banners by Ailsa Magnus. They each measure about 4’ high by 2’ wide and are mounted well above ground. To the south of the old Co-op, in George Street, is Holy Rood R. C. Church; its Lady Chapel has several ceramic wall panels.


Marooned on the north side of the ring road, Church Way, is the cathedral-like St George’s Church, built by George Gilbert Scott in 1854-8 to replace the ancient parish church burned out in 1853. The Forman Chapel - the lady chapel on its south side - was paid for by the wealthy landowner and property speculator William Henry Forman and has an elaborate Minton encaustic tile pavement. Beyond the ring road an alleyway leads into the shopping centre on Baxter Gate, where there are several shops with good interwar white faience facades, the two best being Burton’s, with its ceramic name intact, and the larger but duller Binn’s. At the south end of Baxter Gate turn left into the pedestrianised High Street; along the length of its pavements runs the Doncaster Time Line, a series of bricks and tiles with reliefs of historic local events and personalities. At 40 High Street is the bizarre Westminster Offices, with a 1920s facade of little bright blue glazed bricks with highlights in blue and gold mosaic, and other mosaic ornament. At the end of the High Street, just north in Silver Street, is a jeweller’s shop of 1910 with massive white faience corbels propping up an overhanging oriel window.

From the end of High Street go south into Cleveland Street then right along Printing Office Street; the overpainted interwar faience facade of Nelson’s PH includes two reliefs depicting Nelson and a galleon in full sail. Opposite is the little red brick and terracotta frontage of the former works of Harold Arnold, Builder, the name picked out in a string of encaustic letter tiles at first floor level. Finally, rounding the corner with St Sepulchre Gate (the continuation of Baxter Gate) is the former Cooperative Store (1936-49), now partly known as Danum House. Its huge, modernist white faience facade includes a pair of bulging windows and a glazed stairwell which itself contains a glass brick tower and curving stair. Doncaster’s interwar architecture is certainly impressive although much neglected.


Begin at the Railway Station (1870, extended 1904) on Sheaf Square, which has retained its original decoration in several public spaces, including the well-hidden tile-lined former first class refreshment room. Next head north up Pond Street, passing some bulky examples of Sheffield’s 1960s rebuilding, notably the Epic Development (1968-9), which housed the Odeon and Roxy cinemas and is clad in acres of white Shaw-Hathernware Twintiles; it was the subject of redevelopment proposals in 2004.

At the top of Pond Street is Fitzalan Square; on the left is the White Building, put up around 1908 and designed by the Sheffield architects Flockton & Gibbs, who built and owned it. The creamy-white Burmantofts Marmo facade includes a series of fine high-relief studies known as The Sheffield Trades, designed by the brothers Alfred Herbert Tory (b1881) and William Frank Tory, normally known as Frank Tory junior; the Tory brothers were sons of Frank Tory senior, who established the local firm of architectural stonemasons.[43] The Torys modelled the tradesmen’s figures which were then sent away to Leeds to be replicated in faience. From left to right the trades shown are a silversmith, a steel roller and a file cutter, a grinder and a cutler (the initials of the artists are beneath this pair), a chaser and an engineer, and a steel crucible teemer.[44]

Turn left on to the High Street then right at Castle Square to find the monumental Cooperative store, Castle House in Angel Street. This wonderful example of sixties architecture, christened ‘the building of the future’ by a local paper, was opened on the 13th May 1964. It was built for the Brightside & Carbrook (Sheffield) Co-operative Society Ltd following the destruction of their City Stores on Exchange Street by bombing during December 1940. The stairwells of the Castle Street (north) entrance and the Angel Street (west) entrance retain their exciting full-height geometric abstract Carter’s tile murals, although the black and white relief-tiled lift surrounds by Lucien Myers have been replaced.[45]

      Punched dramatically through the Co-op store’s centre is a spiral stair, connecting the top-floor restaurant with the lower floors. At ground level in the Angel Street corner is a post office, whose entrance is now host to a First World War memorial to Sheffield’s postal workers. The panel, showing a roll of honour between two classical columns, was moved from a nearby post office due to its closure in 1999. It was made by a local firm, Robertson & Russell, from an apparently ceramic material called morsatile; its opus sectile-like sheen and curving, cut forms suggest it contains some glass. The firm produced several other morsatile war memorials for local churches during 1920-1, including the example still extant at Wadsley Parish Church, Worrall Road, to the west of the city centre, where Jeremiah Robertson of Robertson & Russell was a parishioner.[46]

Opposite the Co-op’s Castle Street entrance, which is marked by a single mosaic-clad piloti, a drab gable end has been transformed by a 1986 brick mural, the Steelworker by the artist Paul Waplington. It was constructed by Sheffield’s City Works Department using eighteen different types of brick from eight manufacturers, the total number of bricks being about 30,000. Just east of Castle House Co-op is Castle Hill Market, its Waingate entrance leading to a stairwell with a geometric tile mural comprising cut 6” tiles in black and dark gold, very effective in this gloomy space. Another modern installation is a short diversion east, through the Victoria Quays canal basin and across the bridge to the South Quay; just beyond is the Blast Lane pedestrian underpass at the start of Sheffield Parkway. It is faced with an abstract tile mural, made in 1996 by local ceramicist Tracey Heyes (b1964), which uses a wide range of coloured mass-produced tiles (on white ground) in standard rectangular shapes; there are over 5,000 tiles. However, the vibrant colours are partly masked by much graffiti and the subway, part of a still-unfinished cycle route, is clearly neglected.

If Blast Lane is a step too far, head west along the High Street from Castle Square, turning left into pedestrianised Fargate just before the Cathedral. Soon on the left is Norfolk Row, leading to the theatres, Winter Garden and St Marie’s R. C. Cathedral (1847-50), the highlight of any ceramic tour of Sheffield (Fig 315). Here the tile memorial has been transformed into a work of art. In the north aisle Mortuary Chapel one is invited to pray for the souls of the clergy who have served this parish, whose names and anniversaries are recorded month by month on an entire wall of glazed tiles; there is also a fine pictorial panel showing the death of a priest, and the floor comprises strips of brown encaustic tiles, some with lettering in buff recording those passed away. But this is far from all: there is a memorial floor tile inscription just north of the Mortuary Chapel, further tiling in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and an encaustic pavement upstairs in the Lady Chapel (1878-9). In the south transept are more wall tiles requesting prayers for the deceased, with dates ranging from the 1860s to the 1880s, along with another long pictorial panel. Finally in the nearby Norfolk (or St Joseph’s) Chapel, the excellent encaustic tiled floor shows emblems (the lion flying over the hat) of the Duke of Norfolk. Six pictorial tile panels on its south wall show female saints, and on the north are two more large tile panels depicting scenes relating to the Sisters of Notre Dame, who taught in Sheffield. This is a superb display of Victorian ecclesiastical tilework; all the hand-painted panels were probably produced by a local church decorating firm.

Back on Fargate, continue south into Pinstone Street; just past the Town Hall is the Peace Garden (1999). This circular garden centres on a fountain, towards which the waters flow from eight coloured ceramic cascades and along eight channels lined with ceramics: these Aquatic Plantforms are by Tracey Heyes. She used press moulded and repeated forms in mostly blues and greens to achieve this unusual effect, which depicts the plant life which has returned to local rivers after years of industrial pollution. On the corner south of the Peace Garden is the rather undistinguished former Prudential Assurance building (1895-8, architect Alfred Waterhouse), now a Laura Ashley shop; its red terracotta is by J. C. Edwards of Ruabon.[47]


In the centre of Attercliffe, on the south side of Attercliffe Road just east of the junction with Effingham Road, is Spartan Works, a small industrial complex dating from around 1880 which is decorated with ornate terracotta supplied by the Wharncliffe Fireclay Works (see Devonshire Quarter). A little further east, beyond Staniforth Road, is Banners Store (1926-8, extended 1933-4), an essay in white Doulton Carraraware and one of the best of several early twentieth century faience-faced commercial developments on the outskirts of the city centre.


Etruria House (1876, now an hotel), Crookes Road, in the western suburb of Broomhill, was built for John Armitage of the Wharncliffe Fireclay Works (see Devonshire Quarter); the main building material was yellow brick, but with lavish use of terracotta ornament from the Works.

Devonshire Quarter

The Devonshire Quarter lies about a quarter-mile west of the city centre; on West Street, near the tram stop, is the brown and yellow faience facade of local brewer Greaves & Co’s Hallamshire Hotel (1903), with some fine lettering. A little south-west at 140-6 Devonshire Street is the elaborately decorated former warehouse and showroom of the Wharncliffe Fireclay Works (1888), owned by John Armitage & Sons; the works themselves were sited at Deepcar, about ten miles north-west of the city.


The south-east gateway to Weston Park (opened 1875), Western Bank, has piers of unpleasantly overpainted terracotta supplied by Blanchard’s and designed by James Gamble; they include decorative panels based on earlier designs by the Sheffield-trained artist Godfrey Sykes (1824-66) for South Kensington Museum. Within the park is a monument to Sykes, a tall, white-painted six-section terracotta column set upon a stone base; it was made in 1871 and erected in 1875.

Norton Woodseats

St Chad’s Church, Linden Avenue, was built in 1912, although its chancel was added in 1933 (architects C. & C. M. Hadfield); it has an unusual ceramic chancel screen wall.


On the northern fringe of the city centre at 312 Shalesmoor is the Ship Inn, with a splendid exterior display of 1920s golden brown faience; its good lettering is complemented by a colourful semicircular tiled plaque of a galleon above the entrance.

South Yorkshire Roundup

There is a Minton tile pavement in the entrance hall of Brodsworth Hall (1861-3, EH), Brodsworth. In the Methodist Chapel of Hollow Meadows, a hamlet about seven miles west of Sheffield on the A57, is a hand-painted six-tile First World War memorial, with six names listed beneath a canopy. As well as polychromatic brickwork (including a mural) on the low-energy Magistrates’ Courthouse (1992-4), The Statutes, there is much good interwar faience in central Rotherham, particularly a former Burton’s and a nearby stripped classical facade. On the main road through Royston, Midland Road (B6428), the Salvation Army building has buff terracotta dressings with good lettering.

West Yorkshire


On Hick Lane, near the centre of Batley and marking the entrance to a conservation area, is the Batley Bats gateway, a landmark sculpture installed in 1995 as part of the Brighter Batley project. The designers were Chloe Cookson and Rory McNally, and the 150 ceramic components in the 30’ high structure were made at Shaws of Darwen, where McNally spent an eight month residency. The gateway is crowned by a pair of 5’ high terracotta bats, wings outstretched, which were the most difficult pieces to produce.[48] Well north-west of the town centre in Upper Batley, off Bradford Road, is the Bagshaw Museum in Wilton Park. This gothic mansion was built in 1875-6 and still appears as a lavishly furnished late nineteenth century home.  The unusual decorative scheme involved woodwork and wallpaper as well as interesting tiling in several rooms, including Maw & Co encaustics in the entrance hall; there are also several tiled fireplaces, one with pictorial panels of the Seasons by Burmantofts.


Begin outside Bradford’s Forster Square railway station, a shadow of its former self following rebuilding in 1990. Opposite is the Midland Hotel, Cheapside, built with the original Midland Railway station in 1890 and designed by the company architect Charles Trubshaw. The hotel entrance on the former station concourse is a splendid timepiece: a tile-lined, ramped, curving passageway used by passengers and - once upon a time - porters with handcarts going straight into the bowels of the hotel. The floor and pavement are covered by wooden boards, and the pavement has iron kerbs to protect it from damage by carts. The walls are completely tiled; turquoise relief tiles with an entwined knot motif form the dado, while above is a decorative border and then mostly pale amber tiles reaching up to the ceiling. The manufacturer was Burmantofts.[49]

Just south in the main shopping area is Waterstone’s, Market Street, built as the Wool Exchange (1864-7, architects Lockwood & Mawson of Bradford). The walls of the north entrance stairs are lined with Maw’s tiling including a series of colourful lozenge-shaped majolica panels.[50] On the corner with Sunbridge Road is the former

Prudential Assurance (1893-6, architect Alfred Waterhouse) with a fine pinky-red terracotta exterior by J. C. Edwards of Ruabon.

Cross the main square, passing the Town (now City) Hall, to reach Princes Way and the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television. It was founded in 1983 then much expanded during 1996-9, when the rich, dark royal blue brickwork curving around the lower part of the main stair tower was installed; the maker was Shaws of Darwen. Just north of the museum is the former Odeon Cinema (1930, architect William Illingworth, originally the New Victoria) whose white faience facade was also produced by Shaws; the building is disused and at risk.[51] Almost adjacent is the Alhambra Theatre (1914, architects Chadwick & Watson of Leeds, altered 1986), occupying the triangular site bounded by Princes Way, Morley Street and Great Horton Road. The buff faience for its classical Morley Street elevation was supplied by Gibbs & Canning.

Now to Bradford’s more distant locations. Take Great Horton Road to the west, then after less than half a mile turn right into Richmond Road; this is the campus of the University of Bradford, an institution created in 1966. Just down the hill on the right is the Richmond Building, an unlovely slab block dating from the late 1960s (Fig 316). Its entrance is oversailed at first floor height by a single-storey lecture theatre whose main frontage is decorated by a big, bold ceramic mural, about 45’ long by 15’ high. The abstract geometric design is carried out in rectangular and circular amber, brown, grey and generally sludgy-coloured relief tiles. The artist is unknown, as is the manufacturer, but the mural survives in good condition, although - perhaps because of its glum colour mix - it is visually rather less successful than others of its era.


A couple of miles west of the city centre in Oaks Lane is Rhodesway School, a secondary school built in 1957-9 and designed by Scherrer & Hicks with Bradford’s City Architect, W. C. Brown. The materials used have a strongly industrial feel, with much whitewashed brickwork; the main external decorative feature is the full height ceramic mural beside the entrance. Its abstract geometric design was by Joe Mayo, using a range of tiles designed by Kenneth Clark in collaboration with Malkin Tiles Ltd.[52] The brightly coloured hand-made tiles have rich glazes, mostly red, yellow and shades of blue.


About a mile north of the city centre on the Bolton Road is St James’s Church (1876-8, architects Andrews & Pepper of Bradford), where the mosaic pavement in the porch and the fabulous wall mosaics of the sanctuary were provided by W. B. Simpson & Sons of London.[53] A tiled reredos by Heaton, Butler & Bayne has been reported at this church, but this appears to have been replaced by an alabaster relief of the Last Supper; the window above is the work of Shrigley & Hunt.[54]


Julius Whitehead founded the Clayton Fireclay Works at Clayton, on the south-western fringe of Bradford, in 1880. The firm produced sanitary ware, glazed bricks and chimney pots using locally-extracted clay; the works closed in 1970 and most of the buildings have been demolished. Still remaining, however, is the house Whitehead designed and built for himself in the 1880s on a hillside overlooking the site: The Towers (no public access), Brow Lane. A rectangular mini-castle, with corner towers connected by balustraded parapets, the whole acts as an advertisement for the firm’s products, including their reddish-brown salt-glazed brick from which it is mostly built (Fig 317). There are pretty ceramic plaques on the exterior, and the interior has a wealth of home-produced detail including tilework and ceramic stair treads, while an array of decorative salt-glazed wares, from urns to reclining lions, may be found in the garden.

The lodge to The Towers (now known as The Elders, no public access), also on Brow Lane, was built at the same time and in the same spirit. The small terrace has deep red brickwork with fine salt-glazed cherubic medallions and decorative bands above the windows, and glazed brick panels in blue and white. These latter are replicated on the sole surviving remnant of the Clayton Fireclay Works, its elaborate, square-sectioned chimney stack, which stands about fifty yards south-west of The Towers; it was put up by Julius Whitehead’s son around 1890.

Little Horton

Under a mile south of the University of Bradford campus is the landmark tower of All Saints Church (1861-4), Little Horton Lane, on Little Horton Green; the church has extensive encaustic tile pavements.


In the centre of Castleford on Station Road is the Picture House, a former cinema opened in 1921 and closed in 1964. Its white faience facade includes two insets showing female figures. Two streets south, on the walls of houses in Glebe Street, is the Glebe Street Forest (1994), a series of glazed brick trees by Lyndele Fozard.

On the western edge of Castleford in Methley Road (A6032) is the long, curving form of Three Lane Ends School, built as Whitwood Mere Infant School in 1937-9 by the idiosyncratic modernist architect Oliver Hill. It was his only school; he designed a companion secondary school for the West Riding Education Authority, but this was never built.[55] Part of the north side of this single-storey structure is faced with a long ceramic frieze, where the life-size outlines of leaping deer are incised on rectangular jade green faience slabs. The artist was John Skeaping (1901-80), who worked in a variety of mediums and was best known for his modernist depictions of wild and domestic animals; the manufacturer was Carter’s of Poole.[56] The design of the school was so unusual that it was featured in several architectural journals including Country Life, which reported the head-mistress as likening the school to ‘the promised land’.[57]


In the centre of Halifax there is good turn-of-the-century pub tiling in the White Horse, 33 Southgate (porch tiling includes pub name), the Sportsman, Crown Street (refronted 1904, porch wall tiles) and the Plummett Line, 17-21 Bull Close Lane, where the tiled interior features a pictorial panel. To the north, up on Haley Hill, is the landmark spire of All Souls Church, built in 1856-9 by local mill owner Edward Akroyd for his model village Akroydon; the architect was George Gilbert Scott. Its richly furnished interior includes extensive Minton tile pavements.


The three ceramic reliefs entitled Holmfirth in the foyer of Holmfirth Civic Hall, Huddersfield Road, were made by the American-born sculptor and ceramicist Jim Robison (b1939) and installed in 1998; Robison has lived and worked near Holmfirth since 1973.


Begin at Huddersfield’s impressively classical Railway Station (1847-50) on Railway Street for a short stroll through this stone-built Victorian town, ending at Queensgate Market. First, the station booking hall (1938) retains its original counter, with an unusual frontage of small - about one and a half inch square - mottled greeny-brown tiles. Note the brass bag-rests, a nice touch. From the station, head past the hurrying figure of former Prime Minister Harold Wilson (1999, sculptor Ian Walters) south along Railway Street, turning left into Westgate for the Byram Arcade (1880-1) with its encaustic tiled string course of alternating four-tile groups with tudor rose and fleur-de-lys motifs. Now right into John William Street, the main shopping street, which continues as New Street. Off to the right in Cloth Hall Street is the neo-classical white faience facade of King’s Head Buildings (1924), probably in Burmantofts Marmo; round the corner at 25-7 Market Street is another interwar white faience facade (overpainted sky blue), which in contrast is more modern in style with good detailing. Return to New Street; on the corner with Ramsden Street is the red terracotta former Prudential Assurance (1899-1901, architect Alfred Waterhouse), complete with a statue of Prudentia in a high-level niche.

Opposite is Ramsden House (1967), on which is a full-width ceramic mosaic mural by Harold Blackburn (1899-1980), who vividly depicted the woollen industry using colourful, larger-than-life figures. Ramsden House seems to have been a landmark building in the town’s extensive sixties redevelopment, as its south end sports another, almost equally large, mosaic mural showing a lively Huddersfield townscape. Yet more mosaics - a sparky 1969 abstract by Richard Fletcher entitled Systematic sequence in line and shade - decorate the flats across New Street in Buxton Way. Return to Ramsden Street for the Library and Art Gallery (1937-43), a fine stripped classical stone building with sparse but good relief decoration. Just inside, hung above the double stairwell, is a pair of large pictorial tile panels commissioned in 1987 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the gallery. A third and larger panel, showing the town’s buildings, was sited on the landing above until 2003, when it was removed (to store) as part of improvement works.

Just south of the Library is the New Market Hall (1969-70, architects J. Seymour Harris Partnership), now known as Queensgate Market (Fig 318). The interior is stunning, as the roof structure is based on twenty-one asymmetric concrete hyperbolic paraboloids, which loom over the market stalls like giant mushrooms. The east facade, facing the inner ring road on Queensgate, is just as remarkable, with its extraordinary series of massive ceramic murals entitled Articulation in Movement by the German-born sculptor Fritz Steller (b1941). The work, which was made from Stourbridge fireclay, is about 4,500 square feet in size with nine large panels and a free-standing 32 foot high sculpture pierced by a staircase to the market. A special kiln had to be built at Steller’s Square One Design Workshop in the village of Snitterfield, near Stratford-upon-Avon, to fire the panels at around 1300°C, thus producing stoneware which was intended to weather better than Huddersfield’s local stone. The rusty-brown colouring of the panels came from a combination of their reduction firing and their iron and manganese oxide content, and their design reflects the structure and use of the market hall.[58]

The Steller sculpture is unusual in that most postwar British external architectural decoration was carried out in materials such as concrete, ciment fondu, metal or fibreglass rather than the difficult medium of ceramics. In terms of ceramic history the mural’s precedents are large-scale architectural works such as the Natural History Museum (completed 1881), whose terracotta flora and fauna celebrated the activities within, and the stoneware frieze Pottery Through the Ages (1939) which adorned Doulton House in Lambeth. In postwar Britain, ceramic murals were generally on a much smaller scale than the Queensgate Market panels; only a few installations, for instance the six-storey tile mural on Transport House (1956-9) in Belfast, approach it in size. Although Articulation in Movement is a significant landmark in ceramic history, it was not followed by other similar sculptures, probably because of a combination of cost constraints, growing lack of enthusiasm on the part of architects for external decoration, and the sheer complexity of producing monumental ceramic works. All the more worrying, then, that several options announced by the local council in 2004 for the redevelopment of Huddersfield’s central area included the demolition of Queensgate Market.


In ceramic terms Leeds is almost synonymous with the Burmantofts works of the Leeds Fireclay Company, as it was known from 1889; it was initially the works of William Wilcock and John Lassey, later Wilcock & Co. The works stood just over a mile east of the city centre from the 1840s, when brickmaking began, until closure in 1957. The firm produced a huge range of decorative bricks and tiles, and colourful architectural ceramics under the brand name Burmantofts faience; their white glazed ware Burmantofts Marmo was launched in 1908. This easy availability of terracotta and faience meant that by around 1900 the use of stone to face commercial buildings had been almost abandoned in Leeds; the colours of the resulting facades - not all made from local materials - varied from white and cream through pink to orange and bright red, and occasionally included polychrome faience and mosaic.[59]

There are numerous Burmantofts locations within Leeds, including lavish displays like the faience-lined walls of the Great Hall of the University of Leeds, and a plethora of public houses. These range from the relatively mundane to the spectacular, in the form of the Garden Gate in Hunslet, one of the country’s best ceramic pubs. But there is another side to Leeds, with ceramic locations including Godwin encaustics at the parish church, St Peter, and excellent terracotta and astounding mosaics by Frank Brangwyn at St Aidan’s Church, Harehills; indeed, the suburbs are particularly rewarding. This tour of the city centre takes in the area bounded by the inner ring road loop to the north, and the River Aire to the south; the extensive suburbs are then taken alphabetically.

Begin at the massive, iconic Town Hall (1853-8, architect Cuthbert Brodrick), which stands about a quarter mile north of the railway station on the main thoroughfare, The Headrow. The vestibule was originally paved with Minton & Co encaustic floor tiles with classical patterns, but in 2001 these were replaced with exact replicas made by H. & R. Johnson. The staircases leading off from the vestibule are tiled with plain blue and white tiles with a border of majolica tiles by Minton, Hollins & Co.[60]

Just to the east on The Headrow is the Central Library (1876-84, architect George Corson), built as the Municipal Buildings. Its lavish fittings include a tremendous ceramic display, with tiles made by Edward Smith & Co of Coalville on the walls of the staircases, corridors and many rooms. The most spectacular area is the original reading room, to the right of the entrance, whose walls and ceiling are entirely covered in Smith & Co tiles. The vaulted ceiling is faced with coloured hexagonal tiles, some of which are hollow and form part of the room’s ventilation system, and there is also a series of terracotta busts of literary figures, including Milton and Shakespeare, modelled by the London artist Benjamin Creswick. Almost opposite the Library is the former Jubilee Hotel (1904) at 167 The Headrow; the pub was designed by Thomas Winn, a local commercial architect. Its salmon-pink terracotta may have been supplied by J. C. Edwards of Ruabon, who made the terracotta used in several Leeds buildings around the turn of the century.

Continue another block west along The Headrow, turning left into Park Square East to find St Paul’s House (1878, architect Thomas Ambler) on the far side of Park Square (Fig 319). This Moorish warehouse and factory (now offices) was built for Sir John Barran, pioneer of the ready-made clothing trade. Its original entrance, on the corner of Park Square East and St Paul’s Street, has an arch of scallop-shaped terracotta, with Moorish-style salt-glazed stoneware tiles, known as Doultonware, above; ‘Doulton Lambeth’ can be seen stamped on the blocks of the archway. St Paul’s House was the first major application of Doulton’s architectural products. The building’s interior was gutted during the late 1970s; when its outer shell was restored, the terracotta minarets and much of the ornate parapet decoration were replaced with fibreglass, as the requisite manufacturing skills had been lost.

Head east along St Paul’s Street and turn right into King Street. On the corner is Atlas Chambers (1910, architects Perkin & Bulmer), built from white Burmantofts Marmo; Thewlis & Co modelled its imposing sculptural embellishments including the figure of Atlas over the main entrance, and window keystones representing the continents. Further along is the magnificent pink terracotta facade of the Metropole Hotel (1897-9) by local architects Chorley & Connon; the terracotta was made by J. C. Edwards of Ruabon. The same combination of architects and terracotta suppliers were responsible for the former Liberal Club (1890, now Quebecs hotel), Quebec Street, which leads east from King Street (Fig 320).[61] It would appear that Chorley & Connon went to the Ruabon works specifically to obtain the bright red and pink terracotta used on this pair of buildings, in contrast to the more muted tones available from Burmantofts.

Quebec Street ends at City Square; occupying its western side is the curved, classical frontage of the former Majestic Cinema (1921-22, architect Pascal J. Steinlet), built entirely from Burmantofts Lefco (a later variation of Marmo), with moulded swags and elaborate panels of musical instruments. To the north is Park Row, a narrow street flanked by a series of towering offices and banks including, on the east side, the former Prudential Assurance building (1890-4, architect Alfred Waterhouse), in which the Leeds Fireclay Company had an office.[62] The facade, of pinky-red brick and buff Burmantofts terracotta, was partly restored by Shaws of Darwen in the early 1990s. On the west side of Park Row is the Burmantofts Marmo facade of the  Scottish Union and National Insurance Company (1909, architects Perkin & Bulmer, now Royal Bank of Scotland). Its sculptural decoration includes a figure of Wisdom carried out by Thewlis & Co.

To visit the city’s Victoria Quarter, head east along pedestrianised Bond Street and Commercial Street, emerging on to Briggate just north of the alley which leads to Whitelocks in the Turks Head Yard. This eighteenth century pub was rebuilt in 1886 and has an excellent tiled barfront, with brown faience framing green and yellow floral tile panels, plus interesting brass fittings and glass. The barfront is flat rather than bowed out, but does curve round a protruding section of the bar; it was probably by Burmantofts, as the brown faience was a typical local product. From the early 1890s the firm produced more complex curved barfronts, initially in brown faience. Return to the main street to see the former premises of Thornton & Co, India Rubber Manufacturers, at 50 Briggate. It was built just after the First World War and has an imposing classical facade with well-detailed lettering, and columns and pilasters of Burmantofts Marmo; the architect was Sydney Kitson.

To the north, the sumptuous County Arcade runs east off Briggate. With the Cross Arcade, which leads south from its centre, the arcade was part of a comprehensive redevelopment of an area of yards and slaughterhouses undertaken in 1898-1900; the architect was Frank Matcham. The County Arcade in particular is extensively decorated with Burmantofts faience and terracotta, and the pendentives of its glass domes have figurative mosaics in art nouveau style.[63] The buff terracotta of its exterior has been given a thin coating of transparent glaze to improve its weather resistance. The arcades were refurbished by Shaws of Darwen in the 1990s. A diversion to New Briggate, directly north across The Headrow, is required to see the Grand Arcade (1898, architects Smith & Tweedale). The entrances on New Briggate and Vicar Lane have colourful Burmantofts faience decoration, while J. C. Edwards of Ruabon also supplied brick or tiles for this arcade.[64] The stalls bar of the adjacent Grand Theatre (1878) has an extensive tiled dado.

Continue through the County Arcade and turn right into Vicar Lane, passing Kirkgate Market and reaching the Corn Exchange at the end of New Market Street. Opposite in Crown Street is Crown Street Buildings (2004), an apartment block partly faced in polychrome slab faience ranging in colour from a brilliant, yellowy lime green to rich royal blue. Finally for the city centre, a little way east on Kirkgate, beyond the railway, is St Peter’s Church (1837-41), the parish church of Leeds. The sanctuary was remodelled in 1876 when the Salviati mosaics of the Apostles were added around the east end; the Godwin encaustic tile pavement, which includes many twelve-tile cross-shaped groups, probably dates from this period. The tiles were donated by a former curate.


Inside St Bartholomew’s Church, Wesley Road, is a superb display of opus sectile work by Powell’s of Whitefriars.[65] The first seven pictorial panels were installed on the apsidal wall of the east end in 1878-9, and were followed in 1884 by a mosaic and opus sectile panel, 5’ high and over 28’ in length, on the baptistery wall. It shows the Baptism of Christ by St John, with a procession of saints, angels and elders of the church which includes (in the top right-hand corner) Dean Hook, the former Vicar of Leeds. It was to be almost forty years until the next panels were added. The pair of angels to either side of the altar date from 1925; nearby are St Luke and St John (1929), and the final panel, appropriately of St Bartholomew, was installed in the apse in 1934. Almost all the panels were gifts made as memorials to the dead.

Beckett Park

Beckett Park, now part of the campus of Leeds Metropolitan University, was originally the grounds of The Grange (1752); it is approached from Otley Road via Churchwood Avenue. Lurking in its wooded depths is the Victoria Arch, an ashlar structure which probably dates from 1766 and comprises four Ionic columns supporting a pediment; it is likely to have been built as an eye-catcher for The Grange.[66] In celebration of Queen Victoria’s visit to Leeds in 1858, when she opened the Town Hall, it was elaborately decorated with Minton encaustic tiles (Fig 321). The somewhat anticlimactic arch stands in Queen’s Wood, just past the south-western edge of the central buildings.


Bramley Baths (1904, architect H. A. Chapman), Broad Lane, was one of a series of baths built in Leeds around the turn of the century. These included Kirkstall Road (1895), Union Street (1895), Holbeck (1898), Hunslet (1898), Meanwood Road (1899) and York Road (1905); Chapman also designed the York Road Baths.[67] Bramley Baths, which was restored in 1992, has a lavish interior with fine stained glass and wall tiling.


Nothing remains in situ of the Leeds Fireclay Company’s Burmantofts works, which closed in 1957 and was demolished in 1967. Its site is marked by a Leeds Civic Trust plaque mounted on the wall of a seventeen-storey block of flats in the Ebor Gardens estate, off Torre Road. Just north of the flats on Stoney Rock Lane is St Agnes Church (1886-7, now St Stephen and St Agnes); its Burmantofts tile and faience reredos dates from 1891, but has been overpainted. At the rear of the church is a ceramic wall memorial erected by Burmantofts workers in memory of James Holroyd (1839-90), works manager from 1879, who began the production of art pottery, tiles and architectural faience.

Chapel Allerton

Inside Chapel Allerton Library (1904), Harrogate Road, by the Leeds architect W. H. Thorp (1852-1944), the green-tiled walls bear the ‘LPL’ logo for Leeds Public Library. Almost opposite in Stainbeck Lane is the Mustard Pot PH, which has a nineteenth century fireplace set with early delftware tiles dating from around 1650 and showing children’s games. The area is also notable for its profusion of distinctive Victorian chimney pots, many made at the Burmantofts works or at Whitehead’s Clayton Fireclay Works near Bradford.[68] On the south-west edge of Chapel Allerton, off Harehills Lane, is Chapel Allerton Hospital; its redevelopment during 1992-3 led to the installation of several ceramic works by artists Maggie Angus Berkowitz, Marion Brandis, Cynthia Harrison and Kate Malone.[69]


Inside Gledhow Hall (completed around 1766, now flats and offices with no public access), Gledhow Lane, is a bathroom of about 1885 with sumptuous wall tiling and faience by Burmantofts; even the ceiling is ceramic (Fig 322). It was part of the alterations and extensions to the mansion commissioned from architects Chorley & Connon - designers of the Metropole Hotel (1897-9) and the Liberal Club (1890) in the centre of Leeds - by James Kitson (1835-1911), Lord Airedale, during 1885-90. Kitson, the second son of James Kitson (1807-85), a locomotive manufacturer, wanted to expand the house so that it could be used for frequent entertaining. Chorley & Connon’s bathroom was so unusual that a drawing of it, complete with serving maid, was published in The Builder.[70] The accompanying text emphasised that the glazed porcelain walls and ceiling ensured ‘the utmost degree of cleanliness’.

Crown Point

The Adelphi, a multi-roomed pub on Hunslet Road, just south of Leeds Bridge, was designed by Thomas Winn and built in 1901. It has an ornate staircase and many original fittings including good decorative wall tiling.


St Aidan’s Church, Roundhay Road (at Elford Place) was built in 1891-4; the red brick, romanesque design was by the Newcastle upon Tyne architectural practice of R. J. Johnson & A. Crawford-Hicks, and its exterior features bright red terracotta decoration on the apsidal west end, above the main road. Arthur Swayne, who became vicar in 1897, was married to Eva Kitson, daughter of James Kitson and sister of Lord Airedale (see Gledhow Hall, Chapeltown, above). The Kitson family became parishioners at St Aidan’s, with Eva’s brother, the architect Sydney Kitson, designing fittings for the church and handling repairs.

In 1908 the Rev. Swayne appealed for a benefactor to assist with decorating the chancel, and his wife’s nephew, Robert Hawthorne Kitson (1873-1947), an accomplished amateur painter, came forward.[71] He was a friend of the artist Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956), and in 1909 commissioned him to paint a series of tempera frescoes at St Aidan’s; the work was eventually carried out in Rust’s vitreous mosaic, a laborious process which was not completed until 1916.[72] The result was a spectacular and nationally important work of mural decoration, the best but probably the least known of Brangwyn’s nineteen mural projects, and his only large-scale mosaic (Fig 323). The theme of the apse mural is the life of St Aidan, and apart from the multitude of highly detailed figures, the strongest impression is conveyed by the blue horizontals of the sky and the green verticals of the trees.


At the north end of Headingley Lane, by St Michael’s Road, is the Church of St Michael and All Angels (1886), where there is a Godwin encaustic tile pavement. Headingley Lane continues as Otley Road; shortly on the left in North Lane is the Lounge Cinema (1918), with a facade of Burmantofts Marmo. About half a mile further north on the right at 114-120 Otley Road is a terrace of four houses (1885) with elaborate buff terracotta decoration; the houses appear to have been designed specifically to show off the products of the Burmantofts works. Further along Otley Road on the right is Spenfield House (1875-7, architect George Corson, now an hotel), with splendid encaustic floor tiles, including the ‘JWO’ monogram of the owner James Walker Oxley, in the entrance hall.


The former Holbeck Free Library (1901, architect William Bakewell), Nineveh Road, has a facade of red brick and bright red terracotta by J. C. Edwards of Ruabon; the building was mentioned in the firm’s 1903 catalogue. About half a mile to the north is the Tower Works, Globe Road; the factory, built in the 1860s, produced pins for wool, flax, cotton and silk combing and for carding cloth. Its 1899 extensions designed by William Bakewell include the Giotto Tower (or Big Tower), a dust extraction chimney of square cross-section with panels of gilded tiles in recesses near the top; it was based on the fourteenth-century campanile of Florence Cathedral, designed by Giotto. The gilded tiles may have been produced locally, or could have come from Edwards of Ruabon; the Tower Works features in their 1903 catalogue, but this might refer solely to the brickwork.


The Garden Gate (1903), 3 Whitfield Place, just off the south end of Hunslet Road, is one of the country’s foremost ceramic pubs, with a fine two-tone brown faience facade, a wealth of corridors tiled floor to ceiling, a chunky green faience fire surround and a bow-fronted ceramic bar; it is lacking only in pictorial panels (Fig 324). It seems inconceivable that the tiles, faience and barfront could be by anyone but Burmantofts, given the colour of the faience, the large scale of the slabs, and the proximity of the works, but no archival evidence has been found. The olive green and yellow ceramic bar, one of only fourteen remaining in Britain, is almost exactly the same design as the 1904 bar of the White Hart in Hull.

North on Hunslet Road is the entrance to the metal pressings works (1888) of T. F. & J. H. Braime; the doorway has a fine buff faience surround, with columns, swags and a cartouche, which is most likely by Burmantofts. A mile or so south-west of the Garden Gate, on the far side of the motorway and almost in Beeston, is the New Inn, 259 Dewsbury Road (opposite Stratford Street). This turn-of-the-century pub has an ornate white faience facade, with twin oriel windows and good detailing; it is probably by Burmantofts.

Hyde Park

The Hyde Park Picture House, on the corner of Brudenell Road and Queen’s Road, dates from around 1914 and has a facade of Burmantofts Marmo; the architects were Thomas Winn & Sons. Further west along Brudenell Road at Thornville Road is the green dome of the Almadina Jamia Mosque (2002-3), designed by the Bradford-based architectural practice Archi-Structure, which was set up in 1999 by Al-Samar-raie (Fig 325). The mosque is of buff stone with red brick stripes and a series of dark blue and green ceramic horseshoe motifs. On the west side four double-height spiral pillars of buff brick support a large rectangular area of pale green glazed brick, on which is a ceramic panel with Islamic inscription. This is an unusually attractive and confident design for a British mosque.[73]


Inlaid tiling survives in the fifteenth century refectory and in the side chapels to the left of the main altar in the church of the Cistercian foundation of Kirkstall Abbey, Abbey Road.[74] A substantial fragment of a large circular arrangement of reset thirteenth century mosaic floor tiles has also survived in the refectory.[75]

New Town

The Thackray Medical Museum, Beckett Street, is housed in the former Leeds Union Workhouse (1861), which was part of St James’s University Hospital until 1995. The entrance hall retains its art nouveau Burmantofts wall tiling, which dates from the early 1900s, and there is further tiling in the main stairwell and corridor.


In the chancel of St John’s Church, Wetherby Road, is a large First World War memorial of 1921-2 carried out in Powell’s opus sectile; its pictorial panels (cartoons by Wilfred Edwards) show six soldier saints.


Adam Kossowski designed a large ceramic relief of Our Lady for St Gregory’s R. C. Church, Swarcliffe Drive, in 1969.


St Mark’s Church, St Mark’s Road, Woodhouse, has a sanctuary encaustic tile pavement by the Campbell Brick & Tile Co dating from around 1880; some of the elaborate four-tile groups show the ‘IHS’ monogram.

Around half a mile to the south on University Road is the campus of the University of Leeds, originally Yorkshire College; many of its buildings were designed by Alfred Waterhouse from the mid-1870s onward. His Great Hall (1892-5), much delayed due to lack of funds, has an imposing entrance hall with a dado and staircase decorated in pale buff Burmantofts faience.

Slightly south at 23 Clarendon Road is Claremont (West Yorkshire Archaeological Society) with late nineteenth century Maw encaustic tiling in the hallway and four Maw faience roundels depicting the Seasons in the library. Take the footbridge east over the inner ring road to find Leeds General Infirmary, Calverley Street; in front of the late 1990s Jubilee Building is Jubilee Square, with extensive brick landscaping by Tessa Jaray in collaboration with Tom Lomax.


Morley’s Public Library (1905-6) in Commercial Street was given to the town by Andrew Carnegie; the architect was the Borough Engineer, W. E. Putman.[76] Like some other early twentieth century Carnegie Libraries, for instance Sandwell (1907, West Bromwich, Staffordshire), its classical exterior hides an interior elaborately decorated with ceramics, in this case full-height wall tiling probably manufactured by Burmantofts. Above a tall, mostly bottle-green dado is a very unusual art nouveau frieze depicting literary figures; additionally, in tiled aedicules are details relating to the building, Carnegie and members of the Leeds Library Committee. There is also a good mosaic floor.


The little five-cottage, turn-of-the-century terrace at 1-5 Guycroft is faced in an exhilarating mix of coloured glazed bricks. It was probably intended as an advertisement for a local brickmaker, perhaps Julius Whitehead & Sons, whose Clayton works was a few miles to the south on the outskirts of Bradford.


The neo-Norman Church of St Mary the Virgin (1849) was designed by the Durham architectural practice of Ignatius Bonomi and his junior partner, John Augustus Cory.[77] The sanctuary floor was originally laid with colourful Minton encaustic tiles; although these have been taken up, some are still visible in the vestry. The underside of the chancel arch is still decorated with printed or stencilled tiles designed specially for the church by J. A. Cory, who was something of an antiquarian, using motifs taken from illuminated manuscripts held in the Chapter Library of Durham Cathedral. The tiles were made by Wilson & Co at their Tyne-Maine Pottery in Gateshead.[78]


In the centre of Pontefract on Salter Row is the former Carnegie Free Library (1904, architects Garside and Pennington) which reopened as Pontefract Museum in 1978. Its strange exterior, with pairs of truncated towers on either side of the entrance, combines ochre terracotta - possibly by Edwards of Ruabon - and red brick in a style which has elements of aesthetic movement and Viennese Secessionist, with overtones of Mackintosh and art nouveau touches like the sinuous leaf forms. Just as unexpected is the interior, with apple green and blue art nouveau tiled walls, mosaic floor and a dramatic bottle green faience-lined oval opening leading to the stairs.

At the east end of Salter Row is the Windmill PH, its grey interwar faience facade brightened by a green and yellow windmill above the entrance. Opposite is the 1983 Salter Row Shopping Centre, marked by a large ceramic plaque of local scenes displayed at first floor level; the artists were Sue King and James Robison. Just to the left in Gillygate is the former Pineapple PH, now a shop, but retaining the upper part of its white faience facade including a delightfully sculpted pineapple. Adjacent is the Market Place where W. H. Smith, formerly England’s Furniture Store (1894), has an ornate pale buff terracotta facade by the Leeds Fireclay Company..

About a mile south of the centre at 22 Carleton Crest is the Holy Family R. C. Church (1965, architect Derek Walker); on the east wall, behind the altar, is a ceramic depiction of Christ in Majesty by Robert Brumby. His work may also be seen at St Augustine’s R. C. Church (1967-8), Chorlton on Medlock, Manchester.


Christ Church (1830-2) acquired a new chancel in 1885; its architect was Jesse Horsfall, a local man. It may be that there was some competition between Christ Church - the parish church - and Todmorden’s landmark building, the lavishly furnished Unitarian Church, which was erected on the hillside above the town in 1865-9 (and probably contains a tile pavement). Between 1893 and 1925 the chancel walls of Christ Church were decorated with a hugely elaborate and complete scheme comprising mosaic, tilework and opus sectile pictorial panels, all supplied by Powell’s of Whitefriars. The artists involved included George Parlby, John W. Brown, James Hogan and Charles Hardgrave, a specialist in opus sectile and mural decorations, who visited the church in 1904.[79] The result was one of the best examples of opus sectile work in Britain. The church, however, closed in 1992 and is redundant; it was saved from demolition around 2000 only to be threatened in 2003 by an application to convert it to a single house, with little consideration given to its unique interior.

West Yorkshire Roundup

About two miles north-east of Aberford is Hazlewood Castle, the home of the Vavasour family since the thirteenth century but now an hotel and restaurant; in the private graveyard is the substantial tomb of William Joseph Vavasour (d1860), with insets of colourful encaustic tiles including some armorials. Over the chancel arch of St Paul’s Church (1876-8, architect William Swinden Barber of Halifax), Drighlington, is a tile mosaic panel of St Paul. The chancel walls of St Michael’s Church (1848), Mytholmroyd, are completely covered in mosaics supplied by Powell’s of Whitefriars in 1928 at a cost of £3,500; images include the Nativity, the Ascension, the Twelve Apostle and the Northern Saints, and the artist was James Hogan (1883-1948). There are patterned Minton encaustic tiles on the floor of the Salt family mausoleum, which was added to Saltaire Congregational Church (1858-9) in 1861. The Elephant and Castle PH, Westgate, Wakefield (opposite the railway station) has a good turn-of-the-century ceramic facade including lettering for Warwick’s Anchor Brewery of Boroughbridge (Fig 326).


1.^         G. K. Beaulah, 'Church tile survey in Yorkshire', Glazed Expressions, (1981) 1, pp2-3. Of around 250 parish churches in the East Riding, the survey - which took two years - covered all but fifteen. Of  around 100 churches using decorated tiles, eighteen used Minton's.
2.^         'Railway Map in Tiles', Brickbuilder, (1900) June, ppxxii-xxiii.
3.^         Mark Anders, Burmantofts Architectural Faience, in Burmantofts Pottery, (Bradford Art Galleries and Museums, Bradford, 1983), pp28-37.
4.^         Joyce Little, Angela Goedicke and Margaret Washbourn, eds. Stained Glass Marks & Monograms  (NADFAS, London, 2002).
5.^         Michael Kerney, 'All Saints', Margaret Street: A Glazing History', Journal of Stained Glass, 25 (2001), pp27-52.
6.^         Miranda F. Goodby, 'George Tinworth: an Artist in Terracotta', Journal of the Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society, 3 (1990), pp15-21.
7.^         Lynn Pearson, Building the East Riding (Smith Settle, Otley, 1995).
8.^         Nikolaus Pevsner and David Neave, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding 2nd ed. Buildings of England (Penguin, London, 1995).
9.^         Kenneth Beaulah and Hans van Lemmen, Church Tiles of the Nineteenth Century 2nd ed (Shire Publications, Princes Risborough, 2001).
10.^       Lynn Pearson, Minton Tiles in the Churches of Staffordshire 2000, Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society.
11.^       John Hutchinson and Paul Joyce, George Edmund Street in East Yorkshire (Department of the History of Art, University of Hull, Hull, 1981).
12.^       Kenneth Beaulah, Catalogue of the Kenneth Beaulah Collection of Tiles and Related Materials (Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society, 1993), vol 1, number 547.
13.^       Jill Allibone, The Wallpaintings at Garton-on-the-Wolds (Pevsner Memorial Trust, London, 1991).
14.^       Philip and Dorothy Brown, 'Cuenca tiles and Frederick Garrard', Glazed Expressions, (1993) 26, pp10-11.
15.^       Hans van Lemmen and Jose Montgomery, Dutch Tiles at 'Farrago' and 'Farrago' - A History of the House and its Tiles 2nd ed (Leeds Polytechnic, Leeds, 1990).
16.^       Gordon Biddle, Britain's Historic Railway Buildings: An Oxford Gazetteer of Structures and Sites (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003).
17.^       Christopher Ketchell and Jose Montgomery, Tiles Tour - Hull (Local History Archives Unit, Hull College of Further Education, Hull, 1990).
18.^       Pevsner and Neave, York and the East Riding (1995), pp91-2.
19.^       Pevsner and Neave, York and the East Riding (1995), pp540-1.
20.^       Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society Newsletter 15, May 1991, p3.
21.^       Burmantofts Pottery, (Bradford Art Galleries and Museum, Bradford, 1983).
22.^       Philip and Dorothy Brown, 'Spanish flavour in church tiles', Glazed Expressions, (1992) 25, pp9-10.
23.^       George Edmund Street, The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, commonly called Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (Sutton Sharpe, London, 1882).
24.^       Ellen Mary Rope: The Poet Sculptor, (Joanna Barnes Fine Arts and H. Blairman & Sons Ltd, London, 1997).
25.^       Jennie Stopford, 'The Yorkshire Medieval Tile Project', TACS Journal, 4 (1992), pp11-14.
26.^       The Builder, vol 36, 16th November 1878, p1206.
27.^       Elizabeth Eames, English Tilers (British Museum Press, London, 1992).
28.^       Maureen Batkin, Wedgwood Ceramics 1846-1959 (Richard Dennis, London, 1982), p117.
29.^       Allen Eyles, Odeon Cinemas 1: Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation (Cinema Theatre Association, London, 2002).
30.^       David Gamston, ed., CAMRA National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors  (CAMRA, St Albans, 2003).
31.^       Personal communication, Chris Blanchett, 27th August 1999.
32.^       Stopford, 'Yorkshire Medieval Tile Project', (1992).
33.^       Jack Binns, The History of Scarborough (Blackthorn Press, Pickering, 2001).
34.^       Alan Swale, Architectural terracotta - a critical appraisal of its development and deployment, 1998, MA dissertation, History of Ceramics, University of Staffordshire.
35.^       Modern Practice in Architectural Terra Cotta, (Hathern Station Brick & Terra Cotta Co Ltd, Loughborough, 1930).
36.^       Peter Howell and Ian Sutton, eds., The Faber Guide to Victorian Churches  (Faber and Faber, London, 1989).
37.^       'The Late Herbert Minton, Esq.' Annals of the Diocese of Lichfield, past and present: being a Supplement to the Lichfield Church Calendar, (1859) Crewe, Newcastle-under-Lyme, pp83-88. Reprinted in Glazed Expressions 32, Spring 1996, pp3-6. This encomium, published in the year following Minton's death, details the 173 gifts made by Herbert Minton to churches and other institutions.
38.^       Maggie Goodall, 'Whitby Gem', Victorian Society News, (1996) Autumn, p7.
39.^       Dennis W. Hadley, James Powell & Sons: A listing of opus sectile, 1847-1973, (2001).
40.^       Hadley, James Powell & Sons (2001).
41.^       Philip and Dorothy Brown, 'Lancaster architects - church terracotta and tiles', Glazed Expressions, (1990) 21, pp8-10.
42.^       Burmantofts Pottery (Bradford, 1983).
43.^       Burmantofts Pottery (Bradford, 1983).
44.^       Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University (online, cited 22nd January 2005), <>. See also Ruth Harman and John Minnis, Sheffield (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2004), pp150-1.
45.^       Carter Archive, Poole Museum Service, 3C (Shops) 101.
46.^       Personal communication, Anne Diver, 21st April 2003.
47.^       Colin Cunningham and Prudence Waterhouse, Alfred Waterhouse, 1830-1905: Biography of a Practice (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992).
48.^       Alan Swale, 'The Batley Bats', Glazed Expressions, (1999) 39, pp4-5.
49.^       Burmantofts Pottery (Bradford, 1983).
50.^       The Builder, vol 25, 26th January 1867 and 23rd March 1867.
51.^       The Builder, 24th October 1930, p709.
52.^       'Rhodesway Secondary School, Bradford', RIBA Journal, 68 (1960) November, pp14-15.
53.^       The Builder, 12th January 1878, vol 36.
54.^       William Waters, Stained Glass from Shrigley & Hunt of Lancaster and London (Centre for North-West Regional Studies, University of Lancaster, Lancaster, 2003), pp27, 84.
55.^       Alan Powers, Oliver Hill: Architect and Lover of Life, 1887-1968 (Mouton Publications, London, 1989).
56.^       'School at Castleford, Yorkshire', Architects' Journal, 94, 18th December 1941, pp398-402, xxiv.
57.^       Christopher Hussey, 'The School-Building Programme', Country Life, 94 (1943) 13th August, pp288-9.
58.^       '"Movement" panels for market hall', Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 9th October 1969, p16.
59.^       Derek Linstrum, West Yorkshire: Architects and Architecture (Lund Humphries, London, 1978), pp22-3.
60.^       Hans van Lemmen, Tiles, Terracotta and Faience in Leeds (TACS, 2003).
61.^       J. C. Edwards, Ruabon: Catalogue, Ruabon (1903).
62.^       Cunningham and Waterhouse, Alfred Waterhouse (1992), p114.
63.^       Hans van Lemmen, Architectural Ceramics (Shire Publications, Princes Risborough, 2002).
64.^       Margaret MacKeith, Shopping Arcades: A gazetteer of extant British arcades 1817-1939 (Mansell Publishing, London, 1985).
65.^       Hadley, James Powell & Sons (2001).
6.^       George Sheeran, Landscape Gardens in West Yorkshire, 1680-1880 (Wakefield Historical Publications, Wakefield, 1990).
67.^       Marcus Binney, Hana Laing and Alastair Laing, Taking the Plunge: The architecture of bathing (Save Britain's Heritage, London, 1981).
68.^       Hans van Lemmen, Tiles, Terracotta and Faience in Leeds (TACS, 2003).
69.^       Gail Bolland, 'New Tiles at Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds', Glazed Expressions, (1994) 28, pp6-8.
70.^       The Builder, vol 49, 18th July 1885, p101.
71.^       Janet Douglas, 'Patronage and Politics in a Leeds Parish - The Story of the Brangwyn Mosaics in St Aidans Church, Harehills', Journal of the Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society, 6 (1996), pp23-28.
72.^       Libby Horner, 'A masterpiece in Leeds: Brangwyn and St Aidan's mosaics', Ecclesiology Today, (2000) 21, pp17-22.
73.^       Lynn Pearson, 'Ceramic decoration in modern British mosques', Glazed Expressions, (2003) 48, p11.
4.^       Stopford, 'Yorkshire Medieval Tile Project', (1992).
5.^       Elizabeth S. Eames, Catalogue of Medieval Lead-Glazed Earthenware Tiles in the Department of Medieval and Later Antiquities, British Museum (British Museum Publications, London, 1980), vol 1, pp132-3.
76.^       The Builder, vol 91, 3rd November 1906, p518.
77.^       J. H. Crosby, Ignatius Bonomi of Durham: Architect (City of Durham Trust, Durham, 1987).
78.^       St Mary's Church, Oxenhope, Centenary Souvenir Booklet, Oxenhope (1949).
79.^       Hadley, James Powell & Sons (2001).

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