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Etruria Industrial Museum

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Established  1991
Website  Official website
Type  Industry
Phone  +44 7900 267711
Etruria Industrial Museum
Location  Lower Bedford Street Etruria, Staffordshire, England
Address  Etruria Vale Rd, Etruria ST1 4RB, UK
Similar  Ford Green Hall, Gladstone Pottery Museum, Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, North Stafford Hotel, Hanley Park

Etruria industrial museum bone mill

The Etruria Industrial Museum is located in Etruria, Staffordshire in England. The Museum is a typical and well-preserved example of a nineteenth century British steam-powered potter's mill. It is situated between the Trent and Mersey Canal and the staircase locks flight of the Caldon Canal. The museum has a modern entrance building, leading into a Grade II* listed building which was formerly the Etruscan bone and flint mill. The mill is also a scheduled monument.


Tristram hunt at etruria industrial museum during canals festival weekend


The bone and flint mill was built in 1857 to grind materials for the local pottery industry. It was operated as a family business until 1975.


The site was given an official heritage listing in the 1970s (initially as an ancient monument). After a period of restoration, started in 1978, the museum was opened by Fred Dibnah in 1991. Inside the restored site visitors see displays on the history of the mill and its site, and its original machinery including a working steam engine called "Princess". There is a working historic blacksmith's forge flanking the Museum's modern entrance building. Much further restoration work was completed on the wider landscape setting of the Mill in the mid 1980s, as part of the preparations for the national Stoke-on-Trent Garden Festival.

Current status

At 2015 the Museum is operated by volunteers through Shirley's Bone and Flint Mill Volunteer group, although it is part of Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Museum Service, and as such it is open to the public only occasionally throughout the year. The museum website advertises the days when the 1903 coal-fired boiler provides steam to operate "Princess", which then turns the grinding machinery.

As of September 2015 the mill was purchased from St Modwen by the members of Shirley's Bone and Flint Mill Volunteers CIO and will continue to be leased to Stoke-on-Trent City Council as the heart of the Etruria Industrial Museum.

Immediate setting

The Trent and Mersey Canal´s course through the city is a linear Conservation Area. Along with the Middleport section of the canal, the Etruria section is important in terms of urban heritage, and the Mill site is immediately abutted by several other important historic sites: the staircase locks flight of the Caldon Canal, up which thousands of narrowboating holiday makers labour each year in order to visit the Moorlands town of Leek; a wide grassy glade surrounded by a circle of trees, marking the site of the British Gas Light Company gas-holder – the first to supply heat and light to the city; and the site of the Old Dispensary and House of Recovery, which was the city's first hospital.

Access to vehicles is partly restricted due to weight restrictions on the canal bridges, and there is no through-traffic, making the large park-like area centred on the Mill an attractive one for the residents of an increasingly gentrified Etruria. The Etruria Canals Festival generally takes place annually at and around the Etruria Industrial Museum on the first weekend in June, although in some years the large outdoor market of stalls is not staged by the committee.


Etruria Industrial Museum Wikipedia

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