Middleport Pottery

the UK’s last working Victorian pottery

The Project

Middleport Pottery, the UK’s last working Victorian pottery was originally constructed in 1888 for Burgess & Leigh, a local ceramics company, where beautiful Burleigh pottery was produced using extremely rare skills.

In 2011, United Kingdom Historic Building Preservation Trust (UKHBPT) embarked on a long journey to save the site from closure and to protect the complex that houses historic machinery, archives and collections of the past. The traditional industrial factory and its original function have been conserved, repaired and regenerated for community benefit. The areas of museum demonstrate the skilful process being undertaken in a traditional manner. 


Building Control

Under the guidance of Feilden Clegg and Bradley Studios, a quiet and restrained refurbishment took place. Oculus were pleased to be involved in providing the building control process for this ‘light’ touch project. Perhaps the best way of explaining the careful intervention is by the fact that even though there was considerable upgrading works taking place, it is difficult to see what works have been carried out, such was the approach and philosophy of the project.


Middleport Pottery has won numerous awards including:

  • RIBA National Award for architectural excellence
  • RIBA West Midlands Awards
  • Europa Nostra Award for heritage
  • Civic Trust AABC Conservation Award for building conservation
  • Placemaking Award for heritage
  • Heritage Open Days' Community Champion Award

Follow Series 2 - The Great Pottery Throw Down on BBC 2

Photographs courtesy of Tim Crocker  

CASE STUDY
Wessex Water, Bath

The client, Bennetts Associates Architects and Buro Happold Consulting Engineers created the most energy efficient and sustainable building in the country with the highest BREEAM rating at that time for a commercial office building. In environmental terms the project was acclaimed by the Building Research Establishment as the ‘greenest’ commercial building in the UK. It stands as an exemplary example of energy efficiency, low embodied energy, recycling including aggregate for the concrete structure and recycled storm and grey water and enhanced biodiversity. 

Read More

CASE STUDY
The Royal High School, Bath

Cranwell House is a Grade II-listed Victorian mansion house set within a significant historic landscape in the World Heritage City of Bath. It was purchased by The Girls’ Day School Trust as the future home for the Junior School of The Royal High School Bath, which was looking to move from outmoded facilities on its existing site elsewhere in the city centre.

Following a limited competition Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios were appointed to sensitively refurbish the main house, reinstating the principal rooms of the house as new teaching spaces and introducing a contemporary and sustainable extension building within the immediate context of the listed building and the wider parkland setting.

Read More

CASE STUDY
Island Pavilion, Wormsley Estate

As the name suggests, the Island Pavilion is located on an island within the magnificent Wormsley Estate. The jewel-like building, clad with glass and metal, sits serenely in the historic landscape.  The private dining facilities within are used during the summer opera season for Garsington Opera who have a magnificent performance pavilion on the Wormsley Estate. To the design of architects Robin Snell and Partners, the attention to detail in all aspects of design and construction makes this building a modern addition to the estate. The Pavilion is designed to fit seamlessly with the topography of the island and take maximum advantage of the panoramic views across the lake.

Read More