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. 


The Approach

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
Carlton Club, London

Following a fire risk assessment on the club, Oculus was brought in to find suitable solutions for fire safety works required in the significant findings of the report. With the club being a listed building any works would need to have minimal impact on the historic fabric and disruption to the guest accommodation in the Club kept to a minimum. 

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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.

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CASE STUDY
Apex Hotel - Bath

The existing eight storey office block was demolished and construction began early 2015. The hotel,  a new 4* luxury hotel in central Bath opened as planned boasting 177 contemporary bedrooms, a 400 capacity conference facitlity and event spaces, making it Bath’s largest hotel in this regard.

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