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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
Litfield Court

Litfield Court is situated in the affluent residential district of Clifton in the city of Bristol. It is comprised of two impressive Georgian style Grade II listed semi-detached former residential houses, constructed in c1830, with an ancillary coach house to the rear of the property. The two houses had until recently been used as a care home for the elderly.

The building was acquired by Kersfield Developments, who obtained permission to convert the property into 8 luxury apartments.

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CASE STUDY
Burwalls House

The Burwalls site consists of a substantial historic Grade II listed main house and stable block annex and lies in nearly 5 acres of land adjacent to Brunel’s world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge. The main house is in the Jacobethan style and was constructed in 1872 as a private dwelling by Joseph Leech, a local entrepreneur and owner of the Bristol Times and Mirror.

The site was purchased in 2014 by Kersfield Developments who obtained permission to split the main house into 5 impressive apartments, convert the Stable block in to 2 units and for the construction of 4 new detached dwellings.

The main house has been extended at various points during its history and some of the current works in this sensitive conversion were to remove elements of the more recent additions which are detrimental to the original building.

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CASE STUDY
National Museum of the Royal Navy

Storehouse 10 at the historic naval dockyard in Portsmouth was constructed in the mid-eighteenth century, during an upsurge in naval building prompted by events such as the Seven Years War. It was originally used to store everyday supplies for working ships plus some naval items.

During the Second World War, Storehouse 10 was hit by an incendiary bomb, which destroyed the clock tower and most of the roof and upper floors. More extensive damage was prevented due to a strenuous firefighting effort to save the radar sets within, which were to be some of the first installed in Royal Navy ships.

Restoration of Storehouse 10 was gradual and was eventually completed in 1992. It has now been converted to form part of the National Museum for the Royal Navy complex. 

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