Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Sixth Town

In my last but one post I promised a short walk around the town of Fenton. When the Potteries born writer Arnold Bennett wrote his book 'Anna of the Five Towns' he missed out the town of Fenton. There are many theories as to why but I think it was probably because, as a book title, it sounds rather better than Anna of the Six Towns. Also Anna was published in 1902 before the formation of the City itself so he probably didn't even give Fenton a thought. The city of Stoke-on-Trent is made up of six towns from North to South - Tunstall, Burslem (known as the mother town), Hanley (now the city centre), Stoke (the administrative centre), Fenton and Longton. The Federation of the six towns happened on 31st March 1910; next year, therefore, is the 100th Anniversary of the birth of the city and no doubt there are plenty of special events planned.

Fenton was formed from the two earlier townships of Fenton Culvert (Great Fenton) and Fenton Vivian (Little Fenton). The two areas are now separated by the A5007; Great Fenton is the area where the Town Hall, Library and Church stand around the war memorial in Albert Square and where the market it held every Thursday on the car park in front of the Co-op store. Little Fenton is clustered around Victoria Road, a road which winds its way up into the city centre. Off here is Fenton Park and Fenton cemetery, the sports centre and 6th form college some smaller shops and terraced houses and then the usual shops like Aldi, Dunelm, Halfords, Currys, McDonalds, Wicks and etc. Further up towards the centre is the Emma Bridgwater factory, shop and ceramic cafe.

So let's look at some of the older buildings in the smallest of the six towns.

Above and below is the church of Christchurch rebuilt in 1898 on the site of the former church which was built 1838/9.

The building below, formerly Lloyds bank, is now an art gallery. At the moment it has an exhibition called Urban Landscapes by local artist Sid Kirkham.

Below is the former town hall, now the magistrates court, which was built in 1889. Here is the comment on the building from Pevsner's 'Buildings of England'

"Town Hall, 1888-9 by R. Scrivener & Son of Hanley. Brick, symmetrical, Gothic - but with a number of little originalities which help to relieve the portliness of the building."

The Library, below, was built in 1906 with the help of money from the Carnegie Trust. Most of the buildings around the square were built by or with the help of local business man William Meath Baker.

Who also had the houses below built on the corner of Victoria Square.

Behind which stands the old fire station.

Some more lovely buildings close to Albert Square.

There is so much more to Fenton and lots more interesting buildings but I think we will end the walk here.


  1. Thank you for the walk around Fenton. I do like to look at the architecture of buildings. Back in the 1970's my Dad took lots of photo's of buildings where I used to live before they were pulled down for redevelopment.

  2. I always love your little tours as I don't know a lot about your area!
    Thank you ;-)

  3. Rosie, I love your photos and background history. It is so great to see and learn about new places from another part of the world. Thank you for the journey. Be Well, Be Happy;) Pam

  4. Such marvelous old buildings, and I so love those gothic windows!!

  5. I truly love to go on your tours. They are very informative and I love these quaint places. England has such wonderful structures. :)

  6. Thanks for the guided tour, What riches our towns have. Have you ever visited the Burleigh factory at Middleport?

  7. Simone - good for your Dad - these buildings can disappear so quickly.

    Sal, Pam, Pamela and Melody thanks for your kind comments glad you liked the tour - Victorian Red brick isn't everyone's 'cup of tea' so glad you liked the photos.

    valerie - it is on my whish list - I've seen photos of the interior offices etc and it looks wonderful - we will get there one day:)

  8. What a wonderful little walk. Even though I pass through bits every day or have passed through its so interesting seeing it from a different view. As I drove along Vitoria road today, it did make me look up and around more. Could you do one of Neck end? LOL. Longton still has some wonderful buildings, well if you look up so to speak.

  9. Another lovely tour Rosie, I liked the old fire station building best. I am quite keen on Emma Bridgewater pottery so a trip to the factory and outlet shop is somewhere I want to visit. Have you been?
    Hope you don't mind I have tagged you.

  10. Thank you for the walk around town...I like the area!Lovely would be nice to take a look inside:)

  11. Amanda, I have done a little post on Longton - way back but only one or two of the factory shops, church and museum - not sure when it was but it may be time to do something on the 'neck end' again:)

    Fern, thanks for the tag - I have been to the Emma Bridgwater shops quite a few times and have several pieces from there - I always enjoy looking round and the coffee and muffins are delicious:)

    Duchess, glad you enjoyed the walk - it would be great to see inside some of the buildings I guess the church and library would be easy but the others, I don't know:)