HIDDEN WASHROOMS OPENED BY PRINCE CHARLES AT MIDDLEPORT POTTERY

HIDDEN WASHROOMS OPENED BY PRINCE CHARLES AT MIDDLEPORT POTTERY

HIDDEN WASHROOMS OPENED BY PRINCE CHARLES AT MIDDLEPORT POTTERY

The historic washrooms were opened by The Prince of Wales during his recent visit to the Victorian Pottery. 

The washrooms, which are thought to be part of the original 1888 factory design, were uncovered for the first time in decades earlier this summer.

Thought to be the only ones of their kind, they have undergone a restoration and interpretation programme in order that they can be opened to the public for the first time ever.

It is thought that Middleport was the only ceramic factory to contain such facilities and the opening of the rooms will create a completely unique visitor experience.

The three-room suite contains a space with eight ceramic sinks, another room with a large oversized bath and an additional area of unknown previous use.

The subterranean site now lies below the factory floor as the ground level has been raised over decades.

Prince Charles officially opened the washrooms on Tuesday November 28. He also toured the factory and saw the other new addition at the factory – the historic working narrowboat, Dane.

Director John Lowther said: “We are delighted that as the Founding Patron of our charity, UKHBPT, Prince Charles chose to officially open this important piece of Middleport history.

“The bath house is a unique survivor from when the factory was first built. The rooms are an important part of Middleport’s story. This pottery was built as a model Victorian factory, not only showcasing the very latest ceramic techniques of the time but also leading the country in ways to look after a workforce and care for the surrounding community. The fixtures and fittings are quite ornate and we believe they were possibly deliberately designed this way as part of the concept of creating the perfect pottery.

“To be able to open the washrooms gives visitors a unique insight into Middleport Pottery and the community working there.”

As well as a new entrance, the Middleport team have turned the empty room into an interpretation space with information panels about the washrooms.

John said: “The opening of the washrooms paves the way for our larger plans to redevelop Harper Street, adding to the tourist attraction and providing space for local artists and community use.”

The Middleport Pottery experience includes a visitor centre with original Victorian offices, Grade II listed bottle kiln – one of few remaining – and Europe’s largest collection of ceramic moulds and fully restored steam engine. The centre is open from 10am until 4pm daily and welcomes groups and coach tour operators from across the UK. The Middleport Pottery factory tour gives visitors the unique opportunity to see pottery produced from start to finish using techniques dating back to the 1880s. To find out more or book a factory tour visit www.middleportpottery.org or call 01782 499766.

 

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Notes to editors:

Formerly The Princes Regeneration Trust, United Kingdom Buildings Preservation Trust, (UKHBPT) became an independent organisation in December 2016.  HRH The Prince of Wales is UKHBPT’s founding patron.

UKHBPT is a registered charity – Charity number – 1059662.

All enquiries to: UKHBPT Marketing Manager Sarah Nadin – sarah.nadin@ukhbpt.org