When visiting Stoke Minster follow The Minster’s Ceramic Trail.Wedgwood, Spode and Copeland… “Am I not a man and a brother?”
Stoke Minster is part of the Stoke Ceramic trail, and rejoices in being the burial place of many of the great potters who made Stoke on Trent world-famous for its ceramics. Josiah Wedgwood is not only buried in the church grounds but also has an impressive memorial inside sculpted by John Flaxman. Wedgwood was famous for his innovation, and was one of the , he also played a part in the abolition of the slave trade. His famous “Am I not a man and a brother?” ceramic brooches were popular during the 18th century, as William Wilberforce campaigned for abolition. This use of creativity in political campaigning highlights the great wealth of arts and entrepeneurship Stoke-on-Trent still has even now.The Wedgwood Museum is found in nearby Barlaston, while Etruria House is now a conference centre at the Moathouse hotel on Festival Park. The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery also hosts a fine exhibition of Wedgwood in their permanent collection.
Carrying on the Tradition…A short distance from the Minster, in the Town of Stoke itself, is the Spode Ceramics Factory, currently awaiting redevelopment. Many of the Spode and Copeland family are also buried in the church grounds. In the Minster there are several memorials to this famous pottery family including one to Josiah Spode himself. The second Josiah Spode was Church Warden of St Peter’s at the time of its rebuilding in 1826-29. The plaque records that he gave £200 towards the rebuild.