The toun o Burslem, kent as the Mother Town, is ane o the sax touns that amalgamatit tae fuirm the current ceety o Stoke-on-Trent, in the ceremonial coonty o Staffordshire, in the Midlands o Ingland.

Burslem is located in Staffordshire
Location within Staffordshire
OS grid referenceSJ875495
Unitar authority
Ceremonial coonty
Sovereign stateUnitit Kinrick
Post tounStoke-On-Trent
Postcode destrictST5
Diallin code01782
AmbulanceWast Midlands
EU PairlamentWast Midlands
UK Pairlament
Leet o places
53°02′33″N 2°11′16″W / 53.042621°N 2.187889°W / 53.042621; -2.187889Coordinates: 53°02′33″N 2°11′16″W / 53.042621°N 2.187889°W / 53.042621; -2.187889



Burslem is steidit on the eastren rig o the Fowlea Valley, the Fowlea bein ane o the main early tributars o the River Trent. Burslem embraces the auries o Middleport, Dalehall, Longport, Westport, Trubshaw Cross, an Brownhills. The Trent & Mersey Canal cuts throu, tae the wast an sooth o the toun centre. A little further wast, the West Coast Main Line railwey an the A500 road run in parallel, formin a destinct boondar atween Burslem an the abuttin middle-cless toun o Newcastle-under-Lyme. Tae the sooth is Grange Park an Festival Park, reclaimit bi the Stoke-on-Trent Garden Festival.



The Domesday Book shows Burslem (leetit as Bacardeslim) as a smaw fermin hamlet; strategically steidit abuin a vital ford (crossin) at Longport, pairt o the major pack horse track oot o the Peak District an Staffordshire Moorlands tae the Liverpuil/Lunnon road. As far back as the late 12t century a thrivin pottery industry existit, based on the fine & abundant local clays. Efter the Black Daith, Burslem emerges in the records as a medieval toun - the 1536 stane kirk is still staundin an in uise. Till the mid-1760s Burslem wis relatively cut aff frae the rest o Ingland; it haed nae navigable river nearbi, an thare wur nae guid & reliable roads. Bi 1777 the Trent and Mersey Canal wis nearin completion, an the roads haed markitly impruivit. The toun boomit on the back o fine pottery production & canals, an became kent as 'The Mother Town' o the sax touns that mak up the ceety. In 1910 the toun wis federatit intae the coonty burgh o Stoke-on-Trent, an the burgh wis grantit ceety status in 1925.

Mony o the novels o Arnold Bennett evoke Victorian Burslem, wi its mony potteries, mines, an wirkin canal barges. The Burslem o the 1930s tae the 1980s is evokit bi the pentins an plays o Arthur Berry.

Burslem conteens Breetain's last real wirkin industrial destrict (i.e.: whaur fowk live athin walkin distance o the factories o a single hivy industry - in this case, the potteries); an sicweys hintle o the nineteent-century industrial heritage, biggins & character hae survivit intact.

A recent report suggestit the concentration o pottery-based heritage maks the aurie the richest stretch o canal for industrial heritage in Ingland.

Population an hoosin


At the 1991 census coont, the population o Burslem wis 21,400. A study bi consultants Atkins, wirkin frae the Unitit Kingdom Census 2001 data, showed that the Burslem population is steady an haes no declined despite a manufacturin decline durin the 1980s an '90s.

Tradeetional Victorian airchitectur an Edwardian period terracit hooses dominate the toun. New hoosin developments are unnerwey on the Sadlers Factory steid an aroond Woodbank Street.

Hivy industrial employment (mines, steel & pots) haes left a legacy o ill-halth amang mony aulder fowk, but thare is the Haywood Hospital (High Lane, Burslem) an the new £300-million Varsity Hospital o North Staffordshire is juist three mile awa bi road.

Burslem is a multicultural aurie o Stoke-on-Trent wi a significant Asie population.



Industrial scale pottery production haes drastically declined syne the 1970s; but specialist makers (Steelite) an smawer producers o heich-value ceramics (Burleigh, Wade, Moorcroft) are thrivin. Burslem is emergin as a centre for smaw, freelance creative businesses wirkin in sectors sic as feene airt, animation an crafts as well as pottery.

Shoppin options in the toun centre hae markitly declined, hit bi the impact o nearbi oot-o-toun retail pairks that affer free pairkin. Housomeivver, the fore-nicht economy is still active wi a wide range o bars an restaurants mainly servin Inglis an Indie fuid.

The Leopard Inn, on Market Place, haes acome internaitionally well-kent follaein its appearance on Most Haunted in 2007.

Whiles kent as the 'Savoy o the Midlands' the Leopard Inn in Burslem certainly haulds a lot o hidden secrets. The Leopard Inn is ane o Stoke-on-Trent's hidden gems. A leetit biggin in Burslem, it is steepit in history an the discovery o tunnels an 58 bedrooms that hae been left exactly as thay wur when thay wur sealed atween the 1930s an 1950s haes brocht it centre-stage again.

The Leopard Inn dates frae the early 1700s. Initially a coachin hoose an Inn, thare haes been a wirkin pub on this steid for 300 years or mair. In 1878 a three storey extension includin 57 rooms wur biggit. The ambition wis tae creaut in Burslem 'The Savoy o the North'. The rooms tae the front o the Leopard are the day in uise as a pub an restaurant, an tae the rear the hotel lees abandoned an purportitly hauntit.

At Ware 2002 unemployment wis runnin at 4.1 percent or 1,526 fowk in the Stoke-on-Trent North constituency; amaist the same rate as the Wast Midlands as a whole. In Burslem at 2001 unemployment wis 3.2 percent an declinin.

In 2005, £2-million o new business pairk units for the creative industries wis annooncit for the toun.



In 2007 Burslem saw a social enterprise newspaper, Local Edition, acome ane o the first newspapers tae cover the aurie regularly. The newspaper covered Burslem, as well as surroondin auries includin Tunstall, Middleport an Cobridge, giein a vyce tae the fowk in the commonty. The newspaper ceased publication in 2008 an its airchive is online Archived 2012-03-13 at the Wayback Machine.


The auld toun haw, Burslem, biggit in 1854. Architect: G.T. Robinson.

Aroond 5 million tourists veesit Stoke-on-Trent each year, supportin aroond 4,400 direct jobs. Stoke shows its popularity throu the nummer o repeat visits; aroond 80 percent o visitors hae previously been here. Burslem haes a variety o strang tourist attractions; Burleigh, Moorcroft, Festival Park, its mony authentic Inglis pubs, an the Trent & Mersey Canal. Even tho ceramica is probably the biggest building in Burslem, no mony fowk ken that it wis ance the toun haw.

It haes the legacy o novelist Arnold Bennett an aw, who refers tae the toun an mony o its streets wi thinly-disguised names: e.g. Burslem/"Bursley", Swan (Square an Pub)/"Duck". It is the settin for ane o his maist famous wirks, the Clayhanger trilogy. Burslem's centre benefits frae haein a amaist-intact medieval street-plan an coontless fine auld biggins, an a tounscape which amaist-totally escapit re-development durin the 1960s an 1970s.

Efter bein unner-uised for years, the Burslem School of Art haes been refurbished at a cost o £2.1m an affers several lairge free airt galleries. The free Public Library is currently based in the School of Art, efter the Venetian Gothic Wedgwood Institute closed for safety raisons early in 2009. Ceramica wis a new awaird-winnin ceramics faimily attraction, based in the imposin auld Toun Haw an fundit bi Millennium Lottery money but due tae the loss o cooncil fundin haes been closed. The Queen's Theatre haes regular concerts an a annual pantomime.

Thare is a tradeetional Friday street mercat, an street carnivals in Mey an Dizember.



The major fitbaa club Port Vale F.C. is based in Burslem at Vale Park. The team currently plays in League Ane, Ingland's third diveesion.

Near tae the toun is Burslem Golf Club - a 9-hole course which ance haad sangster Robbie Williams as a Junior Caiptain. It wis opened on 28 September 1907 bi vaudeville enterteener an gowfer Sir Harry Lauder. On 29 September 2007 his great-nephew Gregory Lauder-Frost as guest-o-honour rededicatit it for anither century in a formal ceremony.[1]

Professional darts player, Phil Taylor is frae Burslem an is ane o mony associatit wi the hivy dartin cultur present in Stoke-on-Trent.



Burslem is the steid o the main campus o Stoke-on-Trent College, the lairgest Further Education college in Ingland. The campus specialises in media-production an drama. Stoke Studio College, a studio schuil for 13-19 year aulds is openin at the college campus in September 2013.

Athin a sax mile radius frae Burslem thare are three varsities; Staffordshire at Shelton, Keele Varsity, an Manchester Metropolitan's lairge Airt & Design campus at Alsager.

The environs


The toun is elevatit an is no prone tae floodin.

Burslem haes a Victorian pairk designed bi Thomas Hayton Mawson, an a lairge amoont o reclaimit green space, sic as the Westport Lakes an the later legacy o the 1986 National Garden Festival, which imaginatively reclaimit pairt o the Shelton Bar steelwirks steid. The Peak District National Park begins juist ten mile north-east o Burslem.



The nearbi A500 gies access tae the M6 motorwey. Longport railwey station affers direct connections sooth intae Stoke, east tae Derby an Nottingham, an north tae Crewe & Manchester. The toun is straddled bi twa major aff-road cycle paths, pairt o the National Cycle Network.

The Trent an Mersey canal is said tae see ower 10,000 narrowboats a year uisin it. The umwhile Burslem Canal wis constructit in 1805 an remained open till 1961 when it wis breached. The Burslem Canal wis a branch o the Trent an Mersey Canal runnin frae the junction near tae Newport Lane (opposite the auld steel works) throu tae Furlong Lane aurie o Middleport.

The nearest internaitional airports are Manchester & Birmingham Internaitional; each is aboot 60 minutes awa bi train.

Burslem wis servit bi a railwey station which wis opened bi the North Staffordshire Railway on 1 November 1873.

Notable fowk


Possibly Burslem's current maist famous son is Robbie Williams, who is a major sharehaulder in Port Vale. His faimily are still resident in the aurie.

Ither notable figurs include the potter Josiah Wedgewood; the watercolour painter James Holland (1800–1870); the foonder, bassist an lead sangster o ane o Breetain's foremaist rock baunds - Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister o Motörhead - he wis born an spent his early bairnheid in the toun; an Darts legend an 16-time warld champion, Phil Taylor who wis born, raised an wirkit in the toun an aw.

In the 17t century, Molly Leigh wis resident o the toun afore bein accused o bein a witch an dyin afore her trial.

William Frederick Horry awned the George Hotel in the 1860s afore murtherin his wife Jane at his faither's hoose in Boston, Lincolnshire. Despite pleas for clemency he wis hangit at Lincoln Castle on 1 Apryle 1872 an his bouk interred wi ither executit felons in the interior o the Castle's Lucy Touer, whaur it can still be seen.

The guitarist Slash, the umwhile lead guitarist o Guns N' Roses, wis a inhabitant o Stoke-on-Trent in his early years an aw.


George Fomby's first soond film, Boots! Boots!, got its warld premiere in Burslem in 1934.[2][3]

The film adaptation o Arnold Bennett's The Card wis pairtly filmit on location in the toun.

Robbie Williams includit the sang "Burslem Normals"' on his album Rudebox, released in 2006. A short film, "Goodbye to the Normals Archived 2014-05-17 at the Wayback Machine" wis made.

A sang "Waterloo Road" performed bi Jason Crest wis written (bi Mike Deighan an Mike Wilsh) aboot the Waterloo Road in Burslem. The sang became vera popular an even reached no. 1 in Fraunce when the French sangster Joe Dassin covered it unner the title "Les Champs Élysées".

See an aw



  1. The Sentinel (Staffordshire) (newspaper), Stoke-on-Trent, 4 October 2007, p. 47 (includes photo).
  2. "Memory Lane". This Is Staffordshire. Retrieved 12 Mairch 2012.[deid airtin]
  3. "Popular Music on Film". Google Books. Retrieved 12 Mairch 2012.

Freemit airtins


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