Stoke-upon-Trent Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by EasyMalc
  • Things to Do
    by EasyMalc
  • Things to Do
    by EasyMalc

Most Recent Things to Do in Stoke-upon-Trent

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    Josiah Wedgewood

    by IreneMcKay Updated Oct 31, 2014

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    Josiah Wedgewood's statue has pride of place outside Stoke Station in front of the North Stafford Hotel.

    Josiah Wedgewood is credited with the industrialization of pottery. His factory stood in Etruria in Stoke. He was a staunch abolitionist against slavery. He lived from 1730 to 1795.

    Josiah Wedgewood
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    Statue – Sir Stanley Matthews CBE

    by grayfo Written Sep 24, 2014

    Sir Stanley Matthews CBE born in Hanley (1 February 1915 – 23 February 2000) was symbolic with the game of football, a true sportsman and gentleman and often regarded as one of the greatest players of the English game. The bronze statue was sculptured by Colin Melbourne in 1987 and was unveiled by the great man himself to commemorate the completion of the Hanley Town Centre Pedestrianisation.

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    Lest We Forget

    by grayfo Written Sep 8, 2014

    War Memorial

    The Stoke Spa memorial is in the form of a bronze figure of Victory, with head bowed and her right arm holding up a sword encircled by a wreath, behind her left heel is a circular shield. The figure stands atop a square plinth, which bears a bronze plaque to the front displaying the Stoke on Trent coat of arms encircled by a wreath and flanked by two Tudor roses. On each of the two sides of the plinth are further wreaths, again in bronze. Below the front plaque is the inscription; “To Our Valiant Dead 1914 – 1918 & 1939 - 1945”. The memorial was created by Harold Brownsword and was first unveiled 11 November 1922.

    Grade II Listed

    August 2013

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    River Trent

    by grayfo Written Sep 3, 2014

    The River is the third longest in England, and where Stoke-on-Trent derives its name, it flows into the city at Norton Green, passes through Stoke and merges with the Lyme, Fowlea and other brooks that drain the 'six towns' of the Staffordshire Potteries to become the River Trent and out at Hanford.

    The River Trent around which the hamlet of Trentham in Stoke-on-Trent was also built runs from north to south of The Trentham Estate on its eastern side, (see photo for view from bridge at Trentham Estate).

    April 2014

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    Sculpture Trail

    by IreneMcKay Written Sep 2, 2014

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    Stoke has plenty of modern sculptures, too. From the station I picked up a sculpture trail leaflet, though I did not have time to follow it and only came across a few of them. Still given more time I like the idea of tracking them all down.

    Stoke Sculptures Stoke Sculptures Stoke Sculptures Stoke Sculptures Stoke Sculptures
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    Stoke Minster Cathedral

    by IreneMcKay Written Sep 2, 2014

    This looked like a lovely church, but as there was a wedding going on when I visited, I could not go inside. In the graveyard I found the tomb of Josiah Wedgewood near the arches of the old ruined church. There was also a burial plot for the Spode family, including the famous Josiah Spode.

    Stoke Minster Church is around 1,300 years old. As the official church site points out, it was founded around the time the Staffordshire Hoard was buried. The church still has its Anglo-Saxon stone font and the remains of a carved Saxon preaching cross. Stoke Minster is dedicated to St. Peter in Chains.

    Stoke Minster Stoke Minster Stoke Minster Stoke Minster Stoke Town Hall opposite church.
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    The Former Spode Factory

    by IreneMcKay Written Sep 2, 2014

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    The Former Spode Factory now houses a little museum and an exhibition gallery. I liked the fact it was set on a real former factory. As well as pottery items the museum contained pottery moulds and some machinery so you could get an idea of pottery techniques.

    Josiah Spode got this site on Church Street, Stoke in 1776 and built his factory here. Spode wares were made here continuously until as late as 2008. In the nineteenth Century this factory was one of the two largest potteries in Staffordshire. It had 22 bottle ovens and employed around a thousand people. I am very glad the site is still being used rather than being demolished as it is part of Stoke's heritage and used to make some of the finest pottery in the world.

    I noticed there were several members of the Spode Family buried in Stokeminster Churchyard.

    Factory Entrance Spode Factory Moulds Machinery and pottery Spode Museum
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    The Stoke Museum and Art Gallery

    by IreneMcKay Written Sep 2, 2014

    This museum is located in Hanley. Entry is free. On the ground floor among other things it has some of the items from the Staffordshire Hoard. Due to lack of time I did not visit this. I concentrated on the first floor which was all about pottery.

    The exhibits here were interesting with some sections devoted to particularly famous pottery producers such as Wedgewood, Spode, Minton.

    Other sections focused on particular types of items such as toby jugs, statues of famous figures. There was even a section on murderers. Apparently in the past people used to buy figures of famous murderers, their victims, the scene of the crime and sometimes even the place of execution of the guilty party. One section was a huge collection of cow shaped milk jugs.

    As well as pottery plates and figures, there were also tiles.

    I found the museum very interesting and would strongly recommend a visit there.

    Famous Pottery People Pottery Plates with exotic scenes Pottery Murderers Fireplace tiles and vases Pottery objects
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    The Trentham Estate

    by EasyMalc Written May 1, 2014

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    From a historical perspective, the pottery industry may be the main reason visitors come to Stoke, but of course there are other things to see and do as well, and one of them is the Trentham Estate.
    The Estate, which is at the southern end of the city, covers around 300 acres and is a peaceful, but contemporary, leisure area. The main focal point is the fabulous Trentham Gardens (admission charge) with various commercial retail outlets helping to support its present owners’ huge investment.
    It hasn’t always been like this though because from the 11th cent until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the estate was the home of Trentham Priory. After the property was sold an Elizabethan house was built and called Trentham Hall.
    In the 18th century a new Hall was built with grounds laid out by Capability Brown, and when the 2nd Duke of Sutherland bought it in the early 19th cent he went about making it one of the country’s finest houses. As Britain’s largest landowner, he commissioned Sir Charles Barry (who was also involved in the re-building of the Houses of Parliament at the time), to re-design the house and gardens.
    Unfortunately, by the end of the century pollution from the potteries affected the estate so much that it couldn’t even be given away and the Hall was demolished in 1912.
    Today the estate is owned and run by St. Modwen Properties, an investment and development company who specialise in the regeneration of Brownfield and urban sites.
    It might seem like an unlikely owner but they’ve already spent some £120m in transforming the estate since they bought it in 1996.
    The jewel in their crown is undoubtedly the Italian Gardens. Based on Charles Barry’s original design they have not only been lovingly restored, but re-created with a modern twist. I particularly liked the Rivers of Grass interpretation.
    There’s no pollution in the mile long lake these days and footpaths lead out in different directions around the estate and into the woods.
    The company who own the estate aren’t doing all this just for fun of course, and they’re honest enough to admit that it all has to be self supporting financially, which is why there is also a garden centre, craft centre and retail village next to the car park. They insist though that it won’t be turned into a theme park.
    Whether you think it’s necessary to have a Monkey Forest here or not is open to debate, but on the whole the company has turned the fortunes of this estate around into a very worthwhile location for people to come and enjoy.
    They even hoped to re-build Trentham Hall into a five star hotel but that looks as though it’s been one ambition too far.
    As always, please visit the website for all the latest information regarding admission times and prices etc.

    What's left of Trentham Hall
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    Wedgwood Museum and Visitor Centre

    by EasyMalc Updated Apr 23, 2014

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    I’m certainly no expert on pottery but even I’ve heard of Wedgwood. Not only is it a household name it is still producing high class tableware here in Stoke.
    The present factory is situated in Barlaston, which to be more precise is half way between Stoke and Stone.
    The history of Wedgwood pottery though goes back to 1759 when Josiah Wedgwood set up his first small business in Burslem. By 1766 he had built up the business enough to acquire a 350 acre estate in Etruria, (now a suburb of Stoke) where he had a new factory built alongside his new home.
    The history of Josiah and the pottery is well documented in the visitor centre at Barlaston. The factory moved here in 1940 and the present museum opened in 2008 after 9 years of planning and development.
    On entry to the museum and visitor centre you may baulk at what could be considered a hefty admission charge ((£10 -April 2014), but even if you’re not that interested in pottery, by the time you’ve finished the tour I don’t think you’ll feel short changed. You also have the option (for an extra £2.50) to take the factory tour which I highly recommend.
    We started our visit by taking a look at the 20 minute film in the visitor centre describing the evolution of Josiah Wedgwood’s factory. It served as a good introduction before clambering into a mini bus that took us over to the factory.
    The ¾ hour guided tour is fascinating. No photography is allowed, and you can understand why. For example, we watched an expert decorating a £40,000 dinner service in gold, so a flash gun firing off at close range wouldn’t be too welcome I don’t suppose.
    However, after the tour you’re returned to the visitor centre’s demonstration area where you can watch and photograph items of lesser value being made and sold.
    Eventually you come to the museum itself which is magnificent - and you now start to realise why the entry fee isn’t cheap. Some of the most valuable and historically interesting Wedgwood pottery is displayed in a superb modern environment and an absolute credit to the company.
    What isn’t such a credit to the company though, is the fact that its sell out to Waterford Crystal in 1986 resulted in it going into administration in 2009. An American private equity firm acquired the group and found a large black hole in the pension fund.
    It was suggested to fill the black hole that the museum’s assets should be broken up and sold.
    Thankfully, as of now that hasn’t happened - yet.
    For all the latest information regarding times and prices etc. please visit the website below

    The Visitor Centre & Museum Demonstration Area The Museum
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    The Gladstone Pottery

    by EasyMalc Written Apr 10, 2014

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    Gladstone Pottery, situated in Longton - The ‘Neck End’ of The Potteries - started life in the second half of the 18th century producing ‘Creamware’.
    It was just one of many potteries that sprung up around here and nothing special where its manufacturing was concerned. It’s special today though because it’s the last remaining complete pottery factory from the era of the coal fired kiln.
    The thing I like most about this museum is its authenticity. It really does feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Not only that you can see the pottery making skills in action such as throwing, casting and hand decorating - and you can even have a go yourself.
    There’s plenty to see and do here for all the family and if you only have time to visit one place in Stoke I highly recommend that you come here.
    See the website for all the up to date information.

    The Engine House Inside a Bottle Oven Saggars inside the Kiln
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    Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

    by grayfo Written Jan 15, 2014

    The Potteries Museum is one of four city museums and brings together fine and decorative arts, costume, local history, archaeology and natural history collections. On my visit there was a Celebration of Football, I also enjoyed a Hot Chocolate drink and a cake in the Café which is located adjacent to the Forum Theatre on the lower level.

    There are more photos in my Travelogue, including a Supermarine Spitfire.

    Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Sunday: 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

    Admission: Free

    email museums@stoke.gov.uk

    August 2013

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    Tourist Information Centre

    by grayfo Written Jan 9, 2014

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    The Stoke Tourist Information Centre is located in the recently refurbished Victoria (Concert) Hall.

    The office offers a variety of services to help you plan your visit to Stoke-on-Trent, including Rail ticket tickets, National Express tickets, and Alton Towers & Drayton Manor tickets at a reduced rate, Local Theatre tickets and a large selection of local souvenirs.

    Monday to Friday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Saturday: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

    email stoke.tic@stoke.gov.uk

    August 2013

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    North Stafford Sports Club

    by Benson35 Written Mar 26, 2012

    A coach load of us came here before the Stoke game March 2012. There ended up being 6 coaches and 3 minibuses worth of City fans here!
    We were made to feel very welcome and the club had made a good effort to accomdate us all by having two places that served beer and a kitchen that served burgers and chips for £2 each.
    We were lucky to have such a beautiful day. We sat out in the sun chatting and watching some of the lads having a kick-about with the ball they were given. Mini matches then came about when the other coaches arrived!
    There was enough space and more for us although if the weather had been naff - we wouldn't have all fit in the clubhouse.
    The toilets were clean if a little tired looking and there was also a rugby match going on on another field that you could watch it you wanted to.

    Having a kick-around The bar Chilling outside in the sun! Plenty of parking

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    Monkey Forest

    by nylo Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Our visit here was well enjoyed. My partner and I found a leaflet about it and decided it would make a nice place to visit on our way home (from Nottingham to Wigan).
    The monkeys roam free in a large part of the forest and you simply walk through and go along the path. Most the monkeys just sit and eat their food and arent bothered by the people. Others will walk right in front of you ( but you arent allowed to touch them!) and some will start fights with others, chasing eachother up trees screeching at one another! There were a few babies there when we went, and they were lovely, very playful! The parents werent worried about us watching very closely either.
    Theres an adventure ropes course there too.

    monkey sitting on the grass
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