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Potteries, the

Potteries, the, area, c.9 mi (15 km) long and 3 mi (4.8 km) wide, Staffordshire, W central England, extending northwest-southeast in the upper Trent valley. The area includes Stoke-on-Trent and part of Newcastle-under-Lyme. The Potteries is very densely populated and has been a center for the manufacture of china and earthenware since the 16th cent. Josiah Wedgwood, Josiah Spode, and Thomas and Herbert Minton are among the famous men who worked there. Most of the raw materials are now brought in from other districts, the clay (since the 18th cent.) largely from Cornwall and Dorset. The coal kilns of the area have been mostly replaced by electric or gas. This region is the "Five Towns" of Arnold Bennett's novels.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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