Leeds Pottery

Founded in 1756 by John and Joshua Green, the Leeds Pottery company initially produced ceramic household goods. Popular demand, however, mainly focused on the creamware (later known as ‘Leedsware’) made from Cornish clay and given a translucent glaze. The company’s greatest years were between 1770 and 1830.

The manuscript volumes known as the Leeds Pottery Drawing Books were compiled and used in the factory as a guide and record of the products. They contain pen and ink drawings of high quality and where enamelled products are recorded they are in water-colour.

The Drawing Books date from 1778 to 1779. Of the twelve known to exist, nine are held at Leeds Central Library, with the other three in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Pattern Books, dated between 1783 and 1814, form the printed trade catalogue of the factory. They contain a series of engraved plates of designs selected from the Drawing Books issued with a key, or index, in several languages.

Correspondence relating to the Leeds Pottery company is also held at the Central Library. To view these items, please visit the Local and Family History department on the 2nd Floor of the Central Library. Two forms of ID (one with your name and another with your address) and at least 24-hours notice will be required to view items from the Treasures or Collections. Please call 0113 378 5005 for further details and to book an appointment.