Royal Lancastrian Ceramics

Early history of the Pilkington's Tile and Pottery Company

John Chambers

The Peter Scott Gallery houses one of the most significant collections of Royal Lancastrian ceramics and related archive material in Britain. Royal Lancastrian ceramics were made by Pilkington's Tile and Pottery Company, based at Clifton Junction near Manchester. A permanent display of Royal Lancastrian ceramics is shown in the John Chambers Ceramics Room, on the upper level of the gallery.

A large number of ceramics were given to Lancaster University in 1994 by Miss Mary Chambers, on behalf of herself and her brother Arthur Chambers. In August 2002 the gallery received a substantial bequest of archive material from Miss Mary Chambers (1910-2002). Miss Chambers was the daughter of John Chambers (1869-1945), who was the Chief Designer at Pilkington's Tile and Pottery Company during what is generally considered to be its golden era. Among the thousands of items in the bequest were delicate illustrations and designs, photographs, rare books and catalogues, diaries, paperwork, stencils for tiles, artists' materials and ceramics.

Images of objects from the Peter Scott Gallery collection of Pilkington's ceramics and associated archive material.

The featured items formed a key part of the major Manchester Art Gallery exhibition 'Exporting Beauty: Pilkington's Tiles and Pottery'.

The objects are published here for the first time since their accession into the Peter Scott Gallery collection.
All items and images (c) Peter Scott Gallery.

John Chambers Ceramics Room

The John Chambers Ceramics Room is currently closed while we work with the Pilkington’s Pottery Society to re-display our Royal Lancastrian Ceramics.

The new displays will give a history of the collection as told through the individual pieces and highlight the many significant and beautiful items we hold. Thank you for your patience while we carry out this work.

Details and re-opening dates will be posted here or you can sign up to our mailing list to receive updates direct to your inbox.

In the meantime, some of our ceramics can be seen as part of the exhibition Nothing Beautiful Unless Useful at Whitechapel Gallery, London until 1st December 2013 and then at Victoria Gallery & Museum, Liverpool from 7 March – 31 May 2014.