Burslem area Ordnance Survey Maps - Burslem Town Centre

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Date:1851

Description:Map showing the southern area of Burslem town centre and Waterloo Road.

Bethel Chapel, The Mitre Inn and The Waterloo and American Hotel buildings can still be found in these locations today.

The lower part of Nile Street is called Hot Lane at this time.

Why were the maps made?

This series of maps was surveyed by the Ordnance Survey Department in 1851 in accordance with the provisions of the Public Health Act.

The Public Health Act of 1848

As industrialised urban areas became more densely populated the link between poor sanitation and epidemics of serious disease became evident.

Sanitary reform therefore grew as a political issue and during the 1840s parliament began to take the problem seriously, resulting in the act of 1848.

As part of the act a Central Board of Health was set up, whose role was to enforce, regulate and supervise street cleaning, water supply, waste collection and sewage disposal.

Local health boards eventually took over these responsibilities.

At the time Burslem was a growing industrialised area with an increasing population and so was affected by the act.

The main function of these maps was to highlight proposed new drainage for the Burslem area in accordance with the act.

More than just drainage maps

These fascinating maps provide wonderfully detailed information about the layout of Burslem and the surrounding area in 1851.

Included are factories, earthworks, houses, roads, public houses, churches, canals, toll gates and bridges.

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To see how the area has changed over time View Location

Extract from History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, written by William White in 1851.

This extract, written in the year the maps were made, gives us a good general description of the Burslem area at the time.

"Burslem is a populous and well built market town, which claims the honour of being 'the mother of the Staffordshire Potteries', and holds a healthy and elevated situation in the northern division of that extensive and celebrated seat of the china and earthenware manufactures, being seated between Hanley and Tunstall, about a mile E of Longport Railway Station, three miles N of Stoke, and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The parish of Burslem now has upwards of 18,000 inhabitants, in Burslem, Rushton Grange, Sneyd, and Abbey Hulton lordship. These four adjoining liberties comprise about 2930 acres, and include the villages and suburbs of Brown-Hills, Dalehall, Hamill, Longport, and the greater part of Cobridge, all lying within a mile of the town.

Burslem and Sneyd are in the manor of Tunstall-Court, of which Ralph Sneyd, Esq, is lord of the manor, and he is also lord of Hulton Abbey manor, but a large portion of the parish belongs to other landowners, the largest of whom are the Earl of Macclesfield, Lady Chetwynd, Lord Camoys, Miss Sparrow, the representatives of the late John Wood, Esq, William Davenport, Esq, and HH Williamson, Esq.

The villages in the parish may be considered as populous suburbs of the town, and are situated as follows: Brown-Hills, half a mile N, Hamill, on the north side of the town, Hulton Abbey, two miles E, near the Caldon Canal, Sneyd and Hot Lane, forming the south-eastern suburbs, Cobridge, including Rushton Grange, and the populous southern part of Burslem, near the top of Waterloo Road, and also a small part of Shelton, and Dalehall and Longport, extending one mile westward to the Trent & Mersey Canal, and Burslem Station on the North Staffordshire Railway.

Longport was anciently called Long-bridge, from a kind of bridge or stepping stones laid across the swampy meadows, but after the completion of the canal it obtained the name Longport.

The town of Burslem has nearly tripled in extent and population during the last fifty years, and until the year of 1807 it was a chapelry of the parish of Stoke-upon-Trent, but it was then made a separate parish and rectory."

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Source: Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

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