In 1883 the Longpark Pottery Terra Cotta China Works started in what earlier had been Brunel’s Atmospheric Railway at Newton Road, Torquay. The owners Messrs Critchlow, Ridley and Taylor, produced mainly terracotta items and very quickly dropped the incorrect use of the word ‘China’ from their impressed mark.
Around 1903 a group of Aller Vale potters took over, producing decorative glazed pottery similar to that of Aller Vale with the business later being recorded as the Longpark Pottery Co. Ltd.
Notable decorators who worked at Longpark were Charles Collard and James Main (1903-05) and later William (Bill) Howard who was best known for the scroll and Kingfisher decorations during his many years there. Around the time of the First World War the pottery produced some fine North Devon style of vases with applied dragons, some with two or three twisted handles, also other grotesque animal forms were made. Still others made of white clay had panels showing birds over a stippled background. There is a pottery style known as ‘Royal Longpark’ that has simple motifs under a lustrous deep green glaze, also to be found is a quaint range of sombre ‘Rustic’ pottery made with applied flowers thought to have been an employee who was given a free hand with his own designs.
A variety of better quality art and motto wares can be found marked ‘Tormohun’, often with scenes showing a ruined castle but also butterflies, daffodils, crocus and roses. Also produced were many pigment painted Faience wares featuring popular tourist locations in Devon and around the country.
The TPCS Marks Book lists 9 different Longpark marks for Tormohun with only 3 of these including the name Longpark. As with other potteries Longpark made items for commercial outlets like John Ford of Edinburgh and many of these are included in the TPCS Marks Book, (‘Products for Sale’).
Later popular motto wares became the mainstay of the pottery in particular the well-decorated coloured and black cockerels but also Scandy and cottage wares during the 1930s until after the World War II when the Watcombe Pottery took over the business but after difficult trading the business closed down in 1957.
Pottery marks and backstamps with dates and more information for this pottery as well as over 250 other Torquay, Devon and West Country potteries can be found in the TPCS Marks Book see ‘Products for Sale’
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