Holdings Country Pottery


Brief History of Holdings Country Pottery
Holding’s Country Pottery was founded in 1842 by James Holding, however, the business was originally located a short distance away in Gaulkthorn, an outlying area of Oswaldtwistle. In 1860 James Holding moved his business to Broadfield, then in 1900 his son Grimshaw Holding set up the pottery on the present site. From then on the pottery stayed put and the business passed down from father to son until it’s decline. The last mandatory accounts, made up to 3rd May, were submitted to Companies House in 2010, with the comment, “Nature of business, dormant company”

My Visit

Please note I do not break in to any building to gain access. I use an access point that already exists or I leave, I am not a vandal.

After seeing so many reports about this little gem hidden away I just had to take a look for myself. After locating the site on the internet which was not easy, a week later I was in the car and on my way.

The site is hidden by trees and overgrown hedge lines which was not always the case as I have seen photos where the hedges are none existent, however this made it quiet, peaceful and easier to explore.

After arriving I decided to take a walk around the site and my first thoughts were that the buildings have deteriorated badly over the past few years, I was just hoping that the inside was not the same.

After locating an entry point into the building I was in, all I will say is that straight away I noticed that lots of items I had seen pictured in other reports were no longer there. I am hoping that the current owner has removed these and that they have not been taken by people who have visited.

Contrary to popular belief most people who like to visit these places are not doing it just to take trinkets, however, there will always been some bad eggs. I personally visit these places to document the building before it is to late and gone forever, not to steal.

If you are reading this and have taken something from this site then shame on you!

Overall I enjoyed this explore even though it was a shame to see items missing or removed from site. I only spent an hour here as I had forgotten my tripod which meant that some pictures I wanted to take was impossible due to the dark areas inside. A re-visit is needed.

Ok, time for some photos…. You can click any image for a larger view.

Shop Entrance
Holdings Country Pottery Shop Entrance
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Holdings County Pottery Shop Entrance
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Out Building
Before trying to locate an entry point into the main building I decided to take a look in the barn that was just off to the right of the main area. The barn as you will see looked like a dumping ground. Bits of all types of stuff just slung in over the years.

Holdings Country Pottery - Barn
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Holdings Country Pottery - Barn Inside
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On other reports I had seen pictures of an old wooden wheelbarrow that I really wanted to get a photo of, unfortunately though the area it is located was overgrown and not accessible. I did however find this… yes its nothing special, sorry.

Holdings Country Pottery - Churn
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Inside the Shop
After locating an existing entry point I was in, this is what greeted me.

Sorry about the blur on some of the photos, as I mentioned earlier I had forgotten my tripod and it was becoming very hard work to get some decent photos due to the bad light inside. Low light means longer exposure and with no tripod, well, nightmare is the only real word to use.

Holdings Country Pottery - Shop
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Tea, Biscuits & Scones were for sale in the shop. It has been a while since I have seen one of these old Burco machines.

Holdings Country Pottery - Burco Machine
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Items are scattered all over the floor and surfaces in this room. The table caught my eye first with a cluster of random items wanting to be photographed.

Holdings Country Pottery - Shop Table
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Holdings Country Pottery - Shop Table
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Holdings Country Pottery - Shop Table
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Before leaving the shop to look around some other areas I noticed a loft hatch was open so I climbed up the ladder to take a look.

Holdings Country Pottery - Loft
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Work Area
As I walked out of the shop I passed through a kitchen that looked like it had been hit by a bomb, Then I entered in to what must have been the work area. This area is tricky under foot, you will see why in the photos.

The roof was collapsed on top of old machinery, unfinished pottery, work tables, pottery wheels and much more stuff.

A common pulley and shaft runs belts to various machines. This was normal Victorian industrial practice.

Holdings Country Pottery - Work Area
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The sheer amount of stuff left lying around is crazy. This is one of the work benches.

Holdings Country Pottery - Work Area Bench
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Final shot from the work area is some of the pottery, I say some there was hundreds of pieces lying around.

Holdings Country Pottery - Work Area Pottery
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Machinery Area
Next up was the machinery area, in the photo you see a rather large contraption, This machine pressed the excess water out of the clay after it has been cleaned of stones.

Also in the photo you can see two small transport trolleys, there was another in the room just out of shot as well. Underneath the trolleys you can just about see a very rusty typewriter.

Holdings Country Pottery Machinery Area
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As you can see this room has plenty to look at and believe me I gave my camera a work out. Instead of posting all of the photos from this area on here, I will be adding more to my Flickr page which can be found here.

After taking silly amounts of photos I opened the door which was connected to the final area of the site and was greeted with this…

Holdings Country Pottery Overgrown
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No stopping me now I thought and slowly worked my way through tangles of Fern, Half way in and it became apparent I had been fooled. Hiding in amongst the Ferns was thorns that felt like razor wire! However I managed to make it out alive with all my limbs still attached.

Final Area
Just at the edge of the deadly fern field is what looked like, well to me anyway a small furnace of some kind.

Holdings Country Pottery - Furnace
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This area again was the same as most places on site. Lots of pottery lying around with machinery mixed in, I know, its a pottery site what should I have expected!

Some personal items were also in this area as you can see in this photo.

Holdings Country Pottery Items
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Finally I will leave you with the famous sign from the site.

Holdings Country Pottery Sign
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More Images Available on Flickr
The images above are just a small selection of the images I have edited. I will be adding lots more photos of Holdings Country Pottery on my Flickr page which can be found here.

Holdings Country Pottery, Final Thoughts
I found this site fascinating & a little eerie which was strange as I never felt that when I visited places like Whittingham Asylum. Why do I feel eerie here? Maybe it is due to the presence of personal items left behind. Seeing names and faces of those people who owned & worked at Holdings.

None the less, this was a nice place to look around. Some areas are in bad shape and other areas are not to bad. As all explores I am glad that I have been able to locate and visit this place before it disappears by either demolition or being swallowed up by mother nature.

The only bad parts of the explore was: Seeing so many items missing from this place, I wish people could just take photos and nothing more & Forgetting my tripod, this made documenting the site hard work at times due to lack of light.

Finally when I got home I realised I had missed a room on site, I know where it is as I walked passed it and made a mental note to check it out. Mental note failed, as I forgot.

That means I feel a revisit will be needed in the future to see the room, this time with my tripod in tow!

If you would like to purchase a print of any of the above photos or any photos on this website you can contact me via the email form on my contact page for more information.

Thanks for reading,

Alan Duggan

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