Verwood Museum Trust - Dorset
UK. (Registered Charity No. 1067952)
The original Workroom is a long building of "cob" mud wall construction. It has an open ground floor where the potters worked and a half boarded roof space with wooden drying racks where the pottery was stacked prior to firing. During living memory it has been fronted on Manor Way by a brick lean-to of single skin construction with a corrugated iron roof.
After the pottery closed in 1952 the brick building was used as a shop and the cob workroom as a store. The Local Authority declared the lean-to unsafe and so it has been demolished. It had originally been hoped to use this area for exhibitions and events but, as it will no longer be available, a replacement of similar size will need to be constructed at the rear. This already has had the advantage of exposing more of the original outer cob wall to public view.
During its use as a store, unsightly large steel entrance doors were punched through one wall and these have now been made good. The rest of the cob, although apparently in good condition, is being repaired where necessary. The roof is considered basically sound. The pottery yard at the rear had become completely overgrown over the years, obscuring the rear wall of the building. It has now been cleared. The interior of the building needed as little attention as is possible in order to retain its original atmosphere.
The Trustees are very
grateful to their many supporters in the locality who are
able to see the potential of the building and continue with
their enthusiasm that the project reaches fruition.
The cob workshop is contained under the long transverse roof. The brick lean-to was declared unsafe and has been demolished. This has exposed the original cob exterior wall and the Part is now used as a coffee / gift shop and the rest for displays, outside seating etc. Manor Way has been closed to traffic with safe pedestrian access to the open green opposite.
The old pottery yard was completely overgrown and has been cleared. This is now the site of the studio and courtyard. Behind is the new, large, public town car park.
Unsightly steel doors, punched into the cob, have been filled in and the brick lean-to on the right has been demolished exposing the exterior cob.
Interior view of the area in which the master Potter worked.
Interior of the workroom which will be made good and rewired.
The ladder leads up to the drying floor which will be spotlighted and visible to but not accessible by the public.
THESE PICTURES CANNOT RECREATE THE UNIQUE ATMOSPHERE OF THE BUILDING.
AGAIN WE GO TO ANDREW MCGARVA WHO COMMENTED ON HIS VISIT
"THAT HE HAD ONLY EXPERIENCED THE SAME SMOKY, CHARRED AROMA IN A POTTERY IN BRITTANY"