The Compton Pottery

In 1904 an Arts & Crafts building designed by Christopher Turnor first opened. This purpose-built gallery, dedicated to the work of G F Watts, was later also used as a hostel for Mary Watts's potters from The Potters' Arts Guild.

Founded by Mary in Compton around 1900, The Potters' Arts Guild, followed the model of a medieval guild with workmen being given the opportunity to ennoble their lives through their own creative handiwork.

Mary's pottery, made from terracotta found on Pilgrim's Way, soon became a successful business and continued prospering until 1955. The pottery became well known for its large ornamental pots, birdbaths, garden ornaments and sundials, and famous stockists included Liberty of London. Consequently, Watts Gallery now houses a unique collection of over 200 pieces of Compton Pottery as a testimony to the Arts & Crafts legacy in Compton pioneered by Mary Watts.

Our newly catalogued collection showcases the stylistic development of the designs, ranging from well-known terracotta garden pots to more quirky small, coloured pieces, including unusual designs such as a jewellery set of Zodiac sign pendants, Tennyson's Bust bookends and a Lighthouse lamp stand.

The original Arts & Crafts building now houses The Tea Shop.