Hudson & Middleton
Founded in 1875 Hudson and Middleton, designers and manufacturers of 100% British quality fine bone china, is one of the oldest potteries in England. True to its heritage the operation still runs from the original premises in the heart of Staffordshire.
History of Hudson of England
Learn all about the History and processes of Hudsons of England, manufacturers of 100% British handmade fine bone china mugs since 1875.
100% Handmade in England
Hudson and Middleton are proud to remain 100% British in their manufacturing processes, a key point in their marketplace. We are proud to include some very well-known and prestigious brands amongst our customers, including the likes of The National Trust, English Heritage and a host of mid-sized design brands.
The Hudson and Middleton brand and products remain high-end despite pressures to commercialise cheaper processes and components. Factory facilities have been modernised through the decades, but traditional potting and decorating techniques in the hands of a highly skilled production team are associated with the production of the very finest quality English Fine Bone China, and this remain the core of the Hudson and Middleton ethos.
Original Bottle Oven
There is a prized possession under the factory roof, an original bottle oven from 1875, it is still in perfect working order. The kiln and surrounding building is protected as a Grade II listed property and has been supported with funding from the Local Authority and English Heritage to preserve a major feature of the local industrial heritage.
In those early days the factory produced both Earthenware and Fine Bone China, though in 1912 Hudson and Middleton ceased earthenware production to concentrate solely on china. The decision was a good one, and over the following decades Hudson and Middleton gained an enviable reputation for high quality ware. The traditional way of firing ceramics in a coal fired bottle oven was replaced in the 1950’s by more efficient gas and electric ovens as technology progressed and the clean air act came into force.
As a mark of its place in history Hudson and Middleton, along with the Gladstone Pottery Museum, undertook the very last firing of a bottle oven in 1978 as part of a national festival. Initially, the factory produced both earthenware and bone china, each production area accessed via its own individual entrance. Still today, these entrances remain in place, though not in use, and form part of the magnificent Victorian facade with their respective symbolic representations of a jug and vase.
Preserving a traditional way of making fine bone china
Hudson manufacturers English fine bone china in the heart of The Potteries in Stoke on Trent.
Home, Gift and Tabletop products for retail, wholesale and overseas clients.
Hudson and Middleton has long been well known as a supporter of small to mid-sized and fledgling design talent. It has promoted, showcased and grown with many now well-known names, and along the way has evolved a way of working with new and developing brands by introducing them to a wider audience and supporting.
The model not only adds ceramics to the designers’portfolio, but supports their growth by giving the designers access to the Hudson and Middleton sales channels in the UK and overseas. Many hold ambitions to control their own destiny and sales activity, and the approach we have developed supports this, giving the designer room to develop their own businesses.
It doesn’t stop at ceramics though, Hudson and Middleton is now part of a group that manufactures home and kitchen textiles, coasters and placemats.
A Shift in Demand
Over the years’ market access, fashion and consumer taste have shifted emphasis from traditional dinnerware and tea sets to the highly popular mug. The choice of shape and design is diverse and the company have showcased individual artist and design studio works with top-class prints on quality china. This makes for a highly innovative and continually changing offer, and we partner with many designers to develop their work on to a wide range of ceramics shapes. Despite the huge popularity of mugs, especially in The West, the traditional tea set remains a popular choice, in the UK as well as in a number of overseas markets. More than 20% of Hudson and Middleton’s’ output is sold internationally and the Hudson and Middleton brand and trading name is known throughout the world.
Tel: +44 (0)1782 319256
Fax: +44 (0)1782 343300
Normacot Road, Longton
Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire
Company Reg. No. 09444190