Steve Butterfield

Shirleys flint and bone mill

Tuesday, 6 August 2019 20:36

Open day at the Etruria Industrial museum to celebrate 200 years since the death of James Watt, the inventor of the steam engine similar to "Princess", the engine used to drive the gears that work the mill that grinds stone and bone.

This is "the only steam driven potters' mill in the world".

The museum is a scheduled monument and is run by a dedicated group of volunteers.

We had a fantastic afternoon visiting the museum and the mill; seeing the kiln, the pan room, the gear room and the steam engine working.

The talk and the tour was extremely interesting. I learnt that bone china is so called because crushed bone along with crushed stone is added to the clay.

Also, when we looked at the canal where it was possible to see the original level of the stone in the locks. However, but due to subsidence in the potteries area caused by mining, the whole area has dropped by several feet, and the canal had to be raised to maintain the water level to correspond with the sea level.

The museum is open for about 5 weekends a year or is available for group bookings.

Www.etruriamuseum.org.uk