Housing: Spode II and the Mount
At the end of the eighteenth century Josiah Spode II succeeded to the family business and retuned to the small town of Stoke-upon-Trent. He was successful, wealthy, and used to an expensive London lifestyle. He did not take up residence within the pottery but established an estate nearby, where he built a grand house. In the neighborhood he built a courtyard and street of houses for his workers.
In 1803 Josiah Spode II acquired seventeen acres of land from an auction of potter John Harrison's property. Harrison was in financial difficulties as a result of the Napoleonic Wars. The land was in Penkhull, a small village on a hill on the outskirts of Stoke-upon-Trent. He built his house, The Mount, within a large parkland on the northern side of his estate. True to its name, The Mount sat above Stoke but faced away from Spode's factory. In 1829 pottery historian Simeon Shaw wrote that The Mount was “ one of the best mansions in the district, a spacious and elegant square edifice, with suitable attached offices, surrounded by extensive gardens and pleasure grounds, and enjoying a prospect almost unbounded, over the vicinity and the adjacent counties.”
Today the house still stands, and presents the viewer with a monument to Spode’s financial and social success.
More on the Mount