The Wells and Pumps of Etruria. Wedgwood's Water

The existence of Etruria Village set aside Wedgwood’s Etruria Factory from every other pottery factory across Staffordshire. Not only was Wedgwood a place of work he was creating an entire village within which his workers lived. Over the decades both the factory and village grew in size and population and with it the demand on amenities. Josiah wished to provide a standard of housing for his workforce above which they had at the time. Josiah’s motives behind moving his manufactory from the town of Burslem to a rural site included a desire to provide his workers with a cleaner and healthier environment.

It was fortunate that as well as good clean air above it, Etruria sat on top of a good clean water supply which could be tapped for use at both the factory and village. Wells were sunk and pumps installed at three known locations throughout the original row of workers housing. The first was located at the foot of a set of steps leading from the canal bridge. Access was through a narrow entry called ‘Pump Entry’. The second was located about half way down the village road (Lord Street) at the junction with Forge Lane and was complete with a large trough. The third was at the southern most end of the village at the junction with Fold Street, later renamed Etruscan Street. This pump was also located inside a small shed structure within a courtyard.

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  • A Water Pump located within the Etruria Village, c.1920, © Wedgwood Museum

    A Water Pump located within the Etruria Village

  • Hand-drawn map of Etruria 1925 by Arthur Moore, Map shows location of three known water pumps throughout the village, © Wedgwood Museum

    Hand-drawn map of Etruria 1925 by Arthur Moore