George Jennings and the Growth of Parkstone

Jennings' South Western Pottery

Jennings’ South Western Pottery

Once a rural area of farms, woods, winding country lanes and desolate heath-land, Parkstone was totally transformed during the 19th and early 20th century. As the population of Poole and the new town of Bournemouth grew, of course, many people moved out to the scenic suburbs. The coming of the railway was another factor, and also the growth of industry in the area. George Jennings’ South Western Pottery was opened in 1856 and by 1861 was employing 97 men and 18 boys – this in an area with a total population of only 1,134. It must have had an enormous impact.

George Jennings was an interesting character,  a typical Victorian entrepreneur with a genius for invention, leading a revolution in sanitation and drainage, and products from his pottery at Parkstone found their way across the world. Read the story of Parkstone and the pottery at:


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2 Responses to George Jennings and the Growth of Parkstone

  1. Dorothy Field says:

    Loved this memory of Parkstone Potteries. As a child, I loved watching the kilns being loaded with great grey pipes at the Pottery Road premises. When the kiln was loaded, great fires were lit. Days passed before it was safe to open one of these kilns, and the brown glazed pipes removed. Much of the product was still being shipped in the 50s and early 60s from Poole Quay.
    I remember as a little child, my father and I enjoyed an illicit ride on the footplate of George Jennings, the little narrow guage steam engine that ran between the pottery and Parkstone Station.

  2. David Reeks says:

    Like you, I often enjoyed a ride on “George Jennings” up to Parkstone Station with wagon loads of glazed pipes in tow. I often tried to ride on the narrow gauge engine (diesel) but with no luck.
    At about the age of 10 I, and a couple of friends, found the underframe of a narrow gauge wagon. Late afternoon after the pottery had stopped work we would put this on the rails at the top of the hill and go burling downhill to the pottery. There was a nightwatchman who would sometimes chase us but he never caught us!
    By the way, the line was Standard gauge. The narrow gauge line ran from the pottery to the clay pits.

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