BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

13 November 2014

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

History Stories

You are in: Hereford and Worcester > History > History Stories > A history of Royal Worcester Porcelain

Worcester Porcelain in 18th century

Copyright Royal Worcester Porcelain

A history of Royal Worcester Porcelain

The porcelain factory was founded in 1751 with a Royal Warrant from King George III.

In 1751 Dr. John Wall, and a group of local businessmen, established a porcelain factory. 

The earliest Worcester porcelain was painted in blue under the glaze. 

Ship outside the Worcester porcelain works

Copyright Royal Worcester Porcelain

By 1756 Robert Hancock had arrived at Worcester, the first man to apply transferring of prints onto porcelain. 

Around 1770 one of the first Royal dinner services was made for the Duke of Gloucester. 

Dr John Wall retired in 1774, however his partners continued to manufacture until their London agent, Thomas Flight, took over.

By 1789 the quality of Worcester Porcelain earned the company the prestigious 'Royal Warrant' as Manufacturers to their Majesties - thus the word 'Royal' was added to the name. 

In 1840 manufacture was consolidated on the current factory site and major modernisation followed in 1862.

The 'Worcester Royal Porcelain Company Limited' was the result of this work. 

Visitors to Worcester porcelain

Copyright Royal Worcester Porcelain

During the second half of the nineteenth century, Royal Worcester produced a new material called Parian, which revolutionised figure making. 

Exhibition pieces were created, such as the Norman Conquest Vases, the Potters' Vases and the giant Chicago Vase, now on show at the Museum of Worcester Porcelain. 

During the early 20th century Royal Worcester took a traditional approach to shapes and decoration.

The factory celebrated its 250th anniversary 2001. 

The company went into administration in November 2008.

The Worcester Porcelain Museum is still open for business, not being linked to the company financially in any way.

The museum will continue welcome visitors to its  collection of Worcester Porcelain

Give us your views on the end of an era at this famous local firm. If you worked at the Porcelain factory in Worcester we'd like to hear from you.

last updated: 06/11/2008 at 16:31
created: 10/01/2008

You are in: Hereford and Worcester > History > History Stories > A history of Royal Worcester Porcelain

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy