St John the Baptist, Winster

The idyllic Derbyshire Dales village of Winster lies within the boundaries of The Peak District National Park. It has a proud history and strong cultural traditions. The village was a centre for the lead mining industry and was also well positioned near to a number of significant trading routes and pathways. The present day community continue to uphold many of the historic events including Winster Wakes Week – a programme of village festivities.

The Potteries Tile Trail has been invited to contribute to this year’s celebrations with a small display about the project. The display also aims to highlight the beautiful Minton encaustic floor tiles to be found in Winster’s Grade II listed St John the Baptist church. They were made in The Potteries in the 19th Century.

It is difficult to find precise information about the origins of the first church building – however the Anglican parish register dates from 1634. The tower was added in 1721 and the church (except for the tower) was rebuilt and enlarged in 1842. It was restored again in 1883.

Herbert Minton donated tiles to a number of Derbyshire churches during the 1840s and 1850s – although only a handful survive in situ today. It is highly likely that these tiles were made at Minton’s London Road potworks in the town of Stoke itself or its full name ‘Stoke-upon-Trent’. This is often confused with ‘Stoke-on-Trent’ that is the name of this unique City made up of a federation of the famous 6 Towns (Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke-upon-Trent, Fenton and Longton).

You will be able to see part of the backstamp words ‘Minton & Co’, ‘Patent’ and ‘Stoke-upon-Trent’ on the reverse side of the Winster example shown in one of the photographs below (the tile was already loose – so unusually it could be turned over to confirm that it was indeed Minton and made in Staffordshire!). You will also find the photographs below added to our Historypin channel – a virtual collection of tiles and architectural ceramics made in The Potteries.

You will also find tiles made by other Stoke-on-Trent based manufacturers throughout Derbyshire including examples by the Campbell Brick & Tile Company, Wade’s Flaxman Tile Works and the slightly later Minton Hollins & Co. Please get in touch and let us know if you find any!

The display will compliment the annual Wakes Week art exhibition held in St John the Baptist. Entry is free – it launches on Tuesday 2nd July 6-8pm and runs until Sunday 21st July. The church is open during the major Wakes Weeks events and at regular times throughout the period but to be sure you can gain access you can call Jacquie Salfield (01629 650183) or Roland Corfield (01629 734480).

For more information about The Potteries Tile Trail project  – please contact Danny Callaghan (07999 350176 or info@thepotteriestiletrail.org)

For more Winster information:

Winster Village Website

Winster Local History Group

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Photographs: Danny Callaghan