Our History: Burgess and Leigh Pottery

We have been crafting high-quality ceramics in England for over 160 years. Recognised for our dedication to fine craftsmanship and traditional manufacturing, we have been making our iconic blue and white ceramics, using the same techniques for generations. We are the last pottery in the world to use the traditional and timeless skill of underglaze tissue printing, which is an English process dating back over 200 years.

Burgess and Leigh

In 1851, Messrs Hulme and Booth started an earthenware business in the central pottery in Burslem, Stoke-On-Trent. This pottery produced earthenware until 1862 when Mr William Leigh and Mr Frederick Rathbone Burgess formed a partnership and took over the running of the central pottery.

The Middleport Pottery

The business moved to Middleport Pottery by the Trent and Mersey Canal in 1889, where you will find us today. Following the deaths of William Leigh and Frederick Rathbone Burgess, the business continued with the support of their sons, Edmund Leigh and Richard Burgess. The Leigh family took sole control of the business in 1912 when Richard Burgess passed away.


During the 20th Century, Burgess and Leigh became known as ‘Burleigh’. Following difficult conditions in the 90s, the Dorling family purchased the business and a new era of family ownership began. In 2010, Burleigh was acquired by Denby Holdings Limited, the parent company of Denby Pottery. A year later, The Prince of Wales stepped in to help with emergency repair works needed at Middleport Pottery – his charity, HRH The Princes Regeneration Trust, offered the £9 million support that we needed to keep production going.