Histories of UK potters and pottery manufacturers

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© Michael Perry 2011. Contact

Image courtesy of Lema Publishing Ltd, publishers of ‘Tableware International’ www.tablewareinternational.com

Last updated: 1st August 2011



A manufacturer of bone china tableware, giftware and china accessories at Wirksworth Rd, Duffield, Derbyshire, and at the Jason Works, Stoke-on-Trent.

Abbeydale was founded in January 1961 by Mrs. Edith Robinson, her sister Mrs. Sheila Lambert and Mr. Robert Head. Edith Robinson’s husband, Philip I. Robinson and Mr. F. H. Lochrane joined the Abbeydale Board in 1963 (Robinson was the former Chairman and Managing Director of Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Co. Ltd - a company once owned by the Robinson family - stepping down as Managing Director of Royal Crown Derby in 1960 and leaving the company in 1961).

Production began in July 1962 under the direction of works manager William Corfield, there were eight patterns initially and these were applied to bought-in white ware by the staff of about 26. In April 1962 the company leased a portion of the Jason Works, Stoke-on-Trent and began to manufacture its own shapes. The biscuit ware was then transported to Duffield for decoration and glazing and dispatch. By mid-1964 the company was supplying the up-market London retailer Thomas Goode & Co., and were exporting to Europe, North America and Australasia.

Despite the Abbeydale directors’ enviable ceramic industry background and technical expertise, financial problems beset the new venture and in August 1964 the local Derbyshire business of Pearson & Co. (Chesterfield) Ltd took a controlling interest, Abbeydale becoming a member of the Pearson Group.

In January 1971, Abbeydale’s founders and innovative force, the Robinson family, sold their remaining interest and it became wholly owned by Pearson & Co. (Chesterfield) Ltd. After further financial problems the Duffield factory was closed in May 1974 and production under the Abbeydale name ceased. Pearson & Co (Chesterfield) Ltd was itself placed in receivership in 1982, however, Abbeydale patterns and even the Abbeydale name have been used by various later owners up to at least 2002.

Abbeydale produced highly decorated dinnerware, tea and coffee ware, fancy china and giftware, the bone china blanks being manufactured at the Jason Works and the intricate decoration completed at the Duffield factory. Stylistically, the Abbeydale patterns were similar to the Royal Crown Derby factory’s Imari ware and a distinguishing feature was the use of the chrysanthemum flower in many of the patterns. The Abbeydale wares are of high quality and were distributed through Thomas Goode & Co., Tiffany’s and similar sophisticated retail outlets. Limited editions for the collectors’ market were an important part of the business. The mark includes the name 'ABBEYDALE'.


© Mike Perry 2011