NOW OPEN! PLEASE CHECK THE WEBSITE FOR OPENING TIMES BEFORE VISITING. Covid restrictions apply.

Welcome!

PLAN YOUR VISIT

Sharpe’s Pottery Museum is nestled in the market town of Swadlincote at the heart of The National Forest. Come and visit our unique grade II listed building where you will discover stories of Sharpe’s family history, and the significant changes from 19th century coal mining, clay extraction and associated industrial activity in South Derbyshire, to a 21st century sustainable landscape led by the creation of The National Forest! 

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Opening Times

Monday Closed

Tuesday Closed*

Wednesday Closed*

Thursday 12pm - 5pm

Friday 10am - 4.30pm

Saturday 10am - 4.30pm

Sunday 10am - 2pm

*Currently closed on these days but plans to reopen in the future.

Our social media

Sharpe's Pottery Museum
West St, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 9DG

Shop

Our beautiful shop at the Museum is the perfect place to find that special souvenir from your visit or gift for family and friends.

We are proud to support local makers from ceramics to jewellery and prints that are unique to us.

Food & Drink

Our Coffee Shop will be opening in late 2021/early 2022. A family friendly cafe serving hot meals, drinks and snacks. The perfect place to end your museum visit, or to come for lunch.

Log on to free Wi-Fi and stay connected with family and friends.

The cafe is currently closed.

Our Museum

From toilets to teapots and tiles to Toby jugs; Sharpe’s Pottery Museum has them all. From the early sixteenth century the rich clay deposits of South Derbyshire attracted many entrepreneurs. They included, amongst many others, ‘farm boy to gentleman potter’ Thomas Sharpe, rich businessman T. G. Green, and the creative partnership of Henry Tooth and William Ault at Bretby Art Pottery.

What’s on

Sharpe’s Pottery Heritage and Arts Trust is returning to its roots, or under the earth to be precise!

We will be offering a regular programme of clay activities, to include Raku events, slip casting sessions and pottery classes.

There will be something for everyone to try, to make and to keep as a permanent reminder of our local Heritage origins.

Other exciting and varied craft and expressive arts activities are also in the pipeline. Keep checking our website and social media sites for updates.

Help the museum care for its unique collection…

The Museum team have been working hard to create a museum with a bright and sustainable future. We are urging our Buddys, supporters, and local community to support Sharpe’s Pottery Museum through our Adopt an Object scheme to help us to continue to enhance and complete our work; promoting to all a love of heritage, culture, and the arts for years to come.

ADOPT AN OBJECT

By adopting an object, you will be supporting the care of our collection at the museum, maintaining the heritage building and ensuring that Sharpe's Pottery Museum continues to be an iconic place for everyone.

Become an Edmund Buddy

By joining, you will help us to run the museum, improve our displays, and to resource our school learning sessions and holiday activities.

VOLUNTEER

As a Volunteer you’ll gain so much along the way: new skills, confidence, social connections and joy to name but a few.

Donate

However small, or large, every penny of every gift will go towards continuing the valuable work of Sharpe’s Museum for the benefit people of all ages.

Corporate 1821 Entrepreneurs Club

Join our Corporate 1821 Entrepreneurs Club and become part of Sharpe’s Pottery Museum’s future story. As a member of our 1821 Entrepreneurs Club, your business/organisation will be amongst some of our closest supporters. Your generosity and support will play a vital role in helping Sharpe’s Pottery Museum continue to conserve and share our collections for future generations.

Latest News

Christmas is coming to Sharpe’s

Christmas is coming to Sharpe’s

Christmas is coming to Sharpe’s Pottery Museum, kicking off with the Christmas Market running from 25th to 28th November! Soak up the festive atmosphere at the museum and see the kiln lit up for Christmas as you browse a range of stalls offering Christmas crafts and...

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Open Studio with Louise Mary Designs

Open Studio with Louise Mary Designs

We are delighted to welcome silversmith Louise Mary Designs to Sharpe's Pottery Museum. In September, Louise moved into her brand new  studio based within the museum, just a few miles down the road from where her previous workshop was located. Over the weekend of 20th...

read more
East Midlands – Map Your History

East Midlands – Map Your History

We're delighted to be part of the Map your History Project thanks to The Earth Museum! View your world from a new perspective! Dive in, travel back in time and explore these interactive history maps online, created by community-based museums across the East Midlands....

read more

Story of Sharpe’s

Did you know that the Grade II listed and original bottle kiln, together with substantial attached workshop buildings are believed to be the oldest surviving sanitary pottery works in the country and maybe the world?

The founder was Thomas Sharpe. He came from a farming background and established the pottery in 1821.

Starting with the manufacture of functional wares such as tea pots and pie dishes the family business quickly responded to a growing demand for making ceramic sanitary wares including toilets, urinals, wash basins and clay pipes.

Story of South Derbyshire

South Derbyshire is a local government district and was formed on 1 April 1974 as a merger of the Swadlincote urban district along with Repton rural and part of South  East Derbyshire rural districts.

It contains a third of the National Forest and the council offices are here in Swadlincote.

Our museum tells this story and of how the products of the earth (coal and clay) resulted in business prosperity but a deterioration in the environment because of the impact of coal fired kilns.

How to get here

ACCESS

At Sharpe’s Pottery Museum we want everyone to be able to enjoy our building, exhibits and events, and we have taken every measure to ensure that we are as open and accessible to as many people as possible. The Museum is fully wheelchair-accessible and assistance may be provided if required.

BY CAR

We have dedicated spaces for up to 5 vehicles. The nearest off site car parks are Grove Street and Rink Drive, they are free all day. There are 2 clearly marked Blue Badge parking spaces available free of charge on-site off West Street, or on the roadside nearby.

BY BIKE

There are bicycle racks on West Street outside the post office, 5-minute walk away.

BY TRAIN

The nearest train station is Burton on Trent. Travel by taxi for 20 minutes or on the bus to Swadlincote Bus Station, visit Trainline to plan your route.

BY BUS

There are frequent and regular bus services into the town centre, operated by Midland Classic and Arriva. Swadlincote Bus Station is a 10-minute walk away.

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Opening Times

Monday Closed

Tuesday Closed*

Wednesday Closed*

Thursday 12pm - 5pm

Friday 10am - 4.30pm

Saturday 10am - 4.30pm

Sunday 10am - 2pm

*Currently closed on these days but plans to reopen in the future.

Our social media

Sharpe's Pottery Museum
West St, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 9DG

Shop

Our beautiful shop at the Museum is the perfect place to find that special souvenir from your visit or gift for family and friends.

We are proud to support local makers from ceramics to jewellery and prints that are unique to us.

Food & Drink

Our Coffee Shop will be opening in late 2021/early 2022. A family friendly cafe serving hot meals, drinks and snacks. The perfect place to end your museum visit, or to come for lunch.

Log on to free Wi-Fi and stay connected with family and friends.

The cafe is currently closed.