About Sharpe’s Pottery

Sharpe’s Pottery Heritage and Arts Trust (Sharpe’s) is a local charity, situated within a Grade II listed heritage building (which is a Registered Museum) in Swadlincote, Derbyshire. The Trust supports local history (including a wide range of artifacts on display), hosts community events, offers conference room space, and works with partners within the cultural centre of Swadlincote. All the partners are committed to outreach work, using the resource centre as a base from which to serve the whole of the area.

Our Mission

“Our Mission is to research, conserve and present, in an interesting and educational manner, the artistic, cultural and industrial heritage of South Derbyshire, for the benefit of the community and visitors, using the former Sharpe’s Pottery as a base.”

Sharpe’s Pottery was founded in 1821 and made a major contribution to South Derbyshire’s pre-eminence in the supply of sanitaryware in the 19th century throughout the UK and world-wide following major advances in public health. The local clay was suited to making sanitary ware and local coal fuelled the industry. Ceramic production ceased on the site of the Museum in 1966 and the building was then largely unoccupied, although remaining in the ownership of the original company. The key buildings are Grade II listed and include one of the area’s few remaining bottle kilns. 

The museum itself opened in 2003 and is an accessible, multi-user, low cost heritage and arts facility for the benefit of all the community. Accommodation is also provided for:

  • Magic Attic – formed in 1987, to preserve and maintain records which belong to the local area and community and make them widely accessible
  • People Express – set up in 1990 as a professional Community Arts organisation which works with groups of people living in South Derbyshire to devise, plan and undertake participatory arts projects