Monday, 12 February 2018

An unusual link

Long term blog readers may recall me writing about the Round House at Festival Park, Stoke Upon Trent.  I’d stumbled upon it when walking the towpath catching a glimpse through the trees which conceal it on the two sides adjacent to public footpaths.  Obtaining a good view proved quite difficult as there is now a ramp between the towpath and the busy A53 (Etruria Road).  Eventually I was able to access the site on a weekend via the Bet365 car park which just happened to be under construction.

round house

The Round House

This is one of two round houses which were located at either end of Josiah Wedgwood’s original pottery factory.  The remainder of the factory has long gone.  More information can be found in this link <Round House>

Google Maps doesn’t show the building


However it can be seen in Google Earth


This is the only remaining part of Wedgwood’s original factory and I assume hundreds of boaters pass each year without realising it’s there.  But that’s not why I mention the Round House.  I’d actually been reading about Charles Darwin and discovered he was related to the Wedgwood’s.  Charles married one of his cousins, Emma Wedgwood, the daughter of Josiah Wedgwood II.  Interestingly back in the late 18th century it wasn’t uncommon for cousins to marry.  Charles married Emma and one of Emma’s brother’s married one of Charles’ sisters.  This situation repeats itself through the generations.

Another interesting fact was the control parents had over their adult children.  Although aged 22, Charles Darwin felt obligated to ask his father for permission to accept the invitation to travel with the Beagle on its voyage of discovery.  His father refused; however Josiah Wedgwood (Emma’s father and the brother-in-law of Charles’ father) convinced Charles’ father to give consent. 

Charles proposed to Emma when they were both 30.  She was initially reluctant to accept because his views on evolution conflicted with her own religious beliefs.  They went on to have 10 children, seven of which survived.  Quite a low child mortality rate for the day.


Pip and Mick said...

Well, I'm one of the hundreds! We stopped there for cheap gas (£21). Whilst there I walked down past Bet365 to a car spares shop to buy some engine oil. I never saw the Round House!


Tom and Jan said...

Hidden behind the trees away from public view Mick