Jessie Shepherd Interview Audio

About Prestonpans Pottery

In the 18th and 19th centuries Prestonpans was the pre-eminent manufacturer of pottery in Scotland under the leadership of the Cadells, Gordons and Watsons. It was the town's major employer. These traditions continued with Charles Belfield & Sons right up until the 1930s, and lived again in the late 20th century with Dorothy Clyde at Pyper's Wynd.

Since the inception of the Arts Festival in 1997 we have sought to conserve and honour this first great flowering of the arts in Prestonpans. We have also made selective reproductions and captured a virtual exhibition here on this website. But 2007 was identified as a defining year for the Arts Festival truly to honour the town's pottery legacy and heritage. Graeme Cruikshank was appointed Curator for both a Road Show in March 2007 and for the most substantial Exhibition ever given in September 2007.

At the same time, Graeme Cruickshank was invited to write and extensively illustrate a definitive history of Prestonpans Pottery for publication by the Arts Festival in association with Burke's Peerage & Gentry. This he has now done, with Linda Sneddon as Principal Photographer. It is an awesome work of great scholarship.