A RARE and valuable survivor of Whitehaven’s long-lost pottery industry has been brought home.

The large, historic Lowther Bowl dates from the early 1800s and has been newly acquired by local pottery enthusiast Tony Calvin who has generously agreed to hand it over on long-term loan to the town’s Beacon, for museum visitors to enjoy.

And Hugh Lowther, 8th Earl of Lonsdale, will be present at the hand-over event (on Monday, November 18) as the highly decorative bowl, made at the Ginns pottery of Woodnorth, Harrison & Hall, brings together his family’s ancestral links with both Whitehaven Castle and the one-time Lowther-owned pottery.

The WHH pottery works, which operated from 1819, were built for Sir William Lowther, the 1st Earl of Lonsdale, who leased them to Peter Woodnorth and partners.

The bowl, measuring almost 18 inches across, depicts a large country mansion, church, river and gardens, and is decorated with underglaze black prints, enriched with high temperature colours of blue, green, yellow and orange requiring a high degree of skill to create. It was probably part of a jug and bowl bedroom set made for the Lowthers and beneath its 10-inch foot can be found the factory mark WHH WHITEHAVEN, together with an image of Whitehaven Castle, showing two horses grazing on the front lawn.

Mr Calvin recently purchased the bowl from Dr Maurice Hillis, president of the Northern Ceramic Society who had bought it more than 30 years ago at a Liverpool auction. Mr Calvin will present it to Elizabeth Kwasnik, director of the Beacon, at a ceremony in the front grounds of Whitehaven Castle at noon on November 18.