This splendid courtyard building of brick and slate was built as stabling for the fifth Earl Ferrers between 1760 and 1780. Besides accommodation for about forty horses there were two granaries, a large dovecote, carriage houses, a blacksmith’s shop, and living quarters for single men.
My family bought these stables in 1955, empty and dilapidated, ‘thrown in’ with the adjacent farm as having no value. There were big holes in the roof and grass grew waist high in the courtyard. We repaired the structure and cleared the rubbish, but it took twenty years to find a viable use for it. In 1974 our first potter moved in and the centre has developed steadily since then. These are workshops, where things are made and repaired; we have not allowed the complex to drift down the retail route, and in this way we remain unique. There is much to see here in what we believe to be the largest concentration of craftspeople in Britain.