Potts, Edward, jun.,

Architect, born on 2 March 1839, the younger son of a Bury draper. His father, also Edward Potts, was a founder member of the WMA in Bury, and attended the first Annual Assembly in Manchester in August 1836. He subsequently served as a local preacher, class leader and circuit steward.

The family attended Brunswick UMFC chapel and, after moving to Oldham c. 1848, King Street UMFC. From 1877 to 1891 Edward junior lived at Bowden, attending Bowden Vale WM chapel; then moved to Eccles. He held many offices in the church, including Sunday School teacher, and at Eccles organized popular Saturday night temperance concerts. In 1854 Edward junior was articled to George Woodhouse and from 1860 to 1872 he was in partnership with him. Their chapels included King Street UMFC, Oldham (1862). In practice by himself from 1872 to 1880, his chapels included Moor Lane UMFC, Preston (1873) and Union Street MNC, Oldham (1875). From 1880 to 1890 the practice was Potts, Pickup and Dixon (all of them WM), now also with a Manchester office. Their chapels included Bowden Vale WM (1883) and Trinity, Oldham (1882-83). From 1890, Potts, Son and Hennings, with an additional office in Bolton, designed Hale WM (1900) and Chorley Old Road WM, Bolton (1902-3), as well as Blackpool town hall (1895-1900).

Potts designed over 200 cotton mills, not only in Lancashire, but later on in France, Germany, Russia, China and Mexico. Among his innovations were a new vaulted ceiling design and the use of ferroconcrete instead of brick flooring. He died on 15 April 1909 at Monton, near Eccles.

There was also the partnership of Potts, Sulman and Henning, with a London office and a Congregational clinetele. This was presumably associated with Sir John Sulman (1849-1934) who practised in London from 1870 until emigrating to Australia in 1885.

Potts' son William Edward Potts ARIBA (1862-1932) became his father's pupil about 1875 and studied at University College, London, where he graduated in 1888. He too was a Methodist, holding many offices in the church at Poulton-le-Fylde, including that of trustee, local preacherand Sunday School Superintendent. Potts' daughter Jessie became the second wife of Samuel E. *Keeble.

The practice eventually became W.E. Potts and Henning and in 1931 was responsible for the chapels at *Didsbury and *Headingley Colleges.

  • T.P. Dale, The History of Brunswick Church, Bury(Bury, 1896)
  • Methodist Recorder, 6 May 1909, 28 April 1932
  • D. Gurr and J. Hunt (eds.), The Cotton Mills of Oldham(Oldham, 1985)
  • Oxford DNB
  • Roger N Holden, Stott and Sons, architects of Lancashire

cotton mills (Lancaster, 1998)

  • Directory of British Architects 1834-1914