Canterbury Bid

Canterbury Pottery: 60 years in Canterbury

A photo of the exterior of Canterbury Pottery

Business: Canterbury Pottery
Location: The Buttermarket, Burgate, Canterbury
Years of Service : 60

Canterbury Pottery, opposite the Cathedral Gate in Buttermarket is independently owned by Jan and Richard Chapman. Jan tells us a little more of their story, and explain why customers keep coming back…

“Canterbury Pottery was opened in this exact same address on 16th June 1963 by Richard’s late mother Betty Chapman. She had trained at the Royal College of Art.

Richard started very young helping his mother in the pottery. He and his two brothers went to The King’s School, opposite the shop, and Richard was able to pop in to make pots in any free time he had (when he should probably have been at games!) He was also a bit of a menace in the school pottery.

We met when I commissioned Richard to make my parents a set of oven dishes. I was 18 and had just started working at my family business with my two brothers at Cousins Jewellers. We were married in the cathedral three years later. In 2000 Richard asked me to come and help him out for a bit because ‘he was short staffed’ and I’ve been there ever since! 

The best thing about having business in Canterbury is the sense of community within the city’s businesses. Canterbury is a small city, so it is friendly and safe.  There’s a constant flow of people coming in and out which makes it vibrant and interesting. You never know who you’re going to see next.”

Who would you most have loved to see walk through the door and why ?

“Lucie Rie, a wonderful potter who made exquisite pots. She made pots right into her old age and died at the age of 96. She would have some wonderful tales to tell.”

Which one item from your shop would you put in a time capsule to showcase the shop ?

“We would select one of our Chalice & Patens with the Canterbury Cross on it. We have been making these for nearly 60 years and they are used all around the world in different churches, abbeys, cathedrals and religious communities for holy communion. We think that is rather a wonderful legacy.”

 What’s your current best seller ?

“At the moment the most popular sellers are the Bread Bins, as people really got into baking during the lockdowns. These are real statement pieces for a kitchen.”

What message would you like to send out to shoppers who’ve not visited your business yet?

“Come and visit! The shop is full of beautiful handmade pots which are practical to use and reasonably priced. We write Canterbury Pottery on the base of every piece, so they make a wonderful memento of a visit to Canterbury.  It’s quite rare now to find a working pottery right in the heart of a thriving city. Come and see the pots being made and treat yourself!”

Canterbury Pottery, 38a Burgate CT1 2HW

Visit Canterbury Pottery’s website