The Holyrood Pottery

The site of the Holyrood Pottery at Boroughloch
The site of the Holyrood Pottery at Boroughloch

Pot Biog

This illustrated manuscript by Henry Wyse was prepared in 1943, and describes the history of ceramics, and the evolution of the Holyrood pottery.


Image 1

During the period 1904-1921, Henry Wyse first experimented with making art pottery while teaching at George Watson’s Ladies College.

As a result of these experiments, Henry Wyse started a pottery in Bristo Street, Edinburgh in 1917. Initially the business was known as Wyse & Isles, before changing its name to The Holyrood Pottery. In 1918, the pottery moved to Boroughloch, Edinburgh, and ran there for several years. Examples of Holyrood pottery were exhibited extensively throughout the country, the wares being sold in large department stores both in Edinburgh and London. The Holyrood pottery under the direction of the Wyse family closed in 1927, when it was sold as a going concern.

These three catalogues illustrate the wide range of wares sold by the Holyrood pottery. Note that biscuit ware blanks were often sold for amateur decoration, and were then returned to the pottery for firing:

Pottery Cat 1Pottery Cat 2Pottery Cat 3

Phone DirectoryThese pages from the Edinburgh Post Office directory, show entries for Henry Wyse, when he lived at Braid Road, and are for the pottery at Boroughloch. It shows the only Isles to be listed in the directory at the time.

These are examples of the many different kinds of ceramics that were produced by the Holyrood pottery, from buttons and medallions, to hollow wares such as vases and bowls; pottery blanks were made available to artists for decoration: