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Fremington pottery at A la Ronde

A 19th century earthenware jug with an inscription (not legible) and light yellow flower design
A 19th-century harvest jug | © National Trust

Amongst the jumble of curious objects to be found at A la Ronde, many from travels abroad, is something that was made a little closer to home – a Fremington harvest jug, created for Miss Mary Parminter in 1829.

What is a Harvest jug?

Made for celebrations, Harvest jugs were often covered with shapes and patterns from the natural world.

Although much of its pottery was manufactured for everyday use, Fremington also made specially ordered pieces for individual customers, including Mary Parminter.

Her Harvest jug remains in the collection at A la Ronde, complete with a date – 1829 – and a detailed inscription.

The history of Fremington pottery jugs

Locally based

Based in Barnstaple, Fremington pottery produced everyday ware and ornamental goods, most of which was sold locally. 

However, some pieces found their way down to the Cornish coast and South Wales, and even as far as the United States.

A family business

Fremington was established in the early 19th century by a potter named George Fishley. The family business was continued well into the 20th century by George's sons, grandson and great-great grandson.

Devon china clay

In the production of these pieces, the local clay was mixed with china clay from mid-Devon; this mixture could produce a range of colours, ranging from browns and yellows to whites.

After being thrown, the jug would have been decorated and any personal details added as required. Once the jug had been glazed, the warm autumnal shades iwould have become more apparent.

Personal inscriptions

Inscribed harvest Jugs are hard to find today, possibly because they are still in the possession of the families who commissioned them so many years ago.

Many, including the jug at A la Ronde, were inscribed with messages unique to those that commissioned them:

‘None with the Potter can compare, we make our potts with what we potters are. Our great Creator formed us of dust, and to the same return we shortly must.

Miss Parminter, A la Ronde Febry 7th 1829’

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A la Ronde's collections

Explore the objects and works of art we care for at A la Ronde on the National Trust Collections website.

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