Exactly how many bottle ovens were there in The Potteries? And how many are there now?
Some say that there were once 4,000 bottle ovens belching smoke into The Potteries atmosphere.
This seems a grossly exaggerated figure. There were simply not that many actual bottle ovens. But there were lots of other factory chimneys - those which serviced boiler houses, steam engines, slip kilns, and more. There were also those chimneys associated with collieries, the Shelton Bar steel plant, and Michelin, These conventional chimneys added to the grand total which spewed their filth into the atmosphere of The Potteries.
It is safe to say, that in their heyday, just over 2,000 operable bottle ovens dominated the landscape of the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent. Maybe up to 2,300. So how can we be so sure?
More evidence here> on The Potteries Bottle Oven site.