Some stunning "Portmeirion"
souvenir Ashtead wares. Probably produced to mark the opening of
Sir Clough Williams-Ellis's
Portmeirion in 1926.
built Portmeirion from 1925 to 1975 on a peninsula off the coast of
Snowdonia to show how 'the development of a naturally beautiful site
need not lead to its defilement'.
Lawrence Weaver was effectively Clough Williams-Ellis's patron in
the 1920's and both were founding members of the "Voluntary
Committee" of the "Ashtead Potters Limited" company when it
registered for business under the Industrial and Provident Societies
Act in 1922.
The current Portmeirion
Pottery is not made at Portmeirion Village. The company was started by
Susan Williams-Ellis and her husband, Euan Cooper-Willis, who purchased a
small pottery decorating company in Stoke-on-Trent called A.E.Gray Ltd. Her
designs went there to be produced exclusively for the gift shop at the
Portmeirion. More information about Portmeirion Pottery can be found on
Stephen McKay's website
It is worth noting the
mis-spelling of the name by the Ashtead Potters; "Portmeirion" having
a single "i" in their version.
The "Mermaid" is thought
to be a reference to one of the original cottages on the estate dating from
1850 that bears that name. Only four buildings pre-date Clough
Williams-Ellis involvement in Portmeirion and "Mermaid" was "Clough-ed up"
in 1926. The cottage itself now provides self catering accommodation
provding sleeping for up to four people.