A photo showing several stages of the medieval tile making process. The tile features an image of a hare.
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Charnwood Forest Decorative Tile Making Workshop – Whitwick

This summer, the Charnwood Forest Geopark team is turning its attention to one of our region’s most important industries: ceramic and clay decorative tile-making. Tiles play an important part in the industrial history of Charnwood Forest, and tiles dating back to the Roman period have been found within the region. From the later medieval period, more than sixty designs of medieval tiles were found at Ulverscroft Priory, some of which are believed to have been locally manufactured. In the modern period, tile manufacture was prevalent at Whitwick, Coalville, Loughborough and the surrounding area from the nineteenth century, with some tile designs attaining international recognition.

To celebrate this local industry, we will be running a series of free tile-making workshops across the Geopark this summer. The theme for the workshops is ‘What Charnwood Forest means to me’. The workshops will be led by historical ceramicist Karen Slade, who has many years’ experience in making and conserving tiles. We have also commissioned Karen to make a series of tiles celebrating Charnwood Forest’s landscape, geology and tile-making heritage, and these will be displayed at an exhibition to be held in October in Coalville, alongside a selection of tiles from the public workshops.

There are four workshops to choose from. Follow the links below for more information:
Coalville, Coalville CAN Wednesday: 17th July
Ulverscroft Activity Centre: Friday 19th July
Home Farm, Nanpantan: Saturday 20th July
Whitwick, Park Hall: Monday 22nd July

Places are free and strictly limited in number. Participants must be 16 or over. Booking is essential. Each workshop will be a full day. 0930-1700.