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Information on this site is copyright © (see foot of any page). If you would like to use any text, please just acknowledge this site with a link. To use an image, then please contact us.

The Kenneth Townsend website is © David P Encill. Various photos throughout this site are copyright © the owner, as stated.

Lifeguard tile in original boxLifeguard tile in original boxAll the tiles were purchased, and produced by Ken independently and not by Iden Pottery (run by Dennis, Ken's brother), which appears to be a popular myth.

The images were applied to the tiles using the silk screen method and then fixed in a kiln.

Below are tabbed sections about these tiles. Click on a tab to see the information.


BackstampsBackstampsBackstamps, Marks & Fittings

Virtually all of the tiles featured Ken's backstamp, but there are odd occurrences where this is not apparent. Two styles of backstamp can be seen – the circular style stamped straight onto the back of the tile, and a long legend which was invariably used when a cork or fibre backing was used.

Carter FittingCarter FittingA new form of fitting, which differs from the more usual 'ring' and is mounted on a Candy tile. This was found on what is probably an earlier design for the Tiger.

The Longleat Gallery backstamp (see below) was probably commisioned by the Longleat Safari Park.

Typical embossed marks found on tiles. Carter Tiles was the parent company of Carter Stabler Adams & Co., which was best known as the forerunner for Poole Pottery. Pilkington Tiles took over Carter Tiles, so tiles with this mark could be later editions.

Embossed marksEmbossed marksSome tiles have been noted with an embossed P + C. The last one featured here is obscured by glaze, but is marked Hereford Tiles Ltd.

The 'Best of British' label signifies an outlet selling the Kenneth Townsend tiles.

The British Museum can be found in this street, and the premises are now occupied by a firm of solicitors.

Longleat GalleryBest Of British StickerCircular BackstampLongleat Gallery Backstamp, Best Of British Sticker & Circular Backstamp


The Horoscope Tiles

The Horoscope series do not feature very often so can be considered scarce (but not rare!)

All tile images are courtesy of Heather Townsend, except Gemini & Virgo which are courtesy of Jim Bishp (© Jim Bishop)

London Scenes

The London Scenes

Ken did a number of London scenes. The five images below were used on tiles and others were used on Chance Glass trays. The Chance designs can be seen here.


The Menagerie Tiles

According to the price list, August 1979, the number of different animals was 25. The original numbers are now included with the corresponding tile.

However, this does not include the second Cockerel (facing left, with yellow comb) or the Whale. It is assumed these are earlier, or later, additions.

Other tiles demonstrate variations to the pattern, or design (see the Hedgehog and Robin, for example). This was probably caused by the silk-screens being changed over time, modification to the design, or different applications of the enamels.


Special Tiles

A few test tiles were made but never issued. They are listed below. If more come to light they will be aded to this page.

Christmas SantaChristmas SantaChristmas Series

The example shown, of Santa with two owls perched on his body, is a very similar style to the the figures seen on the Hornsea Love Mugs.

This series was apparently proposed but never released, probably due to the demand over a very limited period. It is not known whether there were other examples (but it is believed so). However, even this solitary example has been repaired after breaking into several pieces.

Norman TileNorman TileNorman Tile

The appearance of these tiles caused a certain amount of surprise as both were in private hands.

rarities-norman-circular 20120519 1529941197Norman Circular
Copyright - Peter Craddock

However, it would appear that these were produced to coincide with the 900th anniversary of the Norman invasion in 1066 (with Ken living in Hastings, this now seems obvious).

Hedgehog CircularHedgehog CircularHedgehog - Circular Tile

This is believed to be another one-off, probably intended to be used as a coaster.

The back of the tile reveals it to be made by H & R Johnson Ltd. The '77' and '9' could indicate a manufacturing date of September 1977?

4" (10cm) Tiles

These three small tiles were made as a test.

Instead of the normal 6-in (15cm) tiles, these were much smaller at 4-in (10cm).

They were also produced with just two passes of a silk-screen (two-colours), but were never marketed.

These three are believed to be the only ones in existence.

DonkeyLionOwlDonkey. Lion & Owl

Fish TripticFish TripticFish 'Triptic'

A set of three tiles, quite possibly the only ones intended to be used together, as seen on Heather's kitchen wall.

Tile Numbers

Original numbers for tiles, Aug. 1979

  1. Fox
  2. Hen
  3. Owl
  4. Hedgehog (fwd look)
  5. Seahorse
  6. Cockerel
  7. Seal
  8. Tiger
  9. Pig
  10. Cow
  11. Fish
  12. Donkey
  13. Gorilla
  14. Robin
  15. Elk
  16. Lion
  17. Pelican
  18. Cat (spikey)
  19. Mouse
  20. Elephant
  21. Frog
  22. Ram
  23. Hedgehog (side view)
  24. Cat (Cheshire)
  25. British Lion
  26. City Gent
  27. Chelsea Pensioners
  28. Lifeguard
  29. Beefeater
  30. Grenadier Guards

Missing from list, so assumed to be earlier (or later) introductions
Cockerel (facing left, yellow comb)