Photographer Catches these STUNNING images of 47 surviving bottle kilns

Photographer Gareth Copley is used to snapping pictures of Stoke City players battling it out to the pitch in the bet365 Stadium.

However, for his latest project the 37-year-old has chosen a more sedentary subject.

He has made it his mission to record all the previous 47 leftover bottle kilns scattered around his adopted home city of Stoke-on-Trent.

Initially from Huddersfield, Gareth was immediately struck by the shape and character of their ovens when he transferred into Clayton.

Gareth Copley has been shooting photos of the 47 leftover bottle kilns at the Region

Gareth, who operates for Getty, said: “We do not have anything similar to this in Yorkshire. They’re a reminder of a time that once was.

“You find some kilns that are in good condition and some have been integrated into home improvement. They’re so notable as you push around Stoke.

“Some are at a condition of disrepair and that is very sad to find — you get the impression they’re just waiting to drop down.

One of Gareth’s snaps of a bottle kiln at Hanley

“There’s 47 left and I’ve been around all of them in various times of the day attempting to show they’re nonetheless part of Stoke-on-Trent’s skyline. There was about 4,000 and it is tough to conceive what it looked like then.

“They’re a massive portion of Stoke-on-Trent’s heritage and I think that they ought to be valued.”

Offering himself a year to complete the undertaking, Gareth took his first picture last October and is particularly appreciating how the shifting seasons and contrasting the old with the new can be recorded.

He said: “I keep going back into the Gladstone Pottery Museum and it is quite a magical spot with all the red brick and how dominant it is using the five ovens.

“That is so different to everything I do with sport photography. It has been completely out of the comfort zone which is usually being freezing cold in the bet365 stadium on a Saturday.

“I am hoping people are able to enjoy the photographs and I would love them to have any gallery space in town”

Gareth has obtained photos of this bottle kilns in Various seasons

Local historian Fred Hughes gave his whole-hearted assistance to Gareth’s project.

He said: “I wouldn’t hesitate to encourage people to paint or take pictures of the bottle kilns as they’re the icons which individuals start looking for when they visit Stoke-on-Trent.

“They’re pretty specific and there’s just 47 left. They need preserving and it is about making sure they remain for the long run for historians and those who love history.

“When they’re preserved, it matters not what usage they’re given, provided that they’re kept alive and within sight of our heritage.”