Located at the village of Dores, a few miles south west of Inverness, on the east shore of Loch Ness.
It was set up in late 1900 by Mary Seton Watts, née Fraser Tytler. She had established a small pottery at Compton, near Guildford, with the idea of providing gainful employment for the villagers, who might otherwise have had to leave the area to find work. Since it was proving to be successful, she thought she would do a similar thing at Dores, where her family owned Aldourie Castle.
At Compton, they used clay dug from a local seam to make a variety of terracotta garden pots and ornaments. They tried to find similar clay in the grounds of Aldourie Castle, but it was not suitable and so the clay was sourced from the Cumnock Pottery in Ayrshire, where the manager of the Compton Pottery had originally worked.
Moulds were sent from Compton and the Dores Pottery made the same designs of garden pots and sundials, but they had a different mark. Initially the items had to be shipped back to Cumnock for firing, but a kiln was built by mid-1901 and two permanent staff employed. As at Compton, local people came to evening classes to be taught modelling skills. The output was largely sold through the annual Highland Home Industries Exhibition in Inverness, although some were sold to stately homes through the family contacts. Unfortunately, Dores Pottery ceased production in 1904 when Mrs Watts’s husband, George Frederic Watts died.
Garden pots, flower boxes, sundials, etc
For the domestic market
Articles in SPHR
Articles in Bulletin (Members only)
Aldourie Pottery Dores circular mark
Scroll, Cobra, Celtic, Duchess, Floreat, Gudrun, Winged Hours sundial
Other Publications & Links
The Society wishes to thank Louise Boreham for the research of Dores pottery and for providing the contents of this overview.