Once known as the the “Belleek Pottery Works Company” Belleek first conducted business back as early as 1857 manufacturing heavy earthenware and has progressed over the years to become the highly acclaimed creator of fine Parian china which is known the world over.
In 1849 John Caldwell Bloomfield inherited the Castlecaldwell estate, which encompassed the village of Belleek, from his father. Mindful of the plight of his tenants in the aftermath of the potato famine he sought to provide some form of worthwhile employment. An amateur mineralogist, he ordered a geological survey of his land. To his delight it revealed the necessary raw materials to make Pottery – feldspar, kaolin, flint, clay and shale.
The village of Belleek, whose name in Gaelic, beal leice, translates to ‘Flagstone Ford’ was a natural choice to locate the business especially the part of the village known as Rose Isle. This small isle provided the best opportunity to leash the yet untamed power of the River Erne – power to drive a mill wheel strong enough to grind components into Slip, the term applied to liquid potters clay.
Official Website: http://www.belleek.com/