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  • About Us

    W T Knowles Chimney Pots Image

    Our History

    The company was founded in 1906 by Walter Thomas Knowles in Elland in the West Riding of Yorkshire (now West Yorkshire) close to the industrial centres of Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield and Leeds. The reason for the choice of this location was probably due to the local and rich coal and clay seams. Along with this, the proximity to the adjacent Calder & Hebble Navigation which links Wakefield with Manchester via a junction with the Rochdale Canal was another reason for the choice of location. A main arterial railway line passed less than a mile away and between them, the canal and the railway provided the company with excellent distribution routes for its products.

    Walter’s sons joined the business in the 1920s and by the 1950s they were running the growing business. About this time, the third generation family joined the company and by the 1970s they had taken control. Now the company is run by the fourth generation family.

    During World War 2, the construction of many new airfields by the Royal Engineers resulted in W T Knowles winning many contracts for clay pipe products in airfield drainage. Shortly after the war, there were about eighty individual clay pipe manufacturers. Today, there are only three. Also, the massive project re-building damaged and destroyed homes after the war ensured W T Knowles had a major supply programme for its wide range of chimney pots over quite a long period. The many chimney pot manufacturers have reduced over time to only three.

    W T Knowles is the only privately owned manufacturer of chimney pots in the uk, in which they remain to use their clay moulding techniques.

    The company has six down-draught beehive kilns which produce both glazed and unglazed products and employs a workforce of around 50 people.

    Many of the traditional clay moulding techniques from the early 20th Century are still retained, producing both glazed and unglazed products. In fact W T Knowles is the only manufacturer offering traditionally glazed chimney pots. The chimney pot products are manufactured to BS EN 13502 and the clay drainage products to BS65 and
    BS EN 295. BS EN ISO 9000 quality standard is in operation.

    Distribution of products to stockists and merchants is largely through the Company’s own fleet of trucks with the distinctive black livery, proudly displaying the Union Jack flag emblem.

    W T Knowles & Sons Ltd Established in 1906, Producing Clay Drainage, Chimney Pots and Chimney Cowls.

    Clay Drainage

    WT Knowles is a leading manufacturer and supplier of an extensive range of clay drainage products and accessories. Visit our website at www.knowlesdrainage.co.uk