Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Morley Hayes take delivery of Denby crockery crafted from clay taken from its own farm

Clay taken from a site within Morley Hayes’ Derbyshire Farms has made it back home, after being used by Denby Pottery to craft a selection of tableware which is now in use in Morley Hayes’ two AA rosette Dovecote restaurant.


Dovecote dish on Denby Plate


Some of the clay used to produce Morley Hayes’ new ‘Halo’ crockery originated from an open cast mine on Holly Mount Farm, Smalley, which is located close to the Morley Hayes complex and owned by Andrew and Robert Allsop.

The site was originally opened by UK Coal in 2008 after a seam of coal was discovered, along with a seam of clay several metres wide. Since then, as the coal has been extracted, a considerable amount of clay has also been made available to Denby Pottery and UK Coal has since had the opencast mine restored to pasture land.

Denby Pottery purchased 50,000 tonnes of clay from the open cast mine, which was the last mine of its kind in the UK. Some of this clay has gone into creating Morley Hayes’ new plates, bowls and mugs from Denby’s popular ‘Halo’ collection, which are now being used in the award-winning Dovecote restaurant.

The stoneware clay, named after its stone-like appearance and hardness after firing, will also be mixed with quartz, feldspar and recycled clay and used in Denby products for at least another two decades.

Denby is in fact the only pottery that acquired any of the Holly Mount Farm clay, with none of the remaining clay being sold to any other potteries.

Commenting on the creation of Pottery from the Smalley clay Dean Barlow, head of manufacturing at Denby Pottery, said:

“We’ve previously supplied Morley Hayes with crockery that has been used across the complex, but this collaboration has been particularly satisfying as we’ve taken materials from Morley Hayes’ own land and transformed it into beautiful pieces of tableware that will be used daily in the restaurant.

“Denby have generations of experience of using clay locally sourced in Derbyshire and the stoneware clay that was uncovered in the Smalley mine was a perfect fit and met all the specifications required to make Denby pottery.

“Stoneware clay is used in many of our collections, including Halo, as it’s a strong, robust ceramic capable of withstanding oven use and tough handling. Despite this, we had to make sure that Morley Hayes’ crockery could hold its own in a busy catering environment as our products are normally only used in domestic settings.

“We’ve visited the Dovecote Restaurant at Morley Hayes several times since it started using our ‘Halo’ crockery, and it is holding up fantastically. The unique design of the items is incredibly striking, and the pieces look fantastic within the Dovecote’s setting.”

Andrew Allsop, managing director of Morley Hayes, added:

“We’ve developed a close relationship with Denby Pottery over the years as we are both committed to supporting our local community.

“When we heard that Denby Pottery were acquiring some of the clay taken from the mine on our Farm, we spoke to the development team about producing some bespoke crockery for us. It’s quite fitting that materials that have been taken from our land, are back with us, being utilised throughout the Morley Hayes complex.

“We’ve received many compliments from customers commenting on our new crockery, and I really enjoy telling people that the pieces were made from clay taken from our own land!”

Nigel Stuart, Head Chef at Morley Hayes’ Dovecote Restaurant, added:

“We’ve been using Denby Pottery in the Dovecote for some time now, and it has never failed to deliver. Our new ‘Halo’ collection is no exception – its strength and beauty have quickly made it an irreplaceable part of the daily kitchen and restaurant life, much admire by both our chefs and customers alike.”

Denby Pottery has been producing pottery in Derbyshire since 1809 and is renowned for its quality and durability. Today Denby produces a range of classic and contemporary tableware. Its product portfolio has been widened over recent years to include porcelain, cookware, fine bone china, glassware and accessories.

Such is the quality and durability of Denby products that it offers a 10-year guarantee on all its Made in England stoneware ranges.

Denby is committed to environmental improvement and pollution prevention and is the first UK tableware manufacturer to be able to claim ‘zero to landfill’ for all its process waste.

Morley Hayes is set in the stunning Derbyshire countryside overlooking parkland golf courses. It boasts a luxury four star, 32-bedroom hotel and a choice of three restaurants, including the award-winning two AA rosette Dovecote restaurant, Roosters and Spike Bar.

Golf facilities include a championship length 18-hole Manor course, 9-hole Tower course, a 17 bay, all weather floodlit driving range, golf pavilion and a highly-respected Golf Academy.

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