Shape Type: Miscellaneous

Pattern Type: Naval and Marine

Date: 1789-92


  • Diameter: 3.43 in (8.70 cm)
  • Height: 4.96 in (12.60 cm)
  • Length: 4.72 in (12.00 cm)

Maker: Ralph Wedgwood

Maker's Mark:



Creamware mug printed in black with "An East View of Liverpool Light House & Signals on Bidston Hill 1789". The Bidston Hill Signals were on the opposite side of the River Mersey from Liverpool, and were a landmark for ships approaching the town. The signal station was the last in a chain stretching from Holyhead, which relayed to Liverpool advance notice of ships approaching from the west. Each flag indicated the ships of a different merchant: for example at no.33 are the Tarletons (click here for jug in this exhibition with print Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton). At no.42 the "London Cheese Ships" were coming to collect the famous Cheshire cheese which was exported through Liverpool. 


As the trade of Liverpool expanded the number of flags grew, their numbering changed, and the print was updated. The earliest version on pottery is dated 1788 and has 43 numbered flags. This is the second version, with 47 numbered flags. A third, with 56 numbered flags was produced by 1793. A fourth version was produced in that year: a new flag indicating "Enemies" was added because France declared war on Britain.