Die Fayence-Manufaktur von 1736 in Wrisbergholzen

Notes on the origins and history of the old fayence factory in Wrisbergholzen     

Freiherr Rudolf Johann von Wrisberg

Contents: Background | The Fayence Factory|  Production | Outline data


In the year 1735, Baron Rudolf Johann of Wrisberg (picture), who was engaged at the time as the President of the Upper Court of Appeal in Celle, commisioned his administrator, Rasch, with looking into the possibility of setting up a "pipe factory". While nothing ever came of this pipe production, because of the lack of the necessary kaolin, nontheless clay deposits were discovered in the process, and tests revealed that this clay was suitable for fayence production. Since the surrounding forests belonging to the estate provided sufficient quantities of fuel for running a kiln, Rudolf Johann of Wrisberg decided to set up a large fayence factory.

Manufactory todayThe Fayence Factory

The buildings of the "porcellain factory" were erected in 1736 in the kitchen garden northwest of the castle by the Untere Dorfstraße. Ernst Julius Bütemeister was involved in the early planning stages of the project. On his death on 1 January 1736 Rudolf Johann of Wrisberg commisioned his brother, Erich Joachim Bütemeister - later Master Builder to the Duke of Lüneburg - to continue and complete the work begun.

The following rooms, listed in an inventory from the year 1811, were probably already there when the factory was built:

Further buildings, which do not exist today any longer, were on the north side of the factory; among them a large free standing building on square sketch, probably the necessary glaze mill in form of a horse goepel. In the building lived the respective "Fabriquer" (manager) as well as the glaze master.

The factory building was almost unchanged preserved in its original built volumes and room structure and thus by high opinion importance. It is the only preserved example of a building established as faience factory from the 18. Century in Northern Germany.


Fayences and stoneware of different quality were produced from 1737 to 1834. A large section was intended for the daily use. This production found its customers in the local environment and in larger cities (Goettingen, Braunschweig, Hildesheim, Holzminden). The long maintenance of the operation over almost 100 years is unusual. This makes clear the fact that the products of the factory obviously were liked and that they were adapted to the purchasing power of the customers - despite the competition in particular in the area of southern Lower Saxony (e.g. the faience factory of Hannoversch-Muenden).alter Brennofen

The preserved faiences such as roller jugs, dinner plates, flower pots and ink containers, intended for the normal use, are provided with simple samples and were relatively inexpensive therefore. Besides there was a set of products for a financially stronger group of buyers such as Balustervasen, which are verziert with Chinese motives.

The difficult production of large sized wall tiles was at least 40 years long a branch of production, with which Wrisbergholzen rose over the performance of other German faience factories. Particularly to emphasize: the tile room in the castle of Wrisbergholzen, whose walls are completely disguised with tiles showing emblemata motives. Further there are to be mentioned the tile tablets of the destroyed castle in Ruthe (today Dortmund, museum), of the former garden hall of the bischoeflichen palace in Muenster (today in the diocesan museum, Muenster) and of a bath room in the royal bath house in Bad Rehburg.

Outline data to the faience factory in Wrisbergholzen

1735 - 1736
Erich Joachim Buetemeister, the building master of the castle and the property system in Wrisbergholzen, builds the faience factory

1736 - 1834
Production of faiences, tiles and stoneware

since 1834
The building served for living purposes for officials of the castle such as garden masters.

since 1945
Accommodation of up to 8 refugee families

since 1964
With exception of a dwelling in the ground floor unused, increasing degradation of the structural status

Transfer to and following repair by our association

Above text contains passages from lectures of the initiator and former chairmen of the association, Ulrich Pagels, Hanover.

What are faiences?
Faiences from Wrisbergholzen
Kiln and archeological finds in Wrisbergholzen
Fig.: Kilns 16th and 18th Century


Association for the preservation of historical buildings in Wrisbergholzen