Have you ever been to Teapot Island?

By Lyn Funnell.


I’m a little teapot, short and stout
Here’s my handle, here’s my spout.
When the water’s boiling hear me shout
Tip me up and pour me out.

This song was originally written, surprisingly, by two Americans, George Harold Sanders and Clarence Z. Kelley and published in 1939.
But I’m sure that it’s sung, complete with gestures, by many people who are merrily on their way to Teapot Island in Kent.
Teapot Island is a genuine little island, beside the Yalding River, near Maidstone.

We were served tea and scones which were made by Luke, in the cafe before I spoke to Luke, who was busy in the shop.
I spoke to Luke Blazye, who runs it with his mother Sue.
LYN When did you start Teapot Island?
LUKE We moved here in November 2002, then it took ages to set it up. We opened on November 8th 2003.
LYN Why did you start it?
LUKE Mum started collecting teapots when I was 2. We had over 3,000 teapots in the house, in cabinets. I think only my bedroom was teapot-free!
My great-grandmother gave her a teapot which was a wedding gift from 50 years ago.
Then my aunt did the same thing. Friends started asking if they could bring friends along to see the collection.
LYN Why did you start it here? Did you own the land?
LUKE This was for sale with a café. It was wasteland. We had the other buildings built for the teapots. Now we have 8,500 teapots, + 1,000 up for sale.
LYN Why is it called Teapot Island?
LUKE It really is an island. It was originally called Riverside Diner and Leisure Grounds.
LYN Was it an immediate hit?
LUKE No. no-one was going to the museum; just the café. Now people come to see the teapots.
LYN What was your furthest visitor?
LUKE We’ve had visitors from all over the world. But one woman flew from Australia, got in a cab and came straight here. Obviously she was on a visit to stay longer and see other sights though.
LYN What celebrities have visited you?

Camilla, Charles, Sue & Luke

LUKE King Charles and Queen Camilla came here, Aggie from How clean is your House? Eric Knowles, the Antiques expert, Bradley Walsh and his family, Timothy Spall and his brother who collected teapots. They cut a ribbon in an opening ceremony for the museum, Sue Barker, and many more.
LYN What are your oldest and favourite items?
LUKE Some teapots are dated 1770. I have just one teapot at home which is covered in safari animals.
LYN What are your future plans?
LUKE Sadly, we’re up for sale. We have illness in the family and Mum and Dad are getting older. They couldn’t run it without my help. This is my inheritance, but there’s nothing else we can do.
It’s brought so much joy and pleasure to so many people.
If the new buyers don’t want to keep the teapots, we’ll need 15 miles of bubble wrap to carefully wrap them all up!

We had a lovely afternoon at Teapot Island. I would have liked to have spent longer there to wander along the river bank.
Do go and see it while you can! It’s completely unique and they’ve put a lot of time and effort into it. But I bet you can’t leave without buying a teapot!

I wish Luke and his family all the best, and I do hope that it’s bought by people who care about it.

Me in front of the famous giant teapot

Teapot Island is at Hampstead Lane,
ME18 6HG


  • Lyn Funnell

    Lyn is the co-owner of Unknown Kent and Sussex. She lives in Sussex. Lyn has been writing for most of her life, both Fiction & Non-Fiction. She loves cookery & creating original recipes. She's won a lot of prizes, including Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu & on BBC The One Show as a runner-up, making her Britain's Spag Bol Queen! She has had nine books published so far. History, Travel & Restaurant Reviews are her main interests.

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