Last year Michael Mapp sent us an interesting link to The Torquay Pottery Collectors Society (www.torquaypottery.com). As the site says, Torquay pottery implies to many the rather lowbrow noveltyware produced for the tourist market. But the area was a lesser-known focus of fine-art pottery production that lasted some 90 years following the discovery of terracotta clay deposits at Watcombe in the 1860s, which led the founding in 1869 of the Watcombe Terracotta Clay Company Ltd.
The Collectors Society site has a good overview of the history. part 1 follows the companies from their beginnings, with the rival Watcombe and Torquay Terracotta companies, through to the diversification as the popularity of unglazed terracotta declined in favour of decorated ware. Part 2 lists the production dates.
As this Torquay Pottery article elsewhere says, ultimately the output drifted toward the better-known "Motto Ware" - see this compilation of typical texts.
Evidently the early Motto Ware carried inscriptions written in normal English but later an exaggerated Devonshire dialect was adopted to appeal to the tourist trade. Motto Ware got the reputation as being the "bread and butter" of the Devon pottery industry
There are many books on the topic: see the TPCS list. It's particularly interesting to see the association of Christopher Dresser with Watcombe: Dresser (see the Design Museum and V&A entries) was one of the leading innovative designers of the late 19th century - an indication of the prestige of Torquay art pottery in its heyday.