Pottery

New pottery production sites are emerging and the number of assemblages has increased.  Many small late medieval pottery assemblages are now known and some have been subjected to further analysis. This is gradually building up a pottery sequence for the region although there is still a lack of material pre-dating the 12th century and a regional synthesis is needed.

Recently discovered pottery production centres include Petergate (C) and Samlesbury (L). Petergate, produced evidence for late 12th century pottery production although no evidence for the kilns themselves. This is significant as pottery production sites, especially in Cumbria, are rare and the distribution and networks across the region are not clear. A corn drying kiln was also discovered, showing that crop processing also took place with the kiln used to dry corn for milling during its final phase (Railton et al 2014).

Perhaps the most significant recent discovery is that of a series of previously unknown pottery kilns revealed by the Samlesbury to Helmshore gas pipe line. These occurred in three concentrations along a half kilometre stretch and may indicate widespread production in the area. The sites were in production in the 13th-15th centuries and have produced over 10,000 sherds, along with the remains of possible clamp kilns. Similarities were recognised between the pottery found here and at sites in Wigan and Lancaster as well as other examples from North Wales. The pottery assemblage is regarded as being of national significance and is subject to a detailed report (Wood et al 30).

Excavations at Gorse Stacks bus interchange, Chester recovered large quantities of ceramic waste and tile that may be indicators of a 15th century pottery production site (Dodd and Garner 2015). A local production site may also exist near Wigan, evidenced by wasters found during the Millgate excavations (see urban settlement) (Bagwell et al 2006).

Excavations at Timperley Old Hall (GM) produced a large assemblage ranging from the 13th-16th centuries. The green glazed ware of the 13th and 14th centuries may have been produced locally as the fabrics compare with those from Rainford (M) and Samlesbury (L) (Pierce et al 2013). Green glaze ridge tiles, dated to 14th-15th centuries, consisted of coarse gritty fabric with finials in the rough form of snakes and are thought to have been made by local craftsmen. A chafing cup resembles one found at Rainford, although currently the earliest date for the Rainford site is late 16th century (see post medieval review for Rainford).

Pottery assemblages are often written up as part of the excavation report but there has been no new regional synthesis on local types and distribution. This is a resource yet to realise its potential.

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