Stratified artefact sequences from both small towns and rural settlements need to be collected, in order to establish the character of ceramic use throughout the region and to create the basis for socio-economic interpretation. The North West Region Medieval Pottery Research Group doesn’t have a current type series that covers the whole of the North West to extend. There is one pulled together many years ago by Julie Edwards, although this is ‘Chester-centric’. This includes post-medieval material. Julie Edwards published a synthesis of the region’s medieval pottery in 2000, which is still largely current. There are significant differences in ware types, and perhaps production methods, between different parts of the region (possibly separated in very broad terms by the River Ribble), and especially for the medieval ceramics, but also for late 15th- and 16th-century wares. In particular, the late medieval tradition of Reduced Greenware (see also ‘production’ theme) appears to have continued in the north of the region until the 17th, and possibly early 18th century, although it is largely absent from the ceramic record in the southern parts of the region. The distribution and dating of this particular ware type does require further study.Several important assemblages have been published in recent years, notably Rob Philpott’s work at Rainford, but also assemblages from Liverpool. Assemblages of post-medieval pottery have been recovered from excavations in a number of other small (and large) towns across the region. See key overview comments on this subject. A complete regional type series could be published and made accessible. Dissolution period deposits provide valuable dated horizons on ecclesiastical sites for understanding change in material culture and characterising ceramic and other assemblages in the 16th century. Identify and excavate local pottery/ceramic production sites, plus methodologies and training in how to find them, eg. such as with the Rainford community excavations. Previously excavated sites need to be written up and published.
Should include timber to brick, especially in Cheshire in 17th and 18th centuries. Materials in roof structures, and water control including lead detailing need to be included.
Possible focus on service wings/apartments as well as the main house.
Expand to include standing buildings. Chronology of brick as a building material in the region.
Synthesis and evaluation of recent dendrochronology surveys. Use dendro dating as part of WSI for building recording as and where appropriate. Need a chronology of upper crucks.
Intra- and inter-regional coastal surveys. Sedimentary analysis to gauge climate changes. Synthesise and continue to look for lacunae in CITIZAN coastal Zone work in NW.
These would be of most value when closely linked to the documentary and topographical study of landscape and settlement.
Regional survey of farmstead creation and abandonment would help refine the regional settlement pattern identified by Wrathmell and Roberts. Excavations of abandoned farms and cottages should be a high priority, especially where the ownership or tenancy is documented, in order to study the material culture of individual households.
Use the completed Historic Landscape Characterisation dataset. NEW Do we have the mapping to identify those abandoned before the mid-18th century? Can we do more to identify pre-1800 abandoned farms? A large sample of post-medieval farms has been subject to archaeological study (building survey and excavation following demolition) at Kingsway (Rochdale) and Cutacre (Bolton and Salford), which is currently being prepared for publication as a monograph. The material culture from these farmsteads recovered from excavation, however, was not particularly informative, not least as it reflected later 20th-century occupation of the buildings. In order to inform the material culture of individual households during the post-medieval period, it may be necessary to identify and investigate those farmsteads that had been abandoned before the mid-18th century, and have potential for buried remains to survive intact. For Cheshire there is an overview of strip and record excavations for post-medieval sites abandoned in the early 1800s.
This would inform conservation policies and enable characterisation of the resource in order to examine the nature and impact of new monument types in the transition from medieval to Georgian patterns of living. Using models such as that proposed by Trinder (2002), attempts should be made to identify the post-medieval elements that may have distinguished the future industrial towns from those that failed to develop early in the Industrial Revolution (McNeil & Nevell 2003, 107). An urban atlas charting and categorising the growth of towns across the region would assist in examining the transformation of towns from small medieval markets into the variety of urban forms that began to form in the late 17th and 18th centuries. How do we identify earlier buildings behind later facades?
Identify and record rural historic environment features such as deer barns and stables. Deer Barns have already been surveyed as a Post Grad study at UCLAN (contact Chris O’Flaherty, course leader
Review Historic Landscape Characterisation, estate and farm surveys, identify gaps in coverage. Bull pens, hen coops, pig sties, middens, 1920’s/30’s documentations of older buildings, synthesis of pre-construction surveys. Regional “Expected” distribution of building types versus outliers eg. bank barns. Synthesis of farm landscapes in context. Need to examine monastic sites through Dissolution to post-Dissolution – what was destroyed, what kept and what adapted?
Landscape study, historic development and change of villages close to large country estates.
Medieval and Tudor halls: a number of big surveys in recent time need to be synthesised and their transition to modern housing.
Apotropaic markings in higher status timber framed buildings – protective marks and graffiti. Recently been studied at Little Moreton Hall and Ordsall Hall. Review effectiveness of recent surveys and roll out programme across North-West, training and using local heritage groups. Include witch bottles, concealed clothing (project based in Birmingham is online). Links with Q23 and Q24.
Need to examine early post medieval deer parks and their impact on existing rural settlement eg. clearance. Look at leisure landscaping and evolution of formal landscapes including parks eg. Dunham Massey deer park altered. Cross-over into Industrial period.
Use archaeological studies of the monastic suppression to inform our understanding of how the monastic estate declined during this period Combined documentary and landscape studies should be undertaken of landed estates gained as a result of monastic suppression to identify patterns of adoption and adaptation of monastic buildings and estate organization.
Links with Q26.
An identification survey is needed across the region of buildings and spaces used by early dissenting congregations. The architecture and material culture of estates owned by recusant families and areas where Puritanism and later dissent-dominated, should be examined to see if differences are evident that can be related to religious practice and allegiance.
A regional gazetteer should be prepared of pre-18th century burial monuments.
Study of burial monuments and burial practice should look to address the possibility of gender specific attitudes to death.
Opportunities should be taken to examine burial groups especially where there is good associated documentary data.
Historic literature, PAS finds, apotropaic markings, excavation evidence. PhD based in Durham studying this. Concealed clothing. Shoes, corsets, and other items of clothing are often found built into walls of 16th to 19th century date. Need more data on this. Does it occur in the NW? Links with Q18.
Adapt and develop successful models from within and outside the region to survey early churches in the North-West. Look for opportunities to engage the help of volunteers from local heritage groups and elsewhere. Train local volunteers to spread coverage of the survey and harness local knowledge and enthusiasm. Links with PM18.
What sort of ‘scientific techniques’ could be applied to establish the origin of products? Previous studies have demonstrated that thin-sectioning of pottery fragments in the North West, for instance, is inconclusive due to the homogeneity of glacial clays; however, XRF could be used for sources of lead and tin.
A key issue is identifying the precise location of different production centres during the post-medieval period, particularly pottery and clay tobacco pipe kilns, brick-making sites, and glass-working sites; Were there any worker settlements established in the North West during the post-medieval period, or was this actually a phenomenon of the industrial period? Were there any areas of post-medieval towns in the North West dominated by groups of particular artisan craftsmen? Rainford (clay pipes) and Prescot (pottery) are two examples.
Establish a typology of regional building traditions. Research the development of industry and its impact upon landscape and settlement morphology. Dual occupations, farmers doing industry such as textiles (weaving/sheep rearing, first textile mills), mineral extraction, glass making, nail making etc. Study the relative rights and success of tenants vs free holders.
Analyse Historic Landscape Characterisation data, geological mapping, early historic maps, landscape surveys, targeted excavations, LIDAR, aerial photos. Salt production. Is there evidence for coastal salt works? Use place name evidence, LIDAR. Early coal extraction sites on the Lancashire Coalfield may be seen as a priority
Identify sites, liaise with NW archaeology contractors with backlogs (identify sites waiting to be written), identify funding/projects to get them to publication stage. Publication of a regional synthesis of Post Medieval ceramic type series needs to be produced and made accessible (monograph) – long term project involving synthesis of reported sites and grey literature.
Agree on terminology for ware types. Regional type series begun by MPRG (access?). Requires meetings and correspondence with pottery specialists in NW and MPRG finds group (Jeff Speakman, Julie Edwards, Ian Miller). Identify and contact finds specialists active in the NW (consultants/units). Material codes need to be used consistently by depts. Create guidance for material categories. MPRG is beginning to work on fabric type series? – needs a publication of NW ware type series. Use Rainford publication as template for 16th-17th century. Support finds officers by providing time and resources for training and research – CPD. Target finds specialist to run specific finds workshops. Identify funding to research assemblages, providing key practice for finds researchers to develop expertise.
The past ten years has seen some major post-medieval ceramic assemblages brought to publication, including those in Liverpool and Chester, and the material from Rainford. A key site that awaits analysis and publication is the tin-glazed earthenware factory at Lancaster, and excavations in Kendal. A broad chronology of post-medieval fabric types has been established from Cistercian and Midland Purple-type wares, Blackwares, Yellow wares, slipwares and tin-glazed earthenwares, through to common late 18th-century types. Attention could usefully be focused on the distribution of Reduced Greenwares, which seem to have been restricted to the north of the region. Similarly, Midland Purple-type wares seem to be prevalent in the southern part of the region during the 16th and 17th centuries, but largely absent from the north. Further work plotting the distribution of these fabric type would be useful; Investigate tradition of Tudor Greenware in North England (possible PhD topic). Identify and excavate production sites/kilns and sites with well-dated phases in order to establish pottery tradition periods and cut off points of styles.
Synthesis of known excavated kiln sites, identification of form and fabric of kilns, structure type and location within the landscape. Link to above pottery tradition identifications (Q29). The precise location of pottery production centres in the 16th and 17th centuries is still required;
Identify key areas of production (previous work/publications). Synthesis of main industrial sites in NW in publication (Rainford, Prescot, Liverpool, Chester). The ports of Chester and Liverpool have been subject to major studies, and both have been published recently (replacement of Chester by Liverpool a consequence of the deep-water approach afforded by the Mersey, and the creation of the wet docks. Old Dock, Liverpool not published. This had a large dump of ceramics.
Market spaces and early market halls should be studied to understand the physical development of markets and their relationship to their urban or proto-urban settings and their hinterlands.
Target for investigation ports where little is known, study Chester and Liverpool together to see how/why one took over from the other. Lancaster Quay, and the other Lancashire ports, should be reviewed to understand the early development of port facilities.
The early development of the port of Lancaster needs to be traced to the medieval period, whilst its expansion in the 18th century is perhaps a topic for the Industrial Period Agenda The Quay was extended in the late 1740s). However, the development and chronology of other early ports/harbours/landing stages along the North West coast requires further investigation. This may include the extent of Preston’s port facilities during the medieval/post-medieval periods. Look at how well studied and understood are small-scale coastal trade sites? Map and record through Historic Landscape Characterisation, coastal surveys etc. Identify extent of coverage and undertake surveys and historic research on poorly understood examples.
Map known and potential trade routes, especially salt routes. Look at wider context: economy, landscape/settlement impact, industrialisation, etc. Further study of the early river navigations is required, particularly the locks and associated water-management, wharfage facilities and boat-building yards connected with the Douglas Navigation, Mersey Irwell Navigation and the Weaver Navigation. See Transport theme.
Examples include slave owning houses, impact of merchant wealth on buildings and landscapes, and material culture.
Look at whether they imported as products or produced locally. Identify food types and consumption practices from publications, journals/diaries etc and relate to excavated artifacts and production sites.
Slighting evidence and post-conflict consequences such as confiscation and taxation eg. Royalist supporters at Wigan, Lathom House, Blundell estates (Sefton area). Flip side saw growth of mercantile class, changes in family fortunes, release of mineral rights (previously Crown controlled). Look at Lathom House and other siege evidence. Review and synthesise – there is a lot of mis-information out there. Compare photogrammetic survey and interpretation of Lancaster Castle with documentary evidence for slighting and post-Civil War repair.
Winwick battlefield has recently been Scheduled. Identify Civil War siege works, town defences, castle defences, minor battles and skirmishes. Use PAS data, scarring on churches.
Excavation and scientific analysis of 18th and 19th century dock deposits. Review previous archaeological surveys and excavations, published material and unpublished reports, HER data. Liverpool Old Dock not yet published. Review techniques used for projects such as Liverpool Old Dock and how successful these were.
Investigate the use of rivers for transport and power. Study early river navigations and links to exchange
Research the development of industry and its impact upon landscape and settlement morphology. Topographic studies, history mapping, landscape studies and LIDAR and aerial photos, documentary research.
Identify extent and record/protect rare or especially significant examples, for instance coaching inns, stabling, bridleways, paddocks, race courses etc.