Report on the post-roman Pottery from test pitting at old clee, (ocl 17)
An assemblage of four hundred and seventy-two post-Roman sherds representing a maximum of four hundred and twenty-seven vessels was recovered from the eight excavated Test Pits. The pottery ranges in date from the early medieval to early modern periods and includes local fabrics and regionally imported vessels. The pottery has been fully archived in accordance with Lincolnshire County Council’s Archaeological Handbook (sections 13.4 and 13.5) and to the standards laid out in the guidelines by Slowikowski, et al. (2001). Visual fabric identification of the non-local pottery was undertaken by x20 binocular microscope. The assemblage was quantified by three measures: number of sherds, weight and vessel count within each context. Every effort was made to identify cross-context joining vessels of which only two were found. The pottery data was entered on an access database using fabric codenames (see Table 1) developed for the Lincoln Ceramic Type Series (Young, Vince and Nailor 2005).
Table 1: Pottery by ceramic period with total quantities by vessel countCeramic period / Test pit 1 / Test pit 2 / Test pit 3 / Test pit 4 / Test pit 5 / Test pit 6 / Test pit 7 / Test pit 8 / Unstratified /
TotalsEarly medieval (late 11th to mid 13th) / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 2 / 1 / 0 / 4
Medieval (13th to 15th) / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 3
Post-medieval (16th to 18th)h / 2 / 1 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 5 / 1 / 19
Early modern (18th to 20th) / 29 / 17 / 10 / 96 / 65 / 71 / 68 / 38 / 7 / 401
Totals / 31 / 19 / 10 / 101 / 65 / 72 / 76 / 45 / 8 / 427
In total only sixty-three vessels are represented by more than one sherd and there are only two obvious cross-context joining vessels. The pottery is mostly in a slightly abraded to abraded condition with sherd size mainly falling into the small to medium size range (below 50grams). Most of the early modern pottery is in a ‘chipped’ state consistent with deposition in a deposit that has undergone horticultural or gardening activity. Several sherds have been burnt suggesting that they may have at some point been in an ash pit.
Overall Chronology and Source
A range of twenty-eight different, identifiable post-Roman pottery ware types was identified; the type and general date range for these fabrics are shown in Table 2. The post-Roman pottery ranges in date from the early medieval to early modern periods (see Table 1) and includes local and regionally imported vessels. Most of the assemblage falls within a limited range of vessel types (examples of different types of plates, drinking vessels, jugs, jars and bowls or dishes).
Table 2: Pottery codenames and date ranges with total quantities by sherd and vessel countCodename / Full name / Earliest date / Latest date / Total sherds / Total vessels / Total weight in grams
AMHTG / Alford Manor House-type Glazed ware / 1175 / 1250 / 1 / 1 / 17
BERTH / Brown glazed earthenware / 1550 / 1800 / 4 / 4 / 83
BEVO1T / Beverley Orange-type ware Fabric 1 / 1100 / 1230 / 1 / 1 / 4
BL / Black-glazed wares / 1550 / 1750 / 5 / 5 / 166
BS / Brown stoneware / 1680 / 1850 / 6 / 5 / 67
CREA / Creamware / 1770 / 1830 / 39 / 36 / 74
EMLOC / Local Early Medieval fabrics / 1150 / 1230 / 1 / 1 / 5
ENGS / Unspecified English Stoneware / 1750 / 1900 / 21 / 20 / 324
ENPO / English Porcelain / 1743 / 2000 / 58 / 46 / 189
GRE / Glazed Red Earthenware / 1500 / 1650 / 4 / 4 / 25
LBLAK / Late Blackware (modern) / 1730 / 1930 / 2 / 2 / 3
LERTH / Late earthenwares / 1750 / 1900 / 22 / 22 / 149
LONS / London Stoneware / 1670 / 1800 / 2 / 2 / 21
MEDLOC / Medieval local fabrics / 1150 / 1450 / 2 / 2 / 57
NCBLCB / Nineteenth Century Blue Colour-bodied / 1800 / 1950 / 2 / 2 / 9
NCBW / 19th-century Buff ware / 1800 / 1900 / 14 / 10 / 106
NOTS / Nottingham stoneware / 1690 / 1900 / 5 / 5 / 30
PARIAN / Parian Soneware / 1842 / 1900 / 3 / 3 / 8
PEARL / Pearlware / 1770 / 1900 / 15 / 14 / 37
PORC / Porcelain / 1700 / 1900 / 4 / 3 / 5
SCAR / Scarborough ware / 1150 / 1350 / 1 / 1 / 10
SLIP / Unidentified slipware / 1650 / 1750 / 7 / 5 / 82
ST / Stamford Ware / 970 / 1200 / 1 / 1 / 8
STMO / Staffordshire/Bristol mottled-glazed / 1690 / 1800 / 1 / 1 / 2
SWSG / Staffordshire White Saltglazed stoneware / 1700 / 1770 / 1 / 1 / 1
TPW / Transfer printed ware / 1770 / 1900 / 106 / 98 / 443
WHITE / Modern whiteware / 1850 / 1900 / 143 / 131 / 418
YY / Yorkshire Yellow / 1500 / 1650 / 1 / 1 / 4
Four vessels, each in a different ware type, date to between the late 11th and mid 13th centuries. A sherd with only a tiny spot of yellow glaze found in Test pit 6 is from a Stamford ware (ST) jar or jug in mid to late 12th century Fabric C. The other four sherds were all recovered from Test pit 4. An un-glazed sherd in a fine sandy fabric is likely to have been produced quite locally (EMLOC) between the late 11th and mid 13th centuries. The two other sherds comprise a Beverley 1-type (BEVO1T) jug or jar of 12th century date and an internally and externally glazed jar or bowl of Alford Manor House Glazed ware type (AMHTG). The ‘splashed-type’ glaze suggests a late 12th to early/mid 13th century date.
Only three sherds of medieval date were recovered during excavation. Test pits 7 and 8 each produced single sherds of medieval pottery. The sherds are from jugs produced at unknown centres in the local are (MEDLOC). The jug found in Test pit 7 is of 13th or 14th century type whilst the large jug recovered from Test pit 8 is of mid 13th to 15th century date. An unusual occurrence of a sherd from a Scarborough ware (SCAR) jug occurred in Test pit 2. The bright green copper-glazed sherd is decorated with an applied and incised pad of clay. This sherd would have come from a highly decorated ‘knight jug’ or ‘face jug’ of 13th to mid 14th century date. The recovered piece is from the base of an applied beard, leg or arm.
Nineteen vessels are of post-medieval mid 16th to 18th century date. Most of these vessels are coarse earthenwares and slipwares produced within the East Midlands and Yorkshire. Four sherds come from Glazed Red Earthenware vessels (GRE). Glazed Red Earthenwares (GRE) first appear in mid 16th century deposits in Boston and reflect Flemish or Dutch influence. Production sites in Lincolnshire include Boston, Bolingbroke, Grimsby and Toynton St Peter. This ware is considered a type fossil for the period between the late 16th and mid 17th centuries, although they continue to be manufactured into the 18th century at Bolingbroke. The recovered sherds are small and could come from jugs, jars or bowls.
Three post-medieval Brown-glazed Earthenware vessels (BERTH) and three Black-glazed vessels (BL) of post-medieval type were recovered from the test pits. The three brown-glazed vessels are all of late 17th to 18th century date. The biggest sherd is from a large jar or bowl whilst the two other sherds are from a small jar and an unknown form. Two small black-glazed sherds are from cups of late 17th to 18th century date. Another black-glazed sherd is from an 18th century jug or jar. These vessels are likely to have been produced within Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire or Yorkshire.
A single small Yorkshire Yellow ware sherd (YY) found in Test pit 8 is probably from an internally and externally glazed cup of mid 16th to mid 17th century date. This fine light-bodied earthenware with a dull to bright yellow glaze was produced in both Staffordshire and West and South Yorkshire and is a precursor to the Staffordshire-type slipwares of the mid 17th century.
A tiny Staffordshire-type Mottled ware sherd (STMO) comes from a cup of late 17th to 18th century date. Seven other sherds come from five Slipware vessels (SLIP). The earliest of these is probably a late 17th to 18th century press-moulded dish with brown, tan and yellow trailed decoration. Another undecorated press-moulded dish is of 18th to 19th century type. The thrown bowl found in Test pit 2 is also of 18th or 19th century type. Two other sherds are of late 18th to mid 20th century type. The later vessels have an internal yellow glaze over a white slip.
Two stoneware sherds recovered from Test pit 4 are from late 17th to 18th century London Stoneware (LONS) bottles. These are an unusual occurrence in Lincolnshire so finding two vessels on the same site, especially in a rural context is surprising.
Four hundred and one vessels are of early modern 18th to 20th century date. This material includes coarse and fine earthenwares, stonewares, industrial finewares and porcelain. The vessel count is probably exaggerated for some of the finewares as many vessels are represented by tiny sherds weighing less than 2grams and despite every effort to cross-match sherds from the same vessel the discoloured state of some the pottery has made this difficult.
One brown-glazed (BERTH) and two black-glazed earthenwares (BL) are of 18th to mid 20th century early modern type. These vessels were probably produced with Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and the East Midlands. The 18th to 19th century brown-glazed sherd found in Test pit 7 has been burnt and is too small to identify the form. The black-glazed sherds are from two large 19th to mid 20th century bowls. Twenty-two sherds are in early modern fine orange to red earthenware fabrics (LERTH). The overwhelming majority of these sherds come from flowerpots or larger garden pots of 19th or 20th century date. A few sherds could come from ceramic building material or other forms.
Four early industrial finewares were recovered from the test pits: Late Blackware (LBLK), Staffordshire White Salt-glazed (SWSG), Creamware (CREA) and Pearlware (PEARL). Black-glazed Refined Red Earthenwares were one of the earliest refined earthenwares to have been produced in England and probably began around 1720. They are manly associated with tea drinking tablewares. The two sherds recovered during excavation are too small to identify form but are likely to have come from tea sets. White Salt-glazed Stoneware (SWSG) also appears around 1720 with the earliest dated example being 1720. This mainly tableware industry rapidly became popular by the 1730’s and continued in production until the late 18th century by which time it had been superseded by Creamware. A single White Salt-glazed Stoneware sherd is from a tiny vessel of unknown type.
Creamware was developed in the mid 1760’s and continued to be made until at least the mid 1830’s by which time it had mostly been superseded by plain and transfer-printed modern whitewares. Thirty-six Creamware vessels were recovered from the investigations. Identifiable vessel forms are mainly undecorated plates, mugs, dishes and bowls, but a few vessels are decorated with colour-banding and a small cup or tea bowl found in Test pit 3 has internal yellow painted decoration. Fourteen vessels are Pearlwares (PEARL). Lighter coloured Pearlwares often with under-glaze blue transfer printing first occur in the 1780’s, diminishing in popularity by the mid 19th century with the increase in production of modern transfer-printed Whiteware.
The sherds recovered from this investigation come from plates, tea bowls, small bowls, small dishes and a mug. In contrast to the Creamwares most of the Pearlware vessels recovered are decorated, mainly with blue transfer-printed designs, but also with painting, sponging and colour-banding. A tea bowl found in Test pit
6 are of early type. This vessel would have been a luxury item at a time when tea was very expensive and drunk by very few.
One hundred and six sherds come from a maximum of ninety-eight modern transfer-printed whiteware vessels (TPW). The majority of these vessels are likely to be of 19th century date, but a number of vessels could belong to the first half of the 20th century. Most sherds appear to come from blue-printed plates but examples of bowl, cup, dish, saucer and mug are also present. The mug sherd which was recovered from Test pit 7 has ‘1897’ printed in black suggesting that it came from a Diamond Jubilee mug for the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign. One hundred and forty-five sherds are from a maximum of one hundred and thirty-one Whiteware vessels of 19th or 20th century date. The sherds come from a range of plain and decorated vessels including plates, bowls, cups, mugs, saucers and jars. More than a third of vessels are decorated with colour-banding, sponging painted designs or overall colour glazing. Ten 19th Century Buff ware (or Yellow ware) vessels were recovered from the test pitting. This yellow to buff coloured ware (NCBW) developed in the late 18th century was mainly used for kitchen wares and is still used for the tradition baking bowl today. Vessels vary from earthenware to near-stoneware in firing and include a range of decorative techniques such as slip-banding, moulding and the used of mocha. Most of the sherds recovered come from jars or bowls but a small white-banded jug was recovered from Test pit 4. Two sherds are from a mug and a cup in a blue-bodied fabric still used for utilitarian dinner sets (NCBLCB).
The thirty utilitarian Stoneware vessels include examples of several different stoneware types. Five of the stoneware vessels are of 18th century Nottingham Stoneware type (NOTS) and include two jars and a mug.
Six other brown-glazed stoneware sherds (BS) of 18th to mid 20th century date are from unknown centres. These vessels include two lid-seated casserole jars of 19th to mid 20th century date. Twenty other stoneware vessels could have been made at a number of centres (ENGS) including London, Bristol, Derby and North Staffordshire between the late 18th and mid 20th centuries. The majority of identifiable sherds come from jam jars or bottles in grey and buff stonewares.
A number of very fragmentary pieces of porcelain were recovered from the site. Fifty-eight sherds from forty-six different vessels are likely to be of English origin (ENPO), although some of the tiny fragments could potentially be continental or even Chinese. Identifiable forms are plates, dishes, cups and a saucer of which several are decorated. These vessels are mainly of 19th to 20th century date, but seven vessels could date to as early as the late 18th century. A further four tiny sherds of porcelain from three vessels are less likely to be of English origin. Three sherds are from a type of unglazed porcelain known as Parian (PARIAN). This type was first produced in 1842 and was mainly used for statues and doll heads until the end of the 19th century.
Post-Roman pottery was recovered from all eight excavated test pits with Test pit 4 producing the largest assemblage (with 111 sherds representing 101 vessels). The pottery from each test pit is tabled below by ware type within each ceramic period. A full archive list for each pit is available in the archive.
Test Pit 1
Test Pit 1 produced thirty-two sherds representing thirty-one vessels of early modern date. The earliest recovered vessel is likely to be an 18th to 19th century slipware bowl recovered from context 1.
Table 3 Pottery types for Test Pit 1 by ceramic period with total quantities by vessel countCeramic period / Codename / Context 2 / Context 3 / Context 4 / Context 5 / Context 6 /
TotalsPost-medieval / SLIP / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Early modern / CREA / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1
ENGS / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1
ENPO / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 5
GRE / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
LERTH / 2 / 5 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 9
PEARL / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
TPW / 3 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 2 / 6
WHITE / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 3
Totals / 14 / 5 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 31
Test Pit 2
Test Pit 2 produced twenty-three sherds representing nineteen vessels. The recovered material ranges in date from the medieval to early modern periods. The earliest vessel is a highly decorated Scarborough ware jug of 13th to mid 14th century date found in context 1. The remaining pottery is very fragmentary but seems to be of mainly 19th century date.
Table 4 Pottery types for Test Pit 2 by ceramic period with total quantities by vessel countCeramic period / Codename / Context 1 / Context 2 / Context 3 / Context 4 / Totals
Medieval / SCAR / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Post-medieval / SLIP / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1
Early modern / CREA / 0 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 3
ENGS / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
ENPO / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
LERTH / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1
NCBLCB / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1
PORC / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 3
TPW / 1 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 5
WHITE / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 2
Totals / 3 / 2 / 13 / 1 / 19
Test Pit 3
Test Pit 3 produced ten sherds of early modern type, each representing a separate vessel. At least four of the vessels are of pre-mid 19th century date. These vessels include a Creamware or cup with internal yellow painted decoration.
Table 5 Pottery types for Test Pit 3 by ceramic period with total quantities by vessel countCeramic period / Codename / Context 1 / Context 2 / Context 4 / Context 5 / Context 6 /
TotalsEarly modern / CREA / 1 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1 / 3
ENGS / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
LERTH / 1 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 2
PEARL / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1
TPW / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1
WHITE / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2
Totals / 2 / 1 / 2 / 2 / 3 / 10
Test Pit 4
Test Pit 4 produced the largest group of pottery to be recovered with one hundred and eleven sherds representing one hundred and one vessels. The pottery ranges in date from the post-medieval to early modern periods. Two brown-glazed earthenware sherds found in context 5 are from a large jar or bowl and a small jar of late 17th to 18th century date. The presence of two London stoneware bottles of similar date in this test pit is unusual as they are a rare occurrence in Lincolnshire. A press-moulded slipware dish recovered from context 5 is decorated with brown, tan and yellow slip trailing. This dish is also of late 17th to 18th century date. Several of the early modern vessels (CREA, SWSG and PEARL) are of pre-mid 19th century type. The other early modern pottery includes a range of utilitarian and fineware vessels. The latest identifiable sherd is from the base of a 19th century buff ware vessel (NCBW) found in context 4. The base is impressed with ‘FIRE[PROOF} and dates to the 20th century, although the earliest such marked vessels probably date from the 1870’s..
Table 6 Pottery types for Test Pit 4 by ceramic period with total quantities by vessel countCeramic period / Codename / Context 1 / Context 2 / Context 4 / Context 5 /
TotalsPost-medieval / BERTH / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2
LONS / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1 / 2
SLIP / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Early modern / BS / 0 / 2 / 1 / 0 / 3
CREA / 0 / 3 / 2 / 2 / 7
ENGS / *1 / *6 / 0 / 0 / 6
ENPO / 2 / 9 / 0 / 2 / 13
LBLAK / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
LERTH / 1 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 2
NCBLCB / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1
NCBW / 0 / 2 / 2 / 0 / 4
NOTS / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1
PARIAN / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
PEARL / 1 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 3
SWSG / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
TPW / 1 / 15 / 1 / 1 / 18
WHITE / 0 / 31 / 4 / 0 / 35
Totals / 6 / 72 / 13 / 11 / 101
* denotes cross-context joining sherds