Study Group for Roman Pottery

National Research Framework: North of Britain

Kiln Sites

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Edited by Jeremy Evans & Steven Willis on behalf of the SGRP, Northern Regional Group. October 1997; selectively revised 2002


9.1 Kiln Detection and wider Roman industries

Kiln sites are an integral aspect of Romano-British pottery studies, providing fundamental information about the source and range of contemporary vessels (Fulford & Huddleston 1991, 43; Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies 1985). Many kiln sites remain unknown in the North, especially those of the Flavian-Trajanic era associated with forts. In this context it would be desirable for a survey project (probably principally by magnetometry) to look for kiln sites and other industrial processes on the fringes of military centres (these activities often occurring within defined functional areas).
The investigation of environmental factors in the location of kiln sites needs fresh analytical examination and this would make an interesting, discrete, research topic. Similarly exploration of kiln sites' relationships to other elements of the local economy is a potentially enlightening avenue for research.

9.2 Kiln site priorities for publication

The Cheshire Plain industry. A corpus is required for this industry.

English Damside, Carlisle. This kiln is certainly a priority.

Holme-on-Spalding Moor. Fulford and Huddleston (1991, 39) also suggested the establishment of a corpus for this industry and one should appear shortly (Millett & Halkon forthcoming).

Holt. A corpus of Holt forms supplementing Grimes' publication (1930) is an important priority. This should include material from the large collection resulting from fieldwork at the site by the late G. Bevan and pottery from past decades of unpublished excavations in the legionary fortress at Chester.

Scheduling at Holt needs to be extended to cover the whole of this unique legionary works-depot (cf. 9.3).

North Lincolnshire industries. These are important in the south-east of the northern region and full publication of kiln sites in this area is necessary (cf. Martin & Wallace 1997).

South Yorkshire industry. A corpus is also required for this industry.

Industries Supplying the Northern Frontier.It is important in northern pottery studies to be aware of pottery from elsewhere in the province and that Southern and Midlands production centres supplying the North are published. The Hartshill/Mancetter industry is clearly a case in point, as are production centres in the south and east of England such as those in the Waveney Valley, and Southern Essex, as well as Brampton and Pentney in Norfolk.

9.3 Preservation

Preservation of existing kiln sites is also a matter of concern. Little seems to have been done to address this at Crambeck, which is continually ploughed. Moreover, in the case of Crambeck the production area has never been properly defined (cf. Wilson 1989). Similarly the important kiln sites at Scalesheugh and Holt are suffering plough damage.

9.4 Database version of the microfiche to the RCHME kilns volume (Swan 1984)

This would be a valuable tool in looking for references to kiln sites in the province.

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