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Figure 53: Kiln at Holywell Hill, St. Albans.


Excavated in 1970 by members of St Albans and Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society. The only published plan of this kiln is at a scale of 1:83 on the general plan of the site (Freeman & Lane 1980, 101). The finds and the excavation record are now in the keeping of the St Albans Museums, stored at Kyngston House Resources Centre. The site notebook contains a number of sketch plans of the kiln as it was removed layer by layer. The notes also record that photographs were taken but these have not been traced. The figure has been prepared from an enlargement of the published plan and reference to the many sketches in the site notebook. The excavation produced large quantities of both pipe reinforced muffle material and product pipes. Typologically the pipes fit into the first half of the eighteenth century with Type 25 and a spurred version of the same form predominating (Atkinson & Oswald 1969, 179-80). Of the 875 bowls recovered, 773 are marked WR; 60 of these are from the muffle matrix. These pipes could be the work of W Reynolds who was apprenticed to William Johnson in 1713 and who applied for a marriage licence in 1714. Other identifiable marks from the assemblage are 31 marked IW and 18 marked WH; none of these are from the muffle matrix. Fitting these initials are three men named J Wiltshire apprenticed to Joseph Anderson in 1711, Thomas Silcock in 1714 and J Wiltshire (his father) in 1725, respectively. For WH there are W Hunt, active between 1690 and 1731, and W Hunt Junior 1714. (Freeman & Lane 1980, 108-9) From this documentation it seems probable that this kiln was operating from the middle of the second decade of the eighteenth century.

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