Figure 61: Excavated in 1956 by N E S Norris for the Sussex Archaeological Society.

Figure 68: Surviving kiln; Pipe Passage Lewes. Taken in 1962 when the kiln was excavated by Norris (Atkinson 1962).
Reproduced by permission of D R Atkinson

Figure 69: Surviving kiln; Pipe Passage Lewes filled with garden rubbish. Taken by the author in 1990.

In a small garden, off Pipe Passage, is an arched alcove set into the retaining wall of an adjoining property. This property being at a considerably higher level ensured the survival of the structure when the rest of the workshop was demolished. Excavation of the site in 1956 proved this alcove to be part of the superstructure of a pipemaker's kiln (Norris 1970, 168-70). Marked pipes from within the various fills of the ash and stoking pits have been attributed to five makers working between 1832 and 1878 (ibid). The kiln appeared to have been truncated during its working life by filling in the lower levels and reducing the height of the ware chamber. In its original form it was a muffle design of remarkably similar dimensions to that illustrated by Rees in 1810. There is no reason to doubt that the Lewes kiln was built in the early 1830s. All records of the excavation have now been lost but fortunately a single photograph of the excavated structure was published in the Archaeological News Letter (Atkinson 1962, 189). This photograph is reproduced above (Figure 68). The predominant material used in the construction is red brick.


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Last updated: Wed May 22 1996