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1. Aims and Methodology

1.1 Background and aims

Amongst the excavation archives in Liverpool Museum, there is a substantial collection from Buckley, north Wales. Part of this material comprises a group of early sgraffito ware, which is rare in a British context and unique in a north-west Britain context. The excavations did not sort out the chronology of the wares.

The finds and documentary archive from Buckley were donated to National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside (Liverpool Museum) in 1995. It comprises 395 boxes of pottery and all of James Bentley's paperwork. This encompasses the archive from the sites of Brookhill, Pinfold Lane and Hancock's potteries. Also included is a large collection of articles written by James Bentley of a more general nature and a collection of information related to the later industrial period in Buckley. In addition, there is all the analytical work on the three sites carried out at the University of Liverpool as part of a Manpower Services Scheme in the 1980s.

The bulk of the documentary archive consists of James Bentley's records, which were created at the time of his excavations in the 1970s and 1980s. They occupy 13 archive boxes. The records are in the form of detailed handwritten and typewritten reports for each separate stage of the excavations. James Bentley made drawings of any significant finds, which were annotated with site information and sometimes comments on an individual piece, such as 'from waste near above hollow'. Site plans and section drawings are included within the written reports, often annotated with specific information, for example 'area of disturbed clay'. There are numerous sketch plans and drawings, which were often included with short notes describing stages of the excavation. These are usually the only copy of that information and must be consulted when seeking evidence for site locations and stratigraphy.

The archive collated at the University of Liverpool was analysed onto computer punch cards. This has now been converted to a Word file to extract the data. Unfortunately, the individual numbers allotted to the sherds of pottery in the analysis have not been marked on the sherds themselves so it is almost impossible to relate the data to specific pieces.

The documentation has been indexed and cross-referenced, including the stratigraphic evidence, and a fully indexed archive of finds and paper records has been created. It is now available for study at the National Museums Liverpool under the following accession numbers: Brookhill Pottery 1995.96; Hancock's Pottery 1995.98; Pinfold Lane Pottery 1995.97 (see Appendix 1).

The project had the following research aims:

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Last updated: Wed Mar 24 2004