Analysis of the Medieval and Later Pottery by C.G. Cumberpatch


The pottery assemblage from the Upper Chapel was examined for analysis having previously been the subject of an assessment report (Baker and Baker 2007). The details of the assemblage are summarised in Tables 5, 6, 7 and 8, with Table 9 providing a key to the abbreviations used. The pottery assemblage consisted of 327 sherds of pottery weighing 5441 grams and represented a maximum of 305 vessels. The fragments of kiln structure are listed in Table 6 and the fragments of ceramic building material in Table 7.

The medieval pottery

The most striking feature of the assemblage was the group of medieval sherds and related objects from contexts (100), (204) and the unstratified contexts. With the exception of the assemblages from Sheffield Castle, which was excavated in the early and mid-20th century, this is one of the largest assemblages of medieval pottery recovered from the centre of Sheffield to date. The assemblage is particularly important because it appears that at least some of the sherds are related to pottery production, either on the site or in the immediate vicinity. The evidence for this can be summarised as follows:

Plate 11 Plate 12 Plate 13 Plate 14

Plate 11: Context 100; Burnt sandstone with a thick encrustation of glaze on the surface and edges

Plate 12: Context 100: Burnt sandstone with a stacking scar from an inverted jug on the surface

Plate 13: Context 100: Part of a fired clay slab with glaze deposits and a stacking scar

Plate 14: Context 100: A piece of fired clay, possibly from a kiln

Whether the site excavated was the actual site of a medieval pottery cannot be determined from the pottery assemblage alone (although it possesses many of the expected characteristics of such an assemblage from such a site) and, given the nature of the site, it seems unlikely that any of the features recorded in the ground can be unequivocally linked to a pottery. Medieval kilns can be difficult to identify and other features associated with pottery manufacture are rarely distinctive. While the evidence from the Upper Chapel suggests that stone was employed in the construction of the kiln, it may have formed only a small part of the entire structure.

Examples of kilns dating to between the later 11th and later 13th centuries in Doncaster appear to have been largely devoid of significant stone structural elements although fragments of stone and reused pottery were used in the kiln structure and show patterns of glaze similar to those seen on the stone and fired clay fragments from the Upper Chapel site (see, for example Cumberpatch et al. 1998-1999). Surviving traces of kiln structures are often limited to earth-cut features with traces of burning around the flues and fire chamber. Such structures are exceptionally susceptible to damage from later activity and this may account for the lack of evidence in the case of the Upper Chapel. It is also possible that the material recovered had been dumped some distance from the location of manufacture, in which case there would be no structural evidence on the site itself. Certainly the fact that the greater part of the material came from unstratified contexts suggests that the area had been subject to considerable disturbance in the early modern and recent periods. In spite of this, the evidence suggests that this is one of the most important assemblages of medieval pottery to have been excavated in Sheffield in recent years in that it represents the first excavated evidence for medieval industry within the medieval core of the town.


The fabrics represented fell into three distinct groups, distinguishable by eye and with a X10 hand lens. A series of samples (listed in Table 10) were taken from the assemblage and submitted for petrological and chemical analysis. The results are presented here and the implications are discussed.

The finest fabric was also among the scarcest, being represented by seven sherds only, including sample 1 (V4878, context (100)). This Oxidised Sandy ware (described as Glazed Red Earthenware bu Alan Vince) contained moderate to abundant fine (up to 0.5mm) rounded to sub-angular quartz and occasional round red non-crystalline inclusions. These varied in size, with exceptional examples up to 2mm in diameter. Smaller grains were commoner but were not abundant. The name Oxidised Sandy ware has been retained in preference to Glazed Red Earthenware as the latter name is also used to describe post-medieval utilitarian wares in Norfolk and it seems unhelpful to adopt a name already in use elsewhere to describe these sherds. For the sake of clarity the initials GRE have been included in the data tables after the type name (see also Table 10).

Much commoner than the Oxidised Sandy ware was the coarser Oxidised (or Northern) Gritty ware from which two samples (numbers 4 and 5, V4881 and V4882 respectively, both from an unstratified context) were selected for analysis. Visually the fabric is a buff coarse sandy or gritty ware, generally without a reduced core and only showing signs of reduction where the thin, friable green glaze has been removed by abrasion leaving irregular pale grey areas on the surfaces of the vessels. The fabric was heavily tempered with coarse sub-rounded to sub-angular quartz grit (up to 1.00mm) and equally abundant rounded red iron-rich non-crystalline grains which varied considerably in size from less than 0.5mm to over 2mm, although the coarser examples were considerably rarer than the fine ones. These larger inclusions were, in some cases, broken and where this was the case they had a vesicular and slightly cindery appearance in cross-section. In contrast, a much smaller number of red inclusions were flat and platey in shape and presumably represented a different, but also iron-rich, material.

Figure 8

Figure 8: Context (100): decorated body sherd of Reduced Gritty ware jug

A substantial group of sherds have been described in the data table as Reduced Gritty ware. Generally speaking these sherds (including Sample 2; V4879, context (100)) had a harder, denser fabric, generally reduced to a mid-grey colour throughout, although the degree of reduction varied between sherds. In spite of the difference in appearance, it seems likely that the reduced wares are in fact over-fired versions of the Oxidised Gritty ware, a suggestion that is supported by the fact that the assemblage includes sherds that show evidence of the type of distortion associated with kiln wasters. This was most evident in the case of the decorated sherd (Fig. 8) but could also be seen on other body sherds. At X10 magnification the fabric has a dense appearance consistent with over-firing within which the abundant sub-angular to angular quartz (up to 1.00mm) and black grit inclusions (up to 1.5mm) stand out prominently. The black inclusions have a distinctive vesicular, cindery appearance similar to that seen in the local Coal Measures Purple wares and it seems likely that these are the over-fired remnants of the red grit seen in the oxidised fabric described above. The similarity to the Coal Measures Purple ware is enhanced by the presence of small grey pimples on some of the sherds, which seem to mark the position of the black inclusions close to the surface.

The final group, represented by only two sherds (including Sample 3; V4880) from context (100), had a yellowish-buff fabric and contained a similar range of inclusions to those seen in the Oxidised Gritty ware although they are generally smaller and perhaps somewhat less abundant, giving the sherds a slightly finer appearance. This was identified by Dr A.G. Vince as York Gritty ware and this name has been used in the data tables.

Figure 9

Figure 9: Context (100): rim and handle of Brackenfield 001 jug

The rim and handle from a jug (context (100), Fig. 9) was identified as of Brackenfield-type ware, specifically Fabric BRK001 (Cumberpatch 2004a). To date Brackenfield wares have not been identified outside north-east Derbyshire and the presence of a sherd in Sheffield indicates that, contrary to the (admittedly sparse) evidence from other sites in the city, the Don Valley was not the only source of medieval pottery available to the inhabitants and there were also contacts to the south. This may have been connected with Chesterfield's position as a significant market town for the wider region, although other mechanisms for the movement of pottery must also be considered (Moorhouse 1983a). Taken together with the York Gritty wares from the site, this means that the medieval pottery assemblage from Sheffield as a whole is beginning to resemble typical assemblages from medieval towns in the wider area, which generally include a wide variety of regional wares as well as locally manufactured wares.

An additional medieval item, seemingly unrelated to the material described above, was the base of a small jar-like vessel from an unstratified context in a very hard, semi-vitrified fabric containing abundant quartz grit and distinguished in cross-section by the regular pattern of elongated parallel voids. The function of this vessel is unknown. It had clearly been heated to a very high temperature, presumably during firing, and the fabric is quite unlike the remainder of the medieval pottery assemblage from the site. The base contains a hard-packed mass of greyish soil containing fragments of charcoal and coal.

Medieval pottery other than the wares that appeared to be associated with the kiln debris were limited to a single sherd of Coal Measures Purple ware from context (204), but there was no sign of other types that have been recovered in small quantities from other sites in the city centre.

Vessel types

In spite of the small size if the assemblage, the range of vessel types was wide and included everted rim jars, jugs (represented by rims and handles) and a pipkin. Bases included both flat and baluster forms, presumably from jars/cooking pots and jugs respectively.

Figure 10 Figure 11 Figure 12

Figure 10: Context (100): rim of Oxidised Gritty ware jar, undecorated

Figure 11: Context (100): rim of Oxidised Gritty ware jar, dark self slip finish

Figure 12: Context (100): rim of Oxidised Gritty ware jar, green glaze exterior

The jar rims have a very distinctive profile (Figs 10-12), parallels for which include Humberware from Holme-on-Spalding Moor (Mayes and Hayfield 1980, fig. 3: 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6), Brackenfield (Type 5 jar; Cumberpatch 2004a, fig. 17) and Burley Hill (Jar type JR3A; Cumberpatch 2002-2003, fig. 94: 18-20).

Figure 13 Figure 14 Figure 15

Figure 13: Unstratified: rod handle of Oxidised Gritty ware jug

Figure 14: Unstratified: rod handle of Oxidised Gritty ware jug

Figure 15: Context (100): strap handle of Oxidised Gritty ware jug

The jugs appeared to be somewhat less distinctive, with rod handles predominating (Figs 13-15). These included one example with the handle springing from the rim rather than the neck (Figure 9) alongside more conventional examples (e.g. Fig. 13) but this may be a Brackenfield product, as noted above. Although the assemblage did not include any complete vessel profiles, it is assumed that the bases (Figs 16 and 17) were from jugs, and a jug rim is shown in Figure 18. The only other vessel type positively identified was a pipkin, represented by a short handle (Fig. 19). An unidentified object is shown in Figure 20. This was a thick (c. 1.5cm) flat disc with a raised edge and a number of deep stabbed holes that penetrated only one-third to half the thickness of the disc.

Figure 16 Figure 17

Figure 16: Context (100): base of Reduced Gritty ware baluster jug

Figure 17: Context (100): base of Oxidised Gritty ware jug/jar

Decoration was limited to a flattened rod handle with parallel grooves (Fig. 15) and a slightly distorted body sherd with an applied curvilinear motif and impressed radiating lines (Fig. 8). Glaze appeared to be restricted to jugs and was sparse and often flakey and friable. In some cases abrasion had reduced it to little more than a trace. Where it did survive it was yellow-green to green in colour but darker green on the overfired, reduced sherds.

Figure 18 Figure 19 Figure 20

Figure 18: Context (100): rim of Oxidised Gritty ware jug

Figure 19: Unstratified: handle of Oxidised Gritty ware pipkin

Figure 20: Context (100): rim of Oxidised Gritty ware disc


Attributing a date to the medieval pottery is difficult in the absence of independent dating evidence or comparable material from contexts containing dated wares. There is little in the pottery itself to suggest a date range and in this respect the assemblage resembles those from Brackenfield and Burley Hill, both of which produced abundant and unequivocal evidence for pottery manufacture but little to indicate when the potteries were in operation.

The presence of two sherds of York Gritty ware dating to the period between the mid-11th century and the mid-13th century (Vince, pers comm.) is a possible indication of an earlier medieval date for the assemblage as a whole, but the disturbed nature of the site means that such associations must be treated with a degree of caution.

The identification of the Oxidised and Reduced Gritty wares as Northern Gritty wares raises the issue of the relationship between this group and the material of the same name described and defined by Moorhouse (1983b), Moorhouse and Slowikowski (1987, 62), and followed in broad terms by the author elsewhere (Cumberpatch 2002, 178). The matter is compounded by the fact that the term refers to a broad class of pottery and also encompasses an oxidised variant, Orange Gritty ware, rather than describing a specific type that can be identified with a single place of origin. If the definition proposed by Moorhouse and Moorhouse and Slowikowski is considered broadly, then the Upper Chapel material could included within this group. However, this hardly assists in the closer definition of ware types in that it further extends an already broad descriptive category to cover a site some way south of what has hitherto been considered to be the core area of the ware class (West Yorkshire). The date range attributed to Northern Gritty ware from Kirkstall Abbey, Sandal Castle and Pontefract Castle is broad; at Sandal Castle a date range between the mid-13th and mid-14th centuries was suggested (Moorhouse 1983b, 88) but when considering the oxidised variant at Kirkstall Abbey, Moorhouse and Slowikowski suggest a much broader date range, between the later 12th and mid-15th centuries (1987, 63). In view of this it would seem to be unwise to rely on specific comparanda to date the wares from the Upper Chapel and as an initial step, the characteristics of the pot sherds themselves must be considered.

The pottery from Chapel Yard was wheel-thrown which would seem to rule out an earlier medieval date (later 11th to early 12th century) contemporary with the Frenchgate and Hallgate 95 kilns in Doncaster, but it should be noted that not all pottery of this date was coil-built, as the evidence of the wheel-thrown wares from West Yorkshire (Hillam type ware and Stamford type wares from Pontefract) indicates. The glaze was, in most cases, badly damaged either by over-firing in the case of the reduced wares or decayed and abraded in the case of the majority of the oxidised wares. It is possible that the decayed glaze, represented by small vitreous flakes and a thin whitish-green deposit where the glaze had been largely removed, is a counterpart of the friable brown glaze that occurs on sandy wares in the Durham area. The author has suggested elsewhere (Cumberpatch 2001) that this type of glaze may have been an early attempt to produce a suspension glaze towards the end of the period of popularity of splashed glaze (sometime in the early to mid-13th century), but this is no more than a suggestion and requires further investigation before it can be accepted. In some cases the surviving glaze appeared to be pitted in a manner that is similar to the case with splashed glaze, but such pitting does sometimes occur on suspension-glazed vessels and it cannot be relied on as a method of dating either individual sherds or assemblages, particularly where the sherds have suffered the degree of surface damage evident in this case.

The character of the sherds; thick and rather poorly finished (quite unlike the finely made, thin-walled Hillam and Thorner type wares or the broadly contemporary Hallgate C and B wares) does tend to suggest a later medieval date rather than an earlier one but variations between potteries at this time are to be expected and there is no reason to presume that all were capable of producing the high-quality wares found in West Yorkshire.

The vessel forms are ones that find their best comparanda in later medieval assemblages (as described above) and the sharply everted jar rims do not resemble either the everted rectangular or diamond-sectioned rims of the Hillam-type wares or the heavy rounded rims of the Northern Gritty and Orange Gritty wares (Moorhouse and Slowikowski 1987, fig. 51, 189-94). This may be the best evidence for a later medieval date available from the assemblage, but it does depend upon the evidence of Humberware as the primary indication of the date (Brackenfield and Burley Hill being effectively undated) and there is no a priori reason why this particular vessel form should have originated with the Humberware potters in the early 14th century rather than having been adopted by them from some other, earlier, source.

Medieval potteries tended to move out of towns and into the countryside during the 13th century, a result of either rising urban land prices and hence rents or of a growing disinclination for the inhabitants of towns to share space with an industrial process based upon the regular firing of kilns. Thus pottery manufacture in Doncaster seems to have moved from the market place area to Hallgate and thence to the Don Valley between the mid-11th and later 13th or early 14th century. Whether this can be taken as a model for medieval Sheffield is unclear, given our limited knowledge of the morphology of the medieval town. The centre of medieval occupation was probably located between the parish church (now the Cathedral) and the Castle, but how far it extended to the south is unclear. It cannot be assumed, therefore, that the pottery occupied either a central or liminal position in respect of the rest of the town and so this possible, if inherently somewhat unreliable, indicator of date is of limited value in indicating even a broad date range.

At present the conclusion must be that a definite date cannot yet be suggested for this pottery and it will require the excavation of a site consisting of, or incorporating, stratified and independently dated deposits before it will be possible to advance a date that is based upon more than conjecture. In the interim, the best that can be suggested is a date range within the period between the later 12th or early 13th and the earlier 15th century.

Post-medieval, early modern and recent pottery

The later post-medieval, early modern and recent pottery from the site included a range of wares that are known from other sites within the city. The assemblage is of interest in its own right and as a small but significant contribution to the overall picture of changing patterns of pottery use in the city during its formative period and the period of its greatest growth and prosperity.

The utilitarian wares were represented, as normal in Sheffield, by a combination of Brown Glazed Coarseware (BGCW) and Brown Glazed Fineware (BGFW). In the case of the Brown Glazed Finewares, a general 18th- to early 19th-century date can be ascribed, with the Coarsewares spanning the 18th and 19th centuries. Jars and pancheons were the commonest identifiable vessel types, with the former only present in the case of the Coarsewares. Mottled Coarseware, a variant of the Brown Glazed Coarsewares, was also present, bearing manganese-rich glaze giving a mottled finish similar to that seen on the Mottled wares (discussed below) and normally consisting of small pancheons or bowls and small hollow wares including jars (contexts (209), (211) and unstratified).

Post-medieval pottery (c. 1530-c. 1720) was represented by Blackware (contexts (209), (216), unstratified and probably (106) and (109)), Midlands Purple ware (unstratified) and perhaps by the sherds of Redware (unstratified) and Type 1 Slipware (unstratified), although it is probable that production of these wares continued into the early part of the 18th century. The same may be true of the Tin Glazed Earthenware (contexts (109), (204) (Pls 15 to 17) and unstratified).

Plate 15 Plate 16 Plate 17

Plate 15: Context 204: Tin Glazed earthenware pot disc interior

Plate 16: Context 204: Tin Glazed earthenware pot disc, exterior showing recessed base

Plate 17: Context 204: rim of a Tin Glazed earthenware plate

Early modern wares were more common and included all four types of formal tableware developed during the 18th century (White Salt Glazed Stoneware; c. 1720-c. 1780, Creamware; c. 1740-c. 1820, Pearlware; c. 1780-c. 1840, Edged ware; c. 1810-c. 1830, alongside a variety of the typical 18th-century vernacular tablewares (Slipware, Late Blackware, Mottled ware and some of the Brown Salt Glazed Stonewares (as indicated in Table 5).

Recent wares consisted of table and kitchen wares in various refined earthenware fabrics, notably Bone China, Whiteware, Cane Coloured ware and its variants (Slip Banded Cane Coloured ware, Mocha ware), Blue Banded ware, Sponged ware and Fine Redware. Some of the Brown Salt Glazed Stonewares may also be of 19th-century date (as noted in Table 5).

The range of transfer-printed designs on both the Bone China and the Whitewares were unremarkable and included Willow and Wild Rose, both popular and widely manufactured designs. Other designs, which could not be identified to a specific pattern, included Chinese style landscapes, floral and geometric designs, as described in Table 5.

While the range of wares represented in this small assemblage was wide, there were few unexpected items and the assemblage could be compared with others from the centre of Sheffield, notably those from excavations around the Cathedral in seeming to have a significant 18th-century component as well as a 19th-century component.

Pot discs

Plate 20 Plate 21

Plate 20: Unstratified: Late Blackware type pot disc (internal surface)

Plate 21: Unstratified: Late Blackware type pot disc (external surface)

In spite of the small size of the assemblage it contained a relatively large number of pot discs and similar reworked sherds (contexts (109), (204) and unstratified). These include an unusually small example of a disc (Pls 18 and 19) in Brown Salt Glazed Stoneware and a more conventional example made from a sherd of Late Blackware (Pls 20 and 21). Unusually, an example was identified made from a sherd of Tin Glazed Earthenware (Pls 15 and 16). This would seem to suggest that, whatever purpose the discs served, it was not necessary for them to be particularly robust. Other reworked sherds were sub-rectangular in form. The best example is that from an unstratified context (Pls 22 and 23), associated with the pot disc shown in Plates 20 and 21. The final example was broken along one edge and the actual size and shape are unclear (Pls 24 and 25). Pot discs are a common find on sites throughout Europe and have an extremely wide date range. Although a variety of suggestions have been made as to their possible function or functions, to date none of these are convincing and they remain enigmatic. A fuller treatment of this subject, drawing on examples from a wider variety of sites is planned for the future (Cumberpatch in prep.).

Plate 22 Plate 23 Plate 24 Plate 25

Plate 22: Unstratified: Slipware pot rectangle with ground edges (internal surface)

Plate 23: Unstratified: Slipware pot rectangle with ground edges (external surface)

Plate 24: Context 204: Slipware pot rectangle with broken edge (internal surface)

Plate 25: Context 204: Slipware pot rectangle with broken edge (external surface)


Context (100)

Together with the unstratified contexts, context (100) produced the bulk of the medieval pottery from the site. Little can be added to the discussion presented above concerning this pottery, other than to note that even small and initially unprepossessing sites can produce pottery assemblages which are of considerably wider significance than might at first appear to be the case.

Contexts (106) and (107)

Contexts (106) and (107), the fills of drain [105], produced a small but diverse group of pottery, the earliest of which was of 18th-century date (with one sherd of possible Blackware from context (106) which may be earlier) and the latest of mid- to later 19th-century date.

Context (109)

In contrast to contexts (106) and (107) the pottery from context (109), the fill of grave cut [108] was rather more homogeneous in nature, being predominantly of 18th-century date with some possible later 17th-century wares. A wide range of 18th-century pottery was present, including types representative of all the principal classes of early modern pottery.

Context (115)

The pottery from context (115), the wood chippings in the base of grave cut [105], was limited to a single sherd of Colour Glazed ware of later 18th- or 19th-century date and will be associated with the pottery from context (109) as it was from the same grave.

Context (200)

Context (200), the made ground levelling of the graveyard, produced a small group of mixed 18th- and 19th-century wares, with the former predominating but the latter represented by three sherds. The pattern resembles that seen in contexts (106) and (107) but, given the small quantities of pottery present in each case, the similarity should perhaps not be over-emphasised.

Context (202)

Context (202), the fill of grave cut [201], produced only a small fragment of unglazed red earthenware, probably from a flowerpot.

Context (204)

The pottery from context (204), the fill of grave cut [203], resembled that from context (109) in that it was principally of 18th-century date with some earlier elements. In the case of (204), these included a sherd of medieval pottery of unidentified type, which was not part of the putative kiln group from contexts (100) and unstratified. The presence of two sherds of Tin Glazed Earthenware (Pls 15, 16 and 17) which were, until they were excavated, in reasonably good condition, suggests that the group had not been subject to any significant reworking or movement after its deposition. The abraded condition of the medieval sherd contrasts with that of the less robust Tin Glazed Earthenware and tends to support this hypothesis.

Contexts (209), (210) and (211)

With the exception of a single fragment of a component with an internal screw thread, probably part of a light fitting or similar electrical device which appears to be of later 19th-century date (or later), the pottery group from context (209), the fill of grave cut [207] within multi-occupancy grave [213], was of 18th-century date and resembled, in general terms, that from context (204). Whether the fragment of the electrical component could be considered to be intrusive into an earlier context is unclear but its presence does pose a problem for the interpretation of the group.

Context (210), the fill of grave cut [208] within multi-occupancy grave [213], produced only five sherds of pottery and the group was dominated by utilitarian wares, specifically Brown Glazed Fineware. Sherds from contexts (209), (210) and (211) in this ware appeared (on the basis if the fabric and the pattern and character of the glaze) to be part of the same vessel, although no cross-context joins could be established to demonstrate this beyond doubt.

Context (211), the fill of multi-occupancy grave cut [213] in addition to including a sherd of Brown Glazed Fineware, produced a sherd of Mottled Coarseware similar to those from context (209).

Context (216)

The small group of pottery from context (216), the fill of an indistinct grave cut within multi-occupancy grave [213], included sherds of 17th- and 18th-century date, but the size of the group (three sherds) precludes any real interpretation beyond noting that it resembled the groups from contexts (109) and (204).

Context SK2 and unstratified contexts

The unstratified contexts produced a large group of mixed wares, which included a significant quantity of medieval pottery. The remainder of the pottery was of mixed character, as outlined in Table 12. The various different wares have been discussed briefly above and none are in any way out of the ordinary for an assemblage from Sheffield city centre.

Pottery from the gravestone watching brief

The pottery assemblage recovered during the watching brief on the re-laying of the gravestones at the Upper Chapel consisted of four sherds of pottery weighing 59 grams and represented a maximum of four vessels. The details are summarised in Table 8.

Beyond describing and dating the assemblage, there are few conclusions that can be drawn from it, and this small assemblage of pottery should be considered in conjunction with the larger assemblage discovered during the main excavations at the Upper Chapel. While the pot disc from grave 10 has suffered from breakage and flaking and the sherd of Creamware from Grave 11 from spalling, the condition of the sherds was generally good, suggesting little movement since their deposition.

The date ranges attributed to the individual sherds are relatively reliable and indicate activity on the site in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The nature of this activity is not apparent from the pottery assemblage.


The pottery assemblage from the Upper Chapel falls into two principal groups; the medieval pottery, which appears to have been associated with the remains of a pottery kiln, and the early modern and recent pottery, which conforms more closely to what has come to be expected from sites in the centre of Sheffield. In terms of comparison with other sites, the later pottery assemblage from the Upper Chapel appears not to have been deliberately dumped as other assemblages were but to have accumulated in some other manner. In this respect it seems to have more similarities with the assemblages from excavations around the Cathedral than it does with sites in the river valleys and adjacent areas.

The medieval pottery is of regional significance, although at present it is not possible to ascribe a date to its manufacture. The results of the petrological and chemical analysis appear to support the suggestion, based upon the presence of kiln wasters and glaze-covered stones that a kiln existed either on the site or in the immediate vicinity. The pottery falls into the well-known local tradition of Gritty ware although, in spite of the fact that this tradition was a long-lived one, it remains in many aspects obscure (as exemplified by the problems over nomenclature outlined above). It is to be hoped that future work in the city, particularly on the site of the Castle, will reveal stratified medieval assemblages upon which a coherent and sustainable chronological framework can be based. This will allow a specific local ware type to be defined more precisely and examples of the sherds should be added to the regional type series (Cumberpatch 2004b). At present it is perhaps sufficient to note the existence of the local production of Gritty ware.


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