Appendix 3: The Clay Tobacco Pipes


The assemblage of clay tobacco pipe material recovered during the project is typical of assemblages from central Bristol. There is a marked concentration of pipes of late 17th to mid-18th century date, produced by known Bristol makers, who were working in the Lewins Mead/Broadmead area of the city. Only a small number of pipes of earlier date were recovered, and these were all residual within later contexts. 19th-century pipes are similarly under-represented in the assemblage, and this, too, is typical for the area (see Cabot Circus excavations of 2005-2008, Jarrett 2013), and suggests that the area was largely built-up by that time and that rubbish collection (by 'scavengers' or rag and bone pickers) must have been taking place.

Documentary sources consulted in the course of the project revealed that the focus of the pipemaking industry shifted in the 19th century from the St Michael's/St Thomas's area of Bristol to St Jude's. Census records and other primary sources suggest that only one property within the bounds of the study site, 26 Wade Street, served as a pipe factory, although several pipemaking families and individuals resided within the area. The records list structures, such as 'ware-rooms', sheds and 'manufactories' to the rear of 26 Wade Street, parts of which may well have been recorded during the present excavations. Although no actual kiln structures were revealed, it is thought that a large deposit of unsmoked pipe fragments, located in a possible cellar to the rear of 26 Wade Street, may represent waste material from the workshop of the White/Wilkey families who were working at this location.

Primary and secondary documentary sources consulted have also allowed us to examine in detail the pipemaking community of this area of St Jude's during the 19th century. Records reveal a very close-knit community, with frequent inter-marriage, and frequent relocation within the confines of the St Jude's area. Those employed in the industry included men, women and children, the oldest employed being 74 years of age. Most were probably working outside the home, at one of the fifty or so small, family-run 'manufactories' listed in the immediate area during the 19th century.


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