Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

No 1. A Twelfth-Century Pottery Kiln at Pound Lane, Canterbury: Evidence for an Immigrant Potter in the Late Norman Period
John Cotter (1997)

In 1986 a medieval pottery kiln was excavated at Pound Lane, Canterbury. It is the only medieval kiln to have been found in the city and remarkably it appears to have been worked by a continental potter, perhaps a Norman, at some date around the middle of the twelfth century.

Though made from local materials, the wheel-thrown, sometimes glazed and roulette-decorated ware produced here signals a major break with local Kentish ceramic traditions and indeed the degree of continental influence exhibited by Pound Lane ware is practically unique among contemporary English pottery industries.

The report contains a short account of the site and excavation, followed by a more detailed account of the kiln itself, its plan and parallels. An extensive typology of the kiln products is presented together with observations on manufacture and statistical frequency. The local, English and European contexts of the Pound Lane industry are each treated in detail and an attempt is made to define the likely homeland of the immigrant potter. This section is copiously illustrated with parallels taken from a wide range of continental imports as well as previously unpublished material. Later sections examine Canterbury’s particularly rich documentary sources for evidence of potters, immigrant communities and the possibility of Church patronage. The duration of the kiln and interaction with the local (Tyler Hill) potting community are also considered.

This is considerably broader in scope than most medieval pottery reports. The continental connections involved raise some thought-provoking questions on the extent to which immigrant potters may have influenced the development of English pottery in the Norman period and to what extent this was a new phenomenon or just the continuation of a much older one. Probably the main implication of the report however is that the consequences of Norman occupation may have had more far-reaching effects on native English pottery industries than has hitherto been supposed.

Softback
A4. 124 pages, 69 B&W figures and plates
ISBN 9781870545075
Price GB £9.95 Special Price £4.95 (FCAT less 20%)

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PUBLISHED BY CANTERBURY ARCHAEOLOGICAL TRUST LTD
WITH THE AID OF A GRANT FROM ENGLISH HERITAGE AND A DONATION FROM BARRETTS OF CANTERBURY


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