Over 5780 fragments of clay tobacco pipes were collected. They were identified and catalogued by Peter Hammond. In the text below find numbers of some examples are in brackets.


The majority of clay pipe fragments found are lengths of stem. Except for those with name stamps or patterns that could be identified by maker these have been divided by Peter Hammond into two age groups: pre-1750 and post-1750. The earlier pipes have stubby, thick stems no more than 170 mm long, increasing to around 220 mm by the 1640s. They are around 9 mm thick near the bowl and the bore is 3 mm. The clay in these early pipes tends to be off-white, often with a brownish tinge. In the early part of the eighteenth century improvements in the quality of the manufacture of the clay pipe gradually began to appear so that by the middle of the century stems were generally narrower, sometimes curved, the clay white and the bore less than 2 mm.

Seventeenth century

The oldest clay pipes found in Bingham date from 1620-1630 (32305, 41670). The bowl is slightly bulbous with an internal diameter a little less than 10 mm and there is a flat heel. The internal depth of the bowl is about one inch (25 mm). Some of the earliest pipe bowls have a milled ring around the rim, though there are others with a plain rim. The opening of the pipe bowl pointed forward, always making an angle to the stem. With time the size of the bowl increased and some were made with a pointed spur instead of a flat heel (27364). The spurred bowls tended to be less bulbous than those with flat heels (44193). These two forms co-existed.

The earliest decorated pipe found in Bingham dates from 1660 –1680 by which time the internal diameter of the bowl was 12 mm at the rim and the internal depth of the bowl had increased to 28 mm. The decorated pipe (44194) has a mulberry decoration on both sides of the bowl and the flat heal tapers backwards.

In the last quarter of the seventeenth century the bowls were becoming less bulbous and bowls were longer, some as deep as 36 mm (33887). The flat heel seems to have been phased out. A small heel is present is some (39919), though some pipes continued to be made with a broad, flattened spur (42614).

Towards the end of the century makers began to stamp their mark on the bowl. Bowls with EG for Edward Godfrey (7319, 1803), who made pipes between 1684 and 1713, II the mark of John James (27381, 46657), who made pipes between 1684 and 1720 and WS, the mark of William Sefton, who worked between 1696 and 1729 have been found.

Eighteenth century

In the first half of the eighteenth century the bulbous shape to the bowls disappeared and they became almost parallel sided (41646). The pipes were better made, thinner walled and more brittle. Heeled spurs were common (411864, 42599). The internal diameter at the rim is around 16 mm and internal depth 36 mm. The most significant change, however, is that by the middle of the century the rim of the bowl had become parallel to the pipe stem. Narrow, nearly pointed spurs are as common as broad, flattened spurs.

While the bowls that were found were usually plain (39865, 40018) without even a milled ring around the rim, some decorated stems (41659, 14120), made by using a roller stamp, were found made by William Sefton and Richard Brinsley of Nottingham, both of whom died in 1729. Another maker identified is Thomas Crew (31604), with the mark TC, operated in Nottingham between 1715 and 1720, then moved to Sheffield. The mark TH, found on spurs, may be either Thomas Howitt or Thomas Hardwick, both of Newark, working between 1720 and 1740 (42683). WW found on one stem is an unknown maker (42722), probably from the early eighteenth century. The maker’s marks from this period tended to be two initials, one on either side of the spur. From the middle decades of the century there are stems stamped MARSHALL NOTTINGHAM (19654, 33946), made by Benjamin Marshall between 1730 and 1778.

Roller stamped decorated stems appeared first in the second half of the nineteenth century on pipes made by John Wyer of Nottingham, 1760 to 1779 (40093, 39934).

Decorated bowls appeared more common after 1770 and several fragments of bowls with different styles of decoration were picked up. Among them are the fleur de lys (41829 42541), a griffin (42601), the arms of George III (45085) and other coats of arms (16191, 34101). John and William Turpin of Newark (9160, 26702) seemed to be responsible for introducing fluted designs on pipe bowls and for the opposing leaf motif along the seams on the bowl. Often the opposing leaf motif is on an otherwise plain bowl (39931, 41726), but one or two pieces were found with additional decoration. The Turpin family were pipe making between 1770 and 1835.

Nineteenth century

By the nineteenth century the bowls are upright. The internal rim diameter remains 16 mm and the depth around 35 mm. Decoration, however, is more common and varied. The opposing leaf motif along the seams is common (45137), as are fluted designs (2901), but often in addition to some other design elements. These include beehives (10504, 26734), shields, animals, drapery (11268), scrolls ((9995), windmills (32302) and the Royal Arms (2353). One interesting design is a standing figure indicating liberty, which was found on pipes made to commemorate the abolition of slavery (34148, 10215, 32302). Some designs came during the first half of the century that seemed to last to the end. The “hands on heart” design is one (9844, 34219,39973).

Most of the identifiable fragments of pipes from the early part of the nineteenth century were made by William Turpin of Newark, but several other pipe makers were also recognised. Among them are:

John Lyne Simnitt of Newark, 1811 – 1873 (41731)
William Henson of Nottingham, 1820 –1840 (34405, 39938)
John and William Edmunds of Newark, 1830 – 1838 (11297)
Henry Pratt of Nottingham 1840 – 1862 (10924).

Makers who came in during the second half of the nineteenth century include:

Samuel Greaves Cooke of Nottingham, 1854 –1855 (11131)
Ingram Haw of Newark, 1840 – 1870 (38343)
Isaac Dance of Nottingham, 1860 – 1880 (10073)
Christopher West of Convent Street, Nottingham, 1870 – 1880 (10016)
John and Walter Daft, Nottingham 1870 – 1913 (12829)

Isaac Dance and the Daft family were the most prolific. Pipes made by Isaac Dance (4713, 8891, 10074) are dominated by the usual fluted and paired leaves designs, but among these are some intricate designs, including a crocodile stem (9967, 40075). Other designs, not necessarily attributable to Isaac Dance include the fleur de lys and a thistle. There are rare examples of pipes made from orange-brown clay (39971, 52671). One large, smoothly finished bowl may be French in origin (9993). French pipes were commonly imported into Britain from the mid 19th century onwards. Later in the century upright pipes that imitated the briar (27361) were made.

After 1870 there was a considerable variation in the range of designs. These include Masonic designs (1870 – 1890) (38352), fish motifs for the spur (9158), acorn pipes (34408, 38074), claw decoration (10141, 11081), ridged seams, horses hooves (31498) and Irish pipes of various kinds (16106,10321) made for the Irish population in Britain (9162). In some Irish pipes made by the Daft family in Nottingham there is little more than a shamrock on the spur (31566), but others, probably made in Manchester, are stamped by a fictitious Irish pipe maker’s name. Some pipe bowls are unusually shaped. Two were found comprising a hand holding a wine glass (33964) and one was of a bearded man with a hat (27342). Large “cadger” pipes appear after around 1860 (9180). Football pipes were very common after 1880. Locally, they featured the words “Play up Notts” (10348, 10881) and various football motifs. These continued to be made up to 1920. Coiled-stemmed pipes (10119) appeared in the second part of the nineteenth century and some painted, red-tipped stems and mouthpieces (9931,34040, 34188) as well as button type mouthpieces (9889,38012) have been found from this period. Also there are some spur-less pipes from the period after 1860 (42605) and pipe bowls with a forward facing spur (i.e. away from the smoker) after 1870 (33974, 45092).

Early twentieth century

Clay pipes were made in diminishing numbers up to the First World War, when the trade entered a sharp decline, largely because of the popularity of cigarette smoking. A few clay pipes continued to be made just after the war, but since then they have been made either as curiosities of for specialist purposes. Churchwarden clay pipes, for example, were an essential part of certain chemistry experiments carried out in schools up to the 1960s.

Fragments of pipes from this late period found in Bingham include the football pipes, the Hussar type (1880 – 1910) (8859), pipes that commemorated the sanctioning and construction of the Manchester ship canal (1885 – 1920) (10324), the ROAB (the Buffs) pipe (1860 –1920) (14876, 16301) and a naked lady thought to have been imported from France sometime between 1870 and 1920 (12880). Bulldog style pipes made in Manchester (1870-1914) have also been found.

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