- MODERN BINGHAM
- HISTORY OF BINGHAM
- Project Details
- Field Walking
- Crow Close
- Test Pits
- STUDY OF OLD MAPS
- BUILT HERITAGE
- CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
- FARMING IN BINGHAM
- BINGHAM AT WAR
- BINGHAM'S RAILWAYS
- ORAL HISTORY
- NATURAL HISTORY
DESCRIPTION OF FINDS
Skip to the following headings:
Midland Purple Ware Tradition
Midland purple ware
Sandy coarse earthenware
Purple-bodied sandy coarse earthenware
Midland Black Ware
Light-bodied black ware
Coarse black ware
Dating coarse earthenware
Vitrified glazed coarse earthenware
Pink-bodied black glazed coarse earthenware
Red-bodied black glazed coarse earthenware
Light-bodied coarse earthenware
Brown-glazed coarse earthenware
Yellow coarse earthenware
The post-medieval pottery fabric types have been difficult to classify. Little research has been done in the East Midlands as a whole and there is no widely accepted standard either of nomenclature or date ranges for the various locally-made fabric types. In order to deal with this Chris Cumberpatch was invited to hold a one-day workshop after which Alan MacCormick, Jane Young, Jon Goodwin, Janet Spavold and Sue Brown all made an input. The nomenclature offered here for the early Post Medieval fabric types is well established (see Laing, 2003). For the 18th century flat ware and fine ware it is based on the one widely used in Stoke-on-Trent. Most of the identifications have been done by Peter Allen.
For the coarse wares the classification is largely descriptive and distinguishes fabric types primarily on body colour and glaze colour. However, Jane Young identified sherds of Glazed Red Earthenware, a fabric type she has identified throughout the East Midlands. With regard to the source of the coarse earthenware Jon Goodwin of the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, offered the view that the economics of transporting quantities of coarse earthenware from Staffordshire to Bingham by packhorse made it unlikely that Staffordshire-made coarse wares would be found in any quantity as far away as Bingham and he was unable to identify any sherds that he thought were made in Staffordshire among a selection of finds he was shown from Bingham. On the other hand, a comparison of the Bingham sherds with field walked material collected around kiln sites in Ticknall showed that most of it could be matched and the probability is that most of the coarse ware used in Bingham came from Ticknall.
Known date ranges exist for many of the fabric types found in Bingham, particularly in the early part of the period. However, for some fabric types that copy Potteries-made wares, but are produced nearer to Bingham, there is no certainty in the dating. Though age ranges are given here, they have to be treated with caution.
The full list of Post Medieval wares identified is shown in Table 2.4 below.
Table 2.4 Post Medieval fabric types found in Bingham
|FABRIC TYPE||DATE RANGE|
|Midland Purple Ware||15-mid 16C|
|Bourne Ware||Mid 15-16C|
|Cistercian Ware||Late15-mid/late 16C|
|Sandy Coarse Earthenware||16-17C|
|Purple-bodied Sandy Coarse Earthenware||16-17C|
|Yellow Ware||Mid 16-17C|
|Black Ware||Late 16-early 18C|
|Light-bodied Black Ware||Mid 17-early 18C|
|Coarse Black Ware||Mid 16-18C|
|Tin Glazed Ware||17- mid 18C|
|Martincamp flask (Ticknall)||mid 17C|
|“Staffordshire” Slipware||Late 17-18C|
|Black Slipware||Late 17-18C|
|Mottled Ware||Late 17-mid 18C|
|Glazed Red Earthenware||Early 16-mid17C|
|Vitrified Glazed Coarse Earthenware||Late 17-18C|
|Pink-bodied Black Glazed Coarse Earthenware||Late 17-18C|
|Brown Glazed Slip-coated Coarse Earthenware||Late 17-18C|
|Brown Glazed Coarse Earthenware||Late 17-19C|
|Red-bodied Black Glazed Coarse Earthenware||Late 18-19C|
|Light-bodied Coarse Earthenware||Late 18-19C|
|Yellow Coarse Earthenware||18C(possibly)-19C|
Nailor and Young (2001) ascribe Midland Purple Ware found in Nottingham to the 15th-16th centuries and it has been dated in Ticknall from the late 15th century. Nailor and Young describe finds from Nottingham as comprising hard-fired, coarse sandy wares with the earlier pottery being largely orange, red and brown in colour and the later near vitrified purple and grey in colour. There is the possibility of continuity with the late medieval Light-bodied Gritty Ware, which is difficult to distinguish from some early Midland Purple Ware sherds.
The distinction between early and late Midland Purple Ware fabrics can be recognised among the sherds found in Bingham. The late, purple sherds have a relatively low sand content. These have been separated out from Midland Purple and classed as Purple-bodied Sandy Coarse Earthenware. The grey-bodied wares, however, were more difficult to distinguish. Pure grey sherds usually with abundant sand tended not to be hard fired; greyish buff sherds often were, but the sand content was variable, sometimes low. No attempt has been made, therefore, to separate these into earlier and later Midland Purple Ware. The red-bodied sherds were found to be divisible into sand-rich, presumably earlier Midland Purple, and sand-poor types. Most of the sand-poor red-bodied sherds are vitrified or near vitrified. These have been separated out and classed as Sandy Coarse Earthenware.
More work to establish provenance is required on these fabrics. Sherds of Midland Purple Ware were compared with material recovered from kiln sites in Ticknall, held by Spavold and Brown (see Spavold and Brown, 2005). Some matches were made, but most of the Bingham finds appear to have been made elsewhere. Comparisons between Ticknall Midland Purple Ware and Sandy Coarse Earthenware sherds was more fruitful and it is evident that much of the Bingham Sandy Coarse Earthenware could have been made in Ticknall, where it is classed as Midland Purple Ware. Sherds from Sites 2 and 6 (Spavold and Brown, 2005) compared well with Bingham material. Site 2 has been dated as ending production in 1600 and Site 6 during the Civil War (1640s).
The Purple-bodied Sandy Coarse Earthenware was not matched among the Ticknall material and might either be or include Grantham/Nottingham coarse wares made in the 16-early 17th centuries, which Jane Young (pers comm.) described as looking like Midland Purple but with a smooth, purple, purple-red and hard red fabric. The known forms are jugs, large jars and cisterns.
At Ticknall it is known that Cistercian Ware and Midland Purple Ware were fired together. The distribution pattern for Midland Purple in the parish (Figure 3.31) differs from the distribution of Cistercian Ware (Figure 3.33) and for Sandy Coarse Earthenware (Figure 3.35). This would seem to justify the distinction between Midland Purple Ware and the Sandy Coarse Earthenware fabric types and the suggestion that the latter is later.
It is concluded for the time being that Purple-bodied and Sandy Coarse Earthenware should best be dealt with separately from Midland Purple Ware and notionally attributed to the 16th century, possibly extending into the 17th century.
There is a wide range of body colour from greyish buff, grey, reddish purple, orange-red, shades of brown, red and salmon pink. Irregular firing enhanced colour variation. Grey reduction lenses and bands are present and in many pink, red or brown sherds the surface layer is reduced to grey. In extreme cases the whole sherd is reduced to blue. Red oxidation effects are not uncommon. Thick sherds are often vesicular. A small number of salmon pink sherds with pale brown inclusions are relatively soft and could be scratched with the fingernail. The surface colours are often different from the body colour. Commonly, the external colour is grey, particularly on red or pink sherds.
Typically the sherds contain plentiful sand creating the typical pimply texture to the surface. The grains are mostly quartz with both rounded and sub-angular grains. They are generally less that 0.3mm. A few larger white quartz grains are usually present and in some, particularly the grey-buff sherds, there are grains of fine sandstone up to 7mm. Iron oxide grains are rare. Feldspar was seen only in grey-buff sherds.
Well over half of the sherds are unglazed. Others generally have a thin glaze varying in colour from near black, dark brown, greenish brown to pale yellowish brown. White spots commonly show through the glaze. The glaze is present on either or both sides. On large sherds it could be seen to be patchy and splashes are common. Some sherds appear to have a slip varying from red-brown, deep red to orange. Occasionally there is under-glaze red-purple slip. The glaze is often badly eroded.
Wheel marks are typical both on the sides and the internal base. Generally the quality of workmanship is poor.
There is little sign of decoration. It is usually confined to narrow, horizontal ridges near the rim, but one large body sherd shows a wavy, grooved decoration (4427)
Evidence of the forms is available from both the rims and the bases. There are some robust bases, up to 15mm thick, which have an internal angle of around 115 degrees to the sides (Figure 2.14). The external angle is either sharp or with a poorly formed base. These are probably from pancheons. Other robust types have steep, though not vertical sides, probably cisterns or big jars. The least common are steep, curved sides rising from a pedestal base, maybe from jugs.
There is a great variation in rim types; no two are exactly the same. Out of 27 rim sherds 6 are wide everted (Figure 2.14) and each is subtly different. They are 4 –5 cm wide from vessels with an external rim diameter of 40 to 48 cm. All had an orange or salmon pink body colour. The base, shown in one sherd only, is raised with an internal yellowish brown glaze. One large piece has a curved, thin sidepiece suggesting that it was no more than 10 to 15 cm deep. Five flanged rims are from various types of lidded storage jar ranging in diameter from 16 to 20 cm. Other rim types are from straight-sided jars or cisterns, generally in the region of 20 cm diameter. Narrower diameter vessels, 8 to 13cm or so at the rim might be from jugs.
Only two rims were clearly from a necked vessel, perhaps a jug. Three are narrow (3cm) simple everted rims of vessels, 20 cm in diameter, rather like the later black ware chamber pots.
One jug handle, 4.5 cm wide, was found (45658).
While the typical sherd is thick and robust a small number are less than 3mm thick. There is no other evidence that there may have been Midland Purple fine wares.
Sandy Coarse Earthenware has a red or reddish purple body containing a small, but variable, amount of sand (6265). It is usually hard fired and commonly has white streaks. The reddish purple varieties are commonly fired to red on the outside, but most sherds are uniformly red with no evidence that the colour before firing had been different. A very small number were vitrified and had become buff or pinkish buff in colour. There were only three over-fired sherds, reduced to grey.
The sand content is mostly quartz with a small number of fine sandstone grains, grains of iron oxide and rare white grains, possibly feldspar. The quartz grains are mostly less than 0.5 mm. A few reach 2mm and the sandstone grains may be as long as 8mm. The macroscopic quartz probably does not exceed 10% of the body.
Many of the sherds have a dark red slip on one or both sides; some have a grey slip on the outside. The majority of the sherds are not glazed. Where a glaze was seen it is often as small splashes on either the inside or outside. Some large body sherds have a patchy dark brown to black glaze mostly, but not exclusively, on the outside. On others the glaze is yellowish or greenish brown. Sometimes the glaze is streaky. The glaze is thin and often pitted. Two rim sherds have a strip of glaze on the actual lip.
Nearly all sherds show wheel marks on the inside surface. Overall the level of workmanship is poor; surfaces are often irregular and smeared and fingernail indents were seen on the inner surface of one sherd (18682).
Several sherds show decoration on the outer surface. It is usually in the form of horizontal grooves and ridges a few millimetres wide on or near the neck of the vessel (6265). On two rims the grooving continues right up to the lip (39579).
The sherds provide some evidence of the forms of the vessels. Mostly sherds are fairly robust up to 12mm thick. Most large pieces show significant curvature only about a vertical axis, but there are a few that obviously come from small bowls. Six bases and part of the side were found (Figure 2.15). Of these, three have steep, nearly vertical sides rising from the base. The other three, however, have raised bases and are presumed to be from small, curved bowls.
Better evidence of form came from the rim types (Figure 2.15). There are 30 rim sherds in all. Of these 9 are flanged and from lidded storage jars, mostly 20-22cm in diameter. Two are 30 and 34 cm in diameter and one is 12 cm. Another five rims are simple and flat-topped from straight-sided jars 20 to 30 cm in diameter. Two more are similar, but with clubbed lips, 14 and 19 cm diameter and also straight sided. These resembled butter pot forms in other types of wares, but are probably cisterns. There are five wide, everted rims from shallow bowls or pancheons, ranging from 26 to 44 cm in diameter. One narrow everted rim (12 mm wide) has an upturned lip. Of the remaining rims, three are most probably from necked vessels, probably jugs, 14 and 18 cm in diameter at the neck, two from decorated bowls, the dimensions of which could not be measured. One unusual piece has a stubby handle in the rim. Another is a simple, slightly everted rim from an upright vessel.
Three strap handles up to 58 mm at the join, were found, but some of the body sherds have the scars or remnants of handles on them, often about 30mm wide. These are probably from jugs. One stubby, triangular handle was seen.
The body is purple, rarely greyish purple and usually hard fired; a few are vitrified (7718). A laminar structure is sometimes visible and some, usually vitrified, sherds have white streaks. These may be distorted into folds and probably reflect either original variations in composition of the clay or the mixing of two clays. Some sherds show red or grey discoloration due to oxidation or reduction respectively during firing. A few sherds are distorted with cavities formed during firing.
The sand content is low. Grains are mostly quartz and less than 0.3mm diameter, but with a few white quartz grains up to 3mm. Some of the vitrified sherds contain white grains of fine-grained sandstone, one (50953) was 7mm in diameter. Iron oxide grains are present in some.
The glaze is dark brown to near black, usually shiny, but bubbly in some over-fired pieces. A few sherds were found with a greenish brown external glaze, one with the edge of a sinuous inscribed pattern preserved in it. Inside glaze is sometimes black with brown streaks and may be patchy. Externally it may be patchy and there are some splashes and streaks. The glaze mostly stops short of the rim, but one sherd was found with an internal glaze up to and on the rim. This one also has embedded sand in the rim probably indicating that it was fired upside down. Sherds with no glaze were common and include vitrified and hard fired types.
Interior wheel marks are ubiquitous. The pots are roughly made, often with base and sides of widely differing thickness (in 7718, 7mm base thickness, 12mm side). Sand from the kiln is present adhering to the rim and sides.
Very few pieces were found with any external decoration. It was limited to gentle horizontal ridges or narrow, poorly made grooves.
From the evidence of rim types and bases (Figure 2.16) there are several forms represented. Most bases recovered are attached to steep to vertical sides, either straight or gently rounded and are fairly thick and robust. One has part of a bunghole preserved. There is only one base with shallow sides (3515). Two others are raised bases with rounded sides. One raised base has a steep (100 degree angle inside), straight side.
Several types of rim were picked up. Five are flat topped, slightly necked, one is of a lidded vessel. There are three round rims, one to a straight side, the other two to slightly necked vessels. Another has a narrow everted rim similar to later chamber pots, while there are two everted rims and one inturned rim with a strong horizontal ridge ornament just beneath it. One outward hooked rim is unique. The diameters of all rims except one of 36 cm, are between 16cm and 26cm. Two pieces of unglazed strap handle were found and there are body sherds with handle scars, one 2.8cm wide. From this it would seem that the sherds are from cisterns, jars, storage vessels, jugs, possibly chamber pots and one pancheon.
Typically this type of ware has a brownish or reddish purple body with very little sand. A few grains of translucent quartz up to 1mm may be seen and there are usually small white grains, probably of white quartz. Small grains of sandstone were seen in one or two sherds and a 6mm diameter white quartz grain was found in one. Sherds are rarely vitrified or over-fired. Body parts vary in thickness from 3 to 10mm.
The glaze is usually dark brown and pitted. White specks always show through. It is on either the outside or both sides of the sherd. Most base sherds show that the glaze tends to reach the base, but irregularly. One or two sherds from globular vessels show the glaze stopped half way down.
Internal wheel marks are ubiquitous. External decoration in the form of parallel, horizontal ridges are very common. Other decoration is not common, but one find (38745) has part of an Acanthus pattern (38745), which is very common on Cistercian ware made in Ticknall (Spavold and Brown 2005).
Over 20 base sherds were found. All are raised and many are also splayed, though in one case it was only just visible. Commonly there is sand embedded in the base (8985). The diameter ranged between 5 and 9 cm, with most at 7cm. Several are straight sided, but most have a curved inclined body rising from the pedestal.
Relatively few rims were found, but a lot of body sherds appeared to be near the rim, which had been chipped off. Nearly half the rims are simple, sharp and either upright or slightly everted. Three are slightly clubbed and everted. These are all from vessels that were less than 14cm in diameter. There are three flat-topped everted rims, two narrow, one 14mm wide. These resembled the chamber pot rims in the coarse black ware sherds and may have been mistakenly classified here. However, there is one chafing dish rim (28407) that was unmistakably Cistercian Ware. There are several bottle or costrel rims and neck fragments. Handles ranged in width from 10 to 13 mm, generally and are either plain of with a double median rib. Two sherds were of lugs from a costrel(12299).
In his catalogue of Cistercian Ware vessels found in Nottingham, Alan MacCormick (1986) described a wide range of mugs, tankards, jugs, small handled bowls, tygs, costrels and bottles, but no other forms. The evidence from the sherds found here is that all these forms are present, but with the chafing dish in addition.
The uniformity among the sherds suggests that they came from a single source. Comparison with material from Ticknall left little doubt that they were made there. Spavold and Brown (2005) record mentions in inventories in1480 and their personal view is that Cistercian ware was being made in Ticknall as early as 1450. Laing (2003) says that the production of decorated Cistercian ware ceased with Dissolution. To what extent production of undecorated wares continued after that in Ticknall has not been researched. There is also the difficulty of defining the gradation between Cistercian Ware and Midland Black Ware, commonly thought to have been a successor technical improvement on Cistercian Ware.
The Yellow Ware sherds are probably all what elsewhere is called Midland Yellow Ware. The characteristic body colour is white to pale creamy buff. Texture varies from soft and chalky to hard and abrasive. There are no or very few inclusions in the chalky sherds. In the stronger coloured sherds a few iron oxide grains, the odd quartz grain up to 0.5mm and rare quartz sandstone grains up to 3mm have been seen. Some pale buff sherds look to contain well-distributed very fine sand, but a thin section would be necessary to confirm this.
The glaze is put directly on the body and is usually yellow. A few orange-yellow sherds were found and rather more greenish yellow sherds. In the rare, hard fired sherds the glaze is green. The glaze is usually crazed and erodes very easily. Brown spots caused by the reaction of iron oxide inclusions with the glaze are fairly common. Rim sherds were found with the glaze either on both sides or inside only. In the latter case it may extend just short of the rim or onto it. Many base sherds show that the external glaze did not extend down to it, or did so as runs and patches. In a number of sherds from shallow-sided vessels there is only an internal glaze.
Internal wheel marks are fairly common. External decoration is also common. It is usually in the form of horizontal grooves and ridges, usually rounded and concentrated in the upper part of the vessel.
The majority of the sherds are 5mm or more thick. Only a few are 3mm. Just one fine ware rim was picked up. It is gently everted and from a vessel no more than 16cm in diameter. There are, however, several bases 3 to 7 cm in diameter. All are raised; one has an outward curving body. It is thought that these could be from small bowls and candleholders.
All the remaining bases, rims and handles are from larger, coarse ware vessels. Of the 58 rims collected the vessel diameter at the rim mostly falls in the range of 18 to 24 cm. There is considerable variation in rim type with no overall dominant type. Types include:
Thickened, inturned shallow sided vessels 18-28cm diameter (10)
Thickened, shallow sided vessels, 18-28cm diameter (7)
Thickened, beaded with a grooved flat top, straight sided, 20-24cm (7)
Steep-sided, narrow (no more than 14mm) everted rims 15-24 cm (6)
Steep-sided, rounded and thickened, glazed both sides 18-20 cm (5)
Among the other types in this size range are squared, clubbed, flanged (1), squared and inturned.
There are 10 rims from vessels 34 to 48 cm in diameter (Figure 2.18). They were all chunky 20-23 mm thick at the rim, either inturned or clubbed or both. They are all from shallow sided vessels.
There are 25 bases. 10 of them are from steep-sided forms (20442). They are either sharp angled with the body rising straight at 90 degrees or the body is gently curved rising at 100 to 110 degrees. There are several sharp-angled bases 130 to 135 degrees. Others are raised bases, 12 cm in diameter with sides either at 120 degrees or upright.
Of the 6 handles (20429, 32083 ), 5 are 21 to 30 mm wide and one is 16mm. They are either plain or with a median groove. One is imperfectly glazed.
The range of vessels inferred from the sherds includes pancheons, jars, handled storage vessels or chamber pots, shallow bowls, candlesticks and fine wares. Whole vessels recovered from excavations in Nottingham and kept in the Brewhouse Yard museum include an oval flat-bottomed meat dish 5cm deep and 45cm long with a handle and several circular, shallow, flat-bottomed dishes from 20 to 40 cm diameter and with sloping sides up to 7cm deep.
The Bingham material compared very well with the fabric type from Ticknall. It is referred to a “white ware” in Leicestershire inventories (Spavold and Brown, 2005) and is commonly recorded throughout the 17th century. None has been dated in Ticknall, except that it was being made in site 6 up to the Civil War. No start date for the fabric has been established. The date range for Midland Yellow Ware is usually given as mid 16th to end of the 17th century (Laing, 2003).
Midland Black Ware is generally regarded as being the better-made successor to Cistercian Ware and traditionally the term is confined to fine wares. According to Laing (2003) the 17th century Midland Black Ware is usually defined on form. Sherds from Bingham were compared with examples from the Ticknall kilns and found to match quite closely. Spavold and Brown (pers comm.), however, have not distinguished these fine wares from Cistercian Ware except to say that the finer wares were made alongside Cistercian Ware and continued after it ceased to be produced. More research is necessary here, but it suggests that the date range for the Midland Black Ware made in Ticknall could start mid 16th century.
A Light-bodied Black Ware fabric has been distinguished, which appears to have been used for both tableware and kitchenware. There is a comparable Ticknall fabric to some of the fabric types included here, but not all and there is no information about production dates.
Black-glazed coarse wares with similar fabric and general characteristics to black ware are classed as Coarse Black Ware, though the distinction between the two is not always easy to make. Sherds of 4mm thickness could equally have been part of a chamber pot or a tankard and there is likely to have been some misclassification of smaller sherds. Coarse Black Ware is distinguished from other black and brown-glazed coarse earthenware partly by form, but generally in having a glaze both inside and outside the vessel.
The date range for coarse black earthenware is difficult to determine. In Jon Goodwin’s opinion (pers comm.) it followed Midland Purple Ware in the West Midlands and he suggested a date range of 1650 to 1700. Some of the variations of fabric type found in Bingham could be matched in Ticknall, which suggests that there was more than one supply source. The Ticknall sherds were found in association with late Cistercian and younger material, and Spavold and Brown (pers comm.) suggest it was made to take up lost business when fine Cistercian Ware production ended in the mid 16th century. Some of it does look like Cistercian Ware, while other sherds, mostly of chamber pots, bear a strong resemblance to the later Midland Black Ware. It is probable that this is a long-ranging fabric type coming in during the mid 16th century and continuing until the 18th century. The parish-wide distribution plots of Coarse Black Ware follow closely the known 18th century fabric types and it is abundant in fields that are thought to have been where the village dumps were in the16th to mid 19th centuries, including the field where dumping is thought to have begun no earlier than the late 17th century.
There is a possibility that some nineteenth century black ware might have been included here.
The body colour is red, brownish purple and, occasionally, orange red. Most of the thinner sherds are brownish purple, which tend to have a smooth fabric with very little or no sand, though there are usually some small (less than 0.3mm) white grains that may be feldspar. Quartz sand is more common in the red fabrics. Occasional large (up to 7mm) grains of sandstone are present in red-bodied sherds. Discolouring due to uneven firing is uncommon and confined to rare grey, reduced layers. No over-fired sherds were recognised, but one or two are vitrified.
The glaze is shiny black or, much less commonly, brown. It is present on both sides of the sherd, but a few base sherds show the glaze to stop short of the base or to have dripped down onto it. In many the glaze is complete down to the raised base and a few have glaze on the base. The brown-glazed sherds are mostly on a reddish purple body with decoration and are less well made than the other types. The glaze is sometimes incomplete both inside and outside.
Many of the sherds are less than 3mm thick; none more than 5mm. Some of the finer sherds are sinuous in shape. Decoration in the form of horizontal ridges and grooves are present in a number of sherds.
30 handle and handle scars were collected. Most are not decorated at all (12923). Those that are have either a single median ridge or two parallel ridges. They range from 10 to18 mm wide.
Relatively few rims were found (14). Those that could be measured are between 8 and 14 cm in diameter. Ten of them are simple sharp or rounded rims, slightly everted. Only one of these has no external glaze. There is one sinuous rim possibly from a decorative bowl, a bottle top and one that seems to be a flange rim.
Bases are relatively more numerous than rims. 41 were collected. They are mostly 5 to 8 cm in diameter. Of those with sufficient body to determine the original shape 22 are from vertical sided vessels and 14 are raised bases with upward curved sides. The straight-sided vessels are nearly all red bodied. The glaze quality is variable. In some it neatly reaches the base and in one or two it extends under it; in others it is short of it. Two only of these are not raised. The shallow sided vessels with raised bases are half red bodied and half purple. The angle between the base and the side ranges between 110 and 135 degrees, most being 125 degrees. There are three that were very tightly curves fine wares probably from very small bowls. One is badly bubbled and may have been the casualty of stubble burning.
From the evidence of the sherds many of them are from rather robustly made tankards (5322) with horizontal ridging from base to top. Others are from cups, tygs, shallow bowls, bottles, jugs and decorative bowls.
A small number of black or dark brown-glazed sherds were found with a light coloured body. The colour ranges from pale pink to white with the majority either pale pink of pale buff.
The body is hard fired with a small number vitrified. It may show a laminar structure, but typically the fractured surface is fine-grained and abrasive to touch. There is a small amount of quartz sand, but many contain white grains that are possibly feldspar and/or white quartz and some iron oxide. In a small number the white grains are dominant. The only decoration seen is a fine leaf pattern on one sherd.
There are five rims, 24 to 26 cm in diameter, one at 16cm. Three are narrow, flat-topped everted rims of the type typical of chamber pots. The others are one thickened, one simple everted and the other narrow and flat with an external overhang rim.
Five handles and handle scars were found. One body part with the stub of a 4.5 cm wide handle is fully glazed outside but only partially glazed on a red slip inside. There is one pipkin handle and three flat in section, 16 – 18mm wide possibly jug or cup handles.
Six bases are all from small vessels. Those that could be measured are 8 to 14 cm in diameter. All of these are raised bases; three are steep sided. Two bases from upright vessels are 18 and 20cm in diameter. One thick body part is from a small, c 4cm diameter, barrel-shaped vessel.
Among the forms represented are tankards, cups, chamber pots, a colander, pipkin, steep-sided vessels possibly jugs and small, shallow, curved bowls.
The body in more than half the sherds is red. Other colours are brownish or reddish purple and purple. It is hard fired, but only rarely vitrified. Over-firing, which is not common, produces dark bluish grey sherds and occasionally reddened or grey, reduced layers and patches. The texture of the broken surface is abrasive. A very small amount of quartz sand is often present in the fabric. White sandstone grains may be present and in the purple fabrics it is not uncommon to see iron oxide grains and very rare white mineral, possibly feldspar. One sherd contains a solitary 6mm inclusion of microdiorite. A very small number of sherds, glazed on both sides has rather more sand than usual.
The glaze is black, dark brown or brown and in most sherds it is shiny, hard and thick. On some reddish purple sherds the glaze may be dark brown, thin, occasionally pitted and in some cases it is rough from included sand underneath the glaze. Brown glaze is not common. The glaze is present either on the inside or outside or both sides of the sherds. There are some sherds that show that the glaze is absent completely on the inside of a vessel. On many others the outside is not fully glazed to the bottom of the vessel. In these cases the external glaze is often present as runs down the lower parts to the base. It is assumed from this that many of the sherds with no external glaze are from the lower parts of a vessel. However, several rim sherds showed a glaze only on the inside. Vessels were fired either the right way up or upside down. One sherd has a patchy yellow and black glaze on the rim.
Wheel marks tend to be seen only on the purple-bodied sherds. These also tend to be less well made than the red-bodied vessels. Decoration is limited to sets of horizontal grooves and ridges and was not often seen.
30 sherds of handles were found. Two are from chamber pots, where the handle emerges from the rim. Several others, both red and purple-bodied, are attached to the upper parts of the body of a jug or similar vessel (24249). Most of the handles are substantially made, up to 45mm wide with a preponderance of purple-bodied types.
53 bases, most with attached body, were found. 26 are raised bases with an outward-rising, usually curved body. 21 of these are red bodied; the rest are brown-purple. The glaze is usually black and shiny and though complete inside usually did not reach down to the base on the outside. The angle made by the side to the base ranged from 110 to 150 degrees with nearly half (10) 125 degrees. The two very shallow ones are thin-bodied sherds with narrow diameter bases, possibly from small shallow bowls. 14 have raised bases with steep sides rising from them. Where they could be measured the angle between the side and the base is 90-100 degrees. All of these except one brown-purple sherd are red bodied. Only three sherds did not have raised bases. These have steep sides (about 100 degrees) rising from a rounded edge with the base. One group of six red-purple base sherds with a poor brownish glaze, wheel marks and fairly poor quality finish consist of four shallow-sided vessels with raised bases, one possible jug and one unglazed inside that might have been a bottle.
While the majority (76%) of the bases sherds are red-bodied, over 50% of the 105 rim sherds are red-purple or purple.
46 of the rims are from chamber pots (28436) (14 red-bodied; 32 reddish purple). They are flat topped and everted, with only a couple having any kind of groove on the upper surface. The widths of the rims (Figure 2.20) ranges from 10 to 20mm, the majority being wide. The handle emerges from the rim. In most of them the body beneath the rim curves outwards, in some quite sharply. While these have been interpreted as chamber pot rims the narrow rim varieties might be from handled jars where the handle was set in the neck region. There is also some variation in the angle of the curved body beneath the rim that suggested that they might not all be chamber pots. These were clearly utilitarian vessels not made to high standards. The glaze on the purple-bodied sherds is often brownish black, thin and set on a roughly finished, sandy surface. The glaze on the red-bodied sherds is often easily eroded.
There are several other rim types (51030). These include: simple, slightly thickened rims on straight-sided vessels (17), sharp, gently everted rims (11), out-folded beaded rims (8) and narrow flat-topped rims (8). There are several other unique types, including narrow bottle necks or candle-stick holders.
The size of the vessels, as measured from the rim diameters, falls into a very narrow range, the majority being between 19 and 24 cm. The largest is 32 cm.
The contrast in the relative abundance of red-bodied and purple-bodied types between the rim and handle sherds on the one hand and base sherds on the other is not easy to explain unless some of the purple bases have been misclassified and are Cistercian Ware. Apart from the lack of pitting in the glaze on the coarse black ware sherds there is a similarity between the sherds classed here as purple-bodied coarse black ware and Cistercian Ware sherds.
The forms that can be inferred from the available data are chamber pots, jugs, straight-sided jars, pans (possibly), large, handled jars, large and small bowls, bottles, globular hollow ware and a colander. One fragment of a wide everted rim, glazed on both sides, was from a 30 cm diameter vessels that might be a pancheon.
There is a similarity among the brown-glazed sherds (7572), which seems to suggest that most were from jugs. They commonly have horizontal ridged ornament, slightly thickened everted rims and scars of handles.
The provenance of the Coarse Black Ware is unclear. The differences in body colour and fabric, quality of glaze and range of rim types suggests that there may have been several potteries involved in their manufacture. The purple-bodied pots, particularly the chamber pots with their glaze and body similar to Cistercian Ware, may have been made in Ticknall as could some of the red-bodied wares, particularly the chamber pots. Some of the well-prepared, sand-free sherds may have been from Staffordshire-made pots.
Three classes of slipware are recognised among the sherds found here. These are Slip trailed, “Staffordshire” Slipware and Black Slipware. This division separates the slip-trailed wares with an unmodified raised yellow pattern on a brown background from “Staffordshire” Slipware in which the slip-trailed decoration has been further modified by feathering or combing or swirling in some way. The Black Slipware is sometimes decorated with yellow designs made by applying white slip on the red. Some small sherds of yellow slipware were found, which could have been parts of vessels of “Staffordshire” Slipware or fragments of vessels that are entirely yellow slipware.
Information about their date ranges is not available for the East Midlands. It is known that “Staffordshire” Slipware was manufactured in Ticknall (See Spavold and Brown, 2005 and their Ticknall Pottery web page). Sherds from Bingham have been compared with examples from Ticknall and a match found only with the lighter-bodied combed wares and wholly yellow wares. A fine example of a bowl of Yellow Slipware with a pie-crust rim and an stag decoration is on view in Calke Abbey where it is listed as dating from 1740 and made in Ticknall. Sherds of Black Slipware were not matched in Ticknall; neither were any Slip-trailed wares and it is presumed that these and most of the “Staffordshire” Slipware found in Bingham were made elsewhere.
Production of slipware is said to have started in Lambeth in the 17th century (Laing, 2003) with Staffordshire becoming the dominant production centre for slip-trailed wares in the second half of the 17th century and, according to Ford (1999), continuing until the end of the 18th century. Elsewhere, however, manufacture is thought to have continued well into the nineteenth century. One Bingham sherd (no 12670) is decorated with a “Greek Cross in Glory”, impressed and highlighted with slip (12670). Part of the decoration is made using a dark slip to create a finished black colour on yellow. This style of decoration, which has associations with the Roman Catholic Church had, according to Janet Spavold (pers comm.), ended by 1550 which is earlier than any recorded examples of slipware in England.
It is assumed that more of the sherds found in Bingham are likely to be from Stoke on Trent than from Ticknall. For this reason a date range of late seventeenth to end eighteenth century is assumed for the “Staffordshire” Slipware and Black Slipware. The range for the Slip-trailed Ware is assumed to be more broadly 17th to 18th century.
The slip-trailed sherds have a pattern, usually of yellow, slightly embossed slip trails on a light brown background (47747). The body is mostly pink with some pale buff and creamy white. It usually contains fine sand made up of a white mineral that may be feldspar, iron oxide and quartz. The glaze is only ever on one side. The white slip is trailed either directly onto the pink body or onto a pink slip. A small number of sherds have a white slip coat creating a yellow background, which was decorated with brown dots, cartwheels and loops by using a red-trailed slip. Some of the red ornament was further decorated with white slip dots. One sherd (see above) is decorated with the “Greek Cross in Glory”. Most of the rims found are simple and flat with a slightly raised edge. A few are broad everted with a sinuous yellow ornament inside the edge. Measured rim diameters fell in the range 18 to 28 cm. One bevelled base made an angle of 115 degrees with the side. It is likely that all of these are from plates or shallow dishes. Two sherds have raised bases with curved sides, one with a handle stub, and are either from cups or small bowls.
Trailed and combed or feathered slipware is the most abundant kind found in Bingham (47608). It is commonly referred to as Staffordshire slipware. There is some variation in the quality of the workmanship and design work that suggests that there may be several manufacturing sources. Because of the uncertainty about where the sherds found in Bingham were from the term “Staffordshire” is used in inverted commas.
The body is usually creamy white, but yellow-buff, salmon pink and red types also occur. It contains a fine sand of quartz, iron oxide and possibly white feldspar. Most of the sherds are about 5mm thick from press-moulded flatware and are gazed on one side only. The glaze does not always reach the rim. Several methods seem to have been used to apply the slip. Among these there are stripes of white slip on a layer of dark red slip, stripes of red slip either directly onto a white body or a white slip, salmon pink and red stripes on white to give a three-colour design and a continuous white layer of slip on a red layer. In many of the sherds there is no evidence of combing, but it is unclear whether the whole plate of dish was uncombed. In those that have been combed the very fine zig-zag pattern seems to have been made by combing through a complete white layer of slip on red. The end product is a wide variety of designs mostly in yellow and dark brown. A small number of sherds, including pie-crust rims are wholly yellow.
Additional decoration in the form of embossed patterns and concentric grooves and ridges inside the rim are present.
All the rims found are piecrust and some had cockle-shell decoration. Most are flat or gently down curving. Some are gently everted and others are everted with a sharp inner edge occasionally marked by a groove. Many bases were seen and nearly all of them make a large sharp angle with the side. Most of the sherds are presumed to be from dishes, plates and shallow bowls. No rim diameters were measured because it is known that many of the Staffordshire slipware serving dishes are elongate with round, but not semicircular ends.
A small number of sherds are glazed on both sides. Usually the inner surface is yellow and the outer is combed. All are thin, curved pieces and on the evidence of one or two bases they are from cups or small bowls.
The term Black Slipware is used for sherds with a cream-coloured body and a black or chocolate glaze on a red slip. This is one of the most uniform fabrics found in Bingham. The body colour only rarely varies from creamy light oatmeal. Rare exceptions are darker orange buff. Fine sand is evenly distributed throughout the body. It consists of white grains, possibly of feldspar, iron oxide and clear quartz. Occasionally there are grains up to 5mm of sandstone. The proportion of sand in the fabric is fairly constant with very few sherds showing lower than the norm.
The glaze is shiny black or dark chocolate, in some with yellow decoration caused by a white slip applied on the red slip. The decoration (51334) was only seen on rim sherds. The glaze is always on the inside of the vessels. On flat wares the underside is not glazed except for a thin margin under the rim. It is common to see smears of red slip on the underside. On hollow ware vessels the outside is also glazed down to the raised base, but unevenly.
The yellow slip decoration includes spots, speckles and strips along the rim. Horizontal ridge decoration, often with the ridges close together, is seen in some sherds.
A large number of sherds are part base and side. Many of these are sharp-edged with an angle of either 150 to 160 or 130 degrees. In all, ten raised bases were found. Among the 16 rim sherds 8 could be identified as everted plate rims, most of which were likely to be soup plates. One is a pie-crust rim and three others are everted rims with upright bodies. Several handles were found. They range between 13 and 20 cm wide.
The evidence from the sherds is that they are from tableware. The shallower angled base fragments are probably from serving dishes or dinner plates. The pie-crust rim (40984), common in the trailed and combed slipware, is characteristic of serving dishes of the period. The steeper, 150 to 160 degree base to body angles, are probably from soup plate sherds. The rims measured suggest a fairly uniform 20cm diameter for these. The raised bases are various sizes suggesting that they may be from various kinds of bowl and cups. Some fragments, including the handles, are clearly from jugs, cups or mugs (51384).
This ware mostly has a buff or cream body, with a very small proportion pink or red bodied. The sand content of the three colours is slightly different. The cream bodied sherds contain a similar sand content to slipware; white grains either of quartz or feldspar, iron oxide and quartz, all evenly distributed through the body. The buff body contains fairly abundant very fine quartz sand, while the red-bodied type also contains a distinctive quartz sand, but slightly coarser-grained than the buff sherds.
The glaze varies between yellowish to dark brown with very dark brown or black mottles and streaks. It is common for the glaze to appear different inside from outside a pot and in many base sherds the glaze had ponded at the base inside and is thick and black or nearly black. Sherds of flatware were glazed only on the inside, sometimes with the glaze continuing under the lip of the rim. All the hollow wares are glazed on both sides, but the glaze stops short of the base in most of them. This was most pronounced in curved bowl shapes and bases. On upright forms the glaze often reaches the base.
Decoration is usually in the form of horizontal grooves and ridges. In upright forms, presumed to be tankards, it is usual for there to be up to five closely spaced grooves just above the base. In other cases closely spaced ridges appear on some fully glazed body sherds, while unglazed undersides of flat wares sometimes have closely spaced grooves near the rim.
An unusually high proportion of the finds (15%) are base sherds, most with some attached body. Of the 100 recorded, 18 are upright forms, two are shallow forms with no raised portion and 80 are raised bases with curved sides rising from them. The angle between the base and side in these ranges between 110 and 135 degrees, with the most being 115 degrees. The upright forms range between 6 and 14 cm in diameter, except for one at 18 and two at 20 cm.
The 29 handles found range between 14 and 20 cm wide with one at 24 cm. They are mostly plain (50436). Some have a central groove, one or two had three medial ridges.
The rim types show most diversity, though three types dominated. Eleven out of 34 found are sharp or rounded, gently everted upright fine ware with a rim diameter in the range 9 to 12 cm (50610). Seven are more robust, simple upright or slightly everted with diameters of 16 to 28 cm. All of these are glazed both sides. Five are flat everted rims 20 to 27 mm wide making a sharp angle to the body. The vessels were 22 to 32 cm in diameter. All are glazed only on the inside. The rest of the rims include clubbed, rolled, simple bevelled tops, hooked and narrow flat everted.
The possible forms represented by these sherds include tankards (32106), mugs, jugs and cups, but most are table and kitchen ware including plates (50401), dishes and bowls of various kinds and sizes, including some with handles. One of the narrow everted rims might be from a chamber pot.
Production of mottled ware in Stoke on Trent, according to Deborah Ford (1999), seems to be confined to the first half of the eighteenth century, though she quotes a source showing that the method of making the mottling by adding iron and manganese to lead glaze was known in the late seventeenth century. The variety in fabric displayed by the sherds found in Bingham might indicate that the original wares came from more than one source. Places close to Bingham where it is known to have been produced include Ticknall, Derby and Sheffield. Sherds of tankards from Bingham were closely matched with material from Ticknall, which has not been dated, but none of the finer table wares were matched. According to Chris Cumberpatch (pers. comm.) production of Mottled Ware in south Yorkshire is confined entirely within the eighteenth century. The date range offered for this type of ware is a cautious 1690 to 1750. It is known that this type of pottery was revived for making tea pots in the 19th century, but in the few sherds found that are thought to be from this period the body was much better prepared than in the clearly older varieties.
Included here are red and pink-bodied coarse earthenware fabric types used for the kitchen and dairy wares and sometimes known as pancheon ware. Mostly they have a black or brown glaze, though included is one yellow glazed ware type. Little research has been done on coarse earthenware in the East Midlands. It is said to have first appeared in the late 17th century (Laing, 2003) and it continued in production with little change in style until the First World War, though a few isolated centres remained in production until the middle of the 20th century.
Over 7500 sherds of coarse earthenware were picked up. Although they have all been separated into the classes described here only the collections of vitrified glazed coarse earthenware, the light-bodied coarse earthenware and the brown-glazed wares have been examined in full. For the other fabric types a group of 1446 sherds collected from three fields on Holme Farm, where they were particularly abundant, have been examined in detail. These are fields 0208, 0306 and 0507. The main fabric types recognised in Bingham are shown in Table 2.5.
Table 2.5 Coarse earthenware fabrics
|Glazed Red Earthenware||Early 16-mid17C|
|Vitrified Glazed Coarse Earthenware||17-18C|
|Pink-bodied Black Glazed Coarse Earthenware||Late 17-18C|
|Brown Glazed Slip-coated Coarse Earthenware||Late 17-18C|
|Brown Glazed Coarse Earthenware||Late 17-19C|
|Red-bodied Black Glazed Coarse Earthenware||Late 18-19C|
|Light-bodied Coarse Earthenware||Late 18-19C|
|Yellow Coarse Earthenware||18C (possibly)|
In the collection of fabric type series held in the Brewhouse Yard Museum, Nottingham, the fabric listed here as Yellow Coarse Earthenware is classed as Ware 42. All the others in the table except Glazed Red Earthenware, are grouped together as Ware 46.
Dating the coarse earthenware fabric types
Apart from the general statement in Laing (2003) that these fabric types appear first in the late 17th century little is known about their age ranges. All fabrics found in Bingham except the Glazed Red Earthenware and Light-bodied Coarse Earthenware were matched among the collection from Ticknall and there seems to be little doubt that that was the source for nearly all the wares found in Bingham, but they have not been dated at Ticknall.
Various lines of evidence, including finds distribution, abundances and association from field walking, suggests the chronology given in Table 2.5.
Good evidence of the age of Pink-bodied Back Glazed Coarse Earthenware came from an examination of the finds from the fields on Holme Farm thought to be the sites of the village dumps. Table 2.6 shows that these fields contain the highest densities of pink-bodied coarse earthenware in the parish and that the concentration is highest in field 0409 in which there are no clay pipes with dates later than 1800. This evidence suggests that the pink-bodied coarse earthenware might be constrained to the 18th century.
This field also has the highest concentration of Vitrified Coarse Earthenware in the parish. This fabric type is present in the Brewhouse Yard type fabric collection, where it is classed as Ware 46 but it is not distinguished from other coarse wares given the same ware number. Matches for it could be found in Ticknall, but they are not dated. The provenance of this fabric is difficult to establish. In Staffordshire, what they refer to as the butterpot tradition follows Midland Purple Ware and Jon Goodwin (pers comm.) suggested that these vitrified wares, many of which have rim types that he recognised as similar to the Staffordshire butterpots, might be analogous. Similarities in the composition of the filler with the Pink-bodied Coarse Earthenware suggest that these could be coeval and the Excel line plot (Figure 3.44 below) for these two shows a near perfect match. Indeed, it is possible that some of the vitrified sherds are over-fired or vitrified Pink-bodied Coarse Earthenware. However, suggestions that it could be a longer ranging group developed from or coeval with the Coarse Black Ware or even a derivative of the late Midland Purple Ware cannot be discounted. A suggested age range, by analogy with Staffordshire, would be late 17th to 18th century.
Table 2.6 Abundances of coarse earthenware fabric types in the village dump fields
|19th-20th C pottery||67.5||47.5||15.6||22.3|
|19th-20th C stoneware (generally post 1880)||13.18||22.75||14.49||15.96|
|Total 19th-20thC pottery||80.68||70.25||30.09||38.26|
|Total post- enclosure finds||240||195||160||150|
|Clay pipe date range||1680-1870||1720-1900||1620-1800||1620-1880|
|Glass mostly||18thC mostly||18th C||mostly 17th/18thC||mostly18thC|
|No fields in 1841||2||1||1||5|
Numbers for fabric types are finds per hectare per modern field
Red numbers are the highest densities in the parish
The orange number indicates the second highest density in the parish
The Red-bodied Black Glazed Coarse Earthenware is a cleaner fabric than the pink-bodied coarse earthenware. Its distribution pattern (Figures 3.54) shows some similarities with the pink-bodied, but it is not close. This is particularly evident on a field-by-field basis, where there is little direct correlation. In Table 2.6, for example, field 0409 has the highest density of pink-bodied in the parish, but a rather low density of Red-bodied Coarse Earthenware. Field 0306 has the highest density of Red-bodied Coarse Earthenware in the parish and the second highest 19th-20th century Salt-glazed Stoneware, which effectively is stoneware made after 1880 (See section on Salt-glazed Stoneware). This field contains oyster shells, which is one of the indicators of night soil and clay pipes range in date to 1900. These suggest a strong late 19th century assemblage, which implies that the Red-bodied Coarse Earthenware was in production right through the 19th century, though nothing can be inferred about its start date.
The Yellow Coarse Earthenware is a very distinctive fabric with a salmon pink body, white slip and yellow glaze. This was matched with sherds from Ticknall and has been recorded in excavations in Nottingham, where it is categorised as Ware 42 in the Brewhouse Yard museum type series. Nowhere, however, has it been given a date range. Dating this ware is difficult. Lloyd Laing (2003) comments that in parts of the Midlands where there was not a supply of clay that fired white Midland Yellow Ware was made during the 16th –17th centuries by using a white slip on red-firing clays. However, according to Sue Brown (pers comm.) at Ticknall this fabric type has been found in sites that were operational in the late 17th and 18th centuries. Chris Cumberpatch (pers comm.) calls this fabric type Yellow Glazed Coarseware, where he has found it in south Yorkshire, but has found no evidence on which to date it other than to ascribe it generally to the 18th-19th century.
The similarity between it and the Pink-bodied Coarse Earthenware is compelling, but there are arguments that suggest it might be a later fabric type rather than contemporaneous. One is that compared with other demonstrably early coarse earthenware fabric types the clay in the body is well prepared. Another is that is does not appear in any quantity in the Holme Farm fields that are believed to have been the sites of the 18thC village dumps. The highest density of this fabric type anywhere in the parish is 2.7 finds per hectare. In Table 2.6, which shows the four fields used for dumping the highest density is 1.3 fph in field 0208, which has a strong 19th century assemblage, while it is lowest in field 0409, a field with no clay pipes later than 1800 and the highest density of pink-bodied coarse earthenware in the parish. The view offered here, therefore, is that this is a local ware type derived from the pink-bodied coarse earthenware. It was possibly made in the late 18th, but mostly is a 19th century ware type.
This is a very distinctive collection of sherds, both in fabric and form (25024). There appears to be two groups of body colours: shades of grey and shades of purple. The greys include greyish buff and greyish olive. The purple includes pale olive purple and a deep purple. Weak laminar structure is present only rarely, but white streaks were present in some of the purple sherds. While the sherds are always vitrified many are over-fired to blue, dark grey or red and contained gas bubbles. Reduced grey or pink oxidised layers are also fairly common, particularly near rims.
All sherds are characterised by a common set of inclusions. A thin section of one showed it to contain angular and rounded quartz, angular feldspar fragments, rounded grains of a polycrystalline material that may be volcanic in origin and some pale green soapy-textured inclusions that may be included mudstone fragments. In other specimens white fine sandstone grains up to 6mm and some iron oxide grains were seen.
The glaze is mostly thick, hard and shiny dark brown to black and only on the inside. In one or two it is brown. A few pieces are pitted, some badly so. The rim is fully glazed in very few sherds. Usually the glaze extends to the rim as drips and runs as though the pots were fired upside down. It was not uncommon to find sand from the kiln floor embedded in the rims. Red-purple under-glaze slip was evident in some pieces.
Decoration is limited to horizontal grooves and ridges, often near the rim and is common. Internal wheel marks are common.
Of the 31 bases with attached sides only one has shallow sides, inclined at about 115o. All the others have steep sides roughly evenly divided between straight and outward bulging sides rising from the base. The edge between base and side is usually rounded.
Eighty-one rim sherds were picked up, falling into 20 different types, though no two are exactly the same. (Figure 2.24). The diameter of the pots at the rim ranges from 16 to 48 cm, among which 45 are in the 18 to 26 cm range. Among the rim types there are only two everted rims, one 3cm wide from a pot that was 40 cm in diameter that had curved sides. This form is typical of pancheons in other fabric types. The other rim types are divided between upright forms and slightly outward bulging forms. Several types have grooved upper surfaces to the rims, but none are shaped to take a lid. There is no correlation between diameter and whether or not the sides are straight. No handles were found.
It is inferred from this that there was a limited range of forms for this fabric type; mostly butterpots, jars and cisterns, though no bung holes were verified, and a small number of pancheons.
A clue to the origin of this fabric type lies in the filler. The angular feldspar and quartz would have originated from granite or granodiorite, while the white quartz, which also occurs, is most likely to be from vein quartz. The most likely source for these and the volcanic fragments is Charnwood. The quartz sand can have a range of sources, but the sandstone grains are most likely to be derived from sandstone within the Triassic Sherwood Sandstone, outcrops of which surround the Charnian inlier. Thin sections of mudstones from the Mercia Mudstone Group often show abundant aeolian sand grains, which would have blown onto the mud flats and then become incorporated in the mudstone. It is most likely, therefore, that the clay used to make this pottery was from the Mercia Mudstone Group and was sourced close to the Charnwood inlier, which would have provided aeolian sand grains originating from the various rock types found there.
The body is salmon pink or pale pink (42206). It is usually hard fired and some sherds show white laminae. It is rarely over-fired, but a few contained flattened vesicles. The same set of inclusions has been observed in both types, but the salmon pink fabric is the cleaner of the two with less and finer-grained sand. The inclusions are quartz grains, iron oxide, quartz sandstone, feldspar and a white fine-grained rock type that may be volcanic. In some the feldspar and other angular white inclusions up to 2mm long are quite abundant.
The glaze is nearly always black and shiny. In a few it is very dark brown with black streaks. The glaze is only ever on the inside, but splashes of it were seen on the underside of base sherds. It is underlain by a red slip. The outer surface of the vessels always has either a red or orange slip. The glaze does not usually reach the rim. In many vessels the runs and drips of glaze towards the rim indicate that the pots were fired upside down. Sand was seen embedded in the rims of some of these. In others, sand is embedded in the base.
No handles were found. From the base sherds it seems that there were essentially three types of form. One raised base with an outward curving body, probably of a bowl, was found. All the others are either vertically sided or shallow vessels with inclined sides. The straight-sided ones, from base measurements, are 20 to 32 cm in diameter and are divided between sharp-angled vertical sides and gently rounded upright sides, which are up to 100 degrees. One sherd shows an inward sloping side. The shallow-sided vessels have a sharp angle between base and side measuring between 125 and 140 degrees, mostly 130.
125 rim sherds were examined and categorised. There were three main types. The majority of the rims (45%) are from shallow-sided, thin-walled vessels mostly 34 to 42 cm in diameter. One measures 54 cm in diameter. The walls, 5mm thick are topped with a square-sectioned rim on average about 15mm across. The rim is usually curved on the upper surface; many have a groove along the outside and a slightly down-turned lip. The term devised for this type of rim is upturned squared. Around 20% of the rims are from 36 to 44 cm-wide pancheons. Each rim is different, but is essentially a thickened, rectangular sectioned, flat-topped everted rim 18-35mm wide. In some there is a slight or pronounced upturned lip to the edge; in most there is a pronounced down-turned lip. The third most abundant type of rim, at 20%, is from straight-sided vessels measuring 20 to 36 cm in diameter, which is very close to the range of diameters measured in the upright bases. The rims are similar: flat topped with a rectangular thickened upper section and a slight external overhang.
Among the rest of the rims there are several types, some occurring only once. The most unusual is a flat-topped inturned and thickened rim from a necked vessel 20 cm wide at the rim. There are clubbed upright, beaded upright, square-sectioned upright and one shallow-sided clubbed rim. Most numerous, however (8% of the total), are types of hammerhead rim (Figure 2.25).
It is clear that the majority of the forms represented by these sherds are pancheons and other wide diameter, shallow vessels used in the dairy and kitchens. The others are straight-sided upright, open-topped vessels, such as jars, cisterns, perhaps, and wide bowls. Two fragments of a colander were found. There are several shouldered pieces that might fit the unusual necked rim type of vessel.
There is a very strong similarity between the pink-bodied black-glazed coarse earthenware and the vitrified glazed coarse earthenware. The type and abundance of inclusions, rim types and size range are all the same. The differences are that the pink-bodied wares are not vitrified and the proportion of upright vessels among the vitrified forms is much greater. It is conceivable that the pink-bodied and vitrified wares were made at the same time in the same potteries with the vitrified wares being deliberately made this way to serve a different function from the less highly fired equivalents.
The fabric is quite different from the pink-bodied sherds (40267 etc). It is brick red, red or occasionally orange red with sparse sand grains. These are mostly quartz, but there is a little iron oxide and occasional grains of 2mm or so diameter of sandstone and a white, possibly volcanic rock. Flattened air bubbles were fairly common, but very few sherds showed any evidence of over-firing.
The glaze is black or, much less commonly, very dark brown with black streaks. It occurs only on the inside of the vessels except for occasional splashes or drips on the outside. With rare exceptions the glaze stops short of the rim.
Two handle sherds were found. Both are unglazed except for small splashes of black glaze. They are wide and robust.
There are four types of base sherd. The commonest, making up 39% of the total, is sharp angled and upright, mostly making an angle of 90 degrees to the base, but occasionally leaning out to 100 degrees. Measurable diameters fell in the range 18 to 36 cm. Some of the sherds are up to 14mm thick. The next most common (32%) is sharp angled with inclined sides. The angle of inclination ranges between 125 and 145 degrees with most at 130. There are several with a pronounced raised base and either upright or inclined, the latter usually at 130 degrees. The fourth type of base is unique to this fabric. The very shallow angled body of the vessel rests on a low-diameter flattened cylinder about 1cm high – a true pedestal.
Amongst the 67 rims that could be measured there is considerable variation and no clearly dominant types. Within each type there are no two alike. It is striking that compared with 39% for the bases only 27% of the rims came from upright vessels. The commonest rim type is hammerhead on shallow sided vessels, making 21%. Next are squared rims, also on shallow sided vessels, at 15%. Among the remaining fifteen types none dominate. A selection of these is shown in Figure 2.26. Of the three commonest types of rim among the pink-bodied sherds, upturned squared was absent and the other two are present in low single figures. Two sherds of upright vessels actually slope gently outwards below the rim. The diameter range for the upright forms is 18 to 36 cm, with one very chunky clubbed rim 50 cm in diameter. The shallow-sided vessels tend to be bigger in diameter, ranging between 24 and 54 cm, with most being between 34 and 44 cm.
The forms represented by these sherds are pancheons, bowls, upright jars or storage vessels, jugs possibly and a colander.
This relatively uncommon fabric appears to be a variation of the pink-bodied black glazed coarse earthenware. It is creamy pale buff or very pale creamy pink and is usually streaky with either white or pale red streaks. It is always sandy with quartz, a little iron oxide, white inclusions that may be feldspar, some sandstone grains up to 2mm, some possibly white volcanic grains and 1-3mm angular grains of clay. The quartz is translucent, white or iron stained, the last consistent with it being derived from Triassic sandstones.
The glaze is black or very dark brown. On two rims it is green. A red slip under the glaze was seen on some, but it was not always visible.
Several bases were measured. The commonest type has a sharp edge angled at 110 to 120 degrees to the side. There are four upright vessels with either a sharp-edged angle with the side or gently rounded. These range between 90 and 100 degrees. There is one shallow, rounded edged base and two raised.
Only three rims were recovered. They are from shallow vessels 36 to 50 cm wide. Two are upturned bevelled; one is hammerhead. This is consistent with the fairly common sharp-angled base, but in other fabrics the pancheon type of form is shallower, usually with an angle of 130 degrees. The absence of any rims that would fit the other type of bases found is odd.
One handle, 25mm wide, was collected.
The forms represented by these sherds are probably pancheons, jugs and small bowls.
A small number (9) of body sherds were difficult to classify. The fabric differed little from mottled ware, but they were robust and black glazed. While it is not uncommon for the inside base of mottled ware vessels to have a black glaze, body sherds were always mottled. It is conceivable that these 9 sherds should be classed as mottled ware, but for the time being they are left here.
Brown-glazed wares are divided essentially the same way as the black-glazed versions. There are two main groups: red-bodied wares with a brown glaze and pink-bodied wares with a brown glaze over a red slip (52821). However, some pink-bodied sherds lack a red under-glaze slip. The type with no slip is called Brown-glazed Coarse Earthenware (47356). The type with a slip is Brown-glazed Slip-coated Coarse Earthenware. The latter is the more abundant type.
The red or salmon-pink bodied wares with no slip have a fairly clean fabric with only a little quartz sand. The pink-bodied slip-coated sherds, however, have the same family of inclusions as pink-bodied black-glazed sherds, notably, quartz, feldspar, white inclusions of sandstone, possible volcanic rocks, white quartz and some iron oxide. The proportion of these varies a lot and can be quite abundant. Generally the red and salmon pink-bodied sherds were better prepared than the pink. These are sometimes streaky. A few are over-fired and vesicles are not uncommon. They are generally hard fired and one or two are vitrified.
The glaze ranges from light brown to quite dark brown with black streaks and some of the latter could have been classed either with the black or the brown-glazed groups. Typically, the light brown glaze has a yellow scratch. The glaze is nearly always only on the inside. Only a very small number were glazed on the outside, and their provenance is uncertain.
Most bases are sharp angled, a few of which are bevelled. Angles of 115 to 135 degrees are typical. Next in abundance are bases with upright sides. These range from 14 cm to 56 cm in diameter, with most between 20 and 26 cm. There are very few raised bases.
All rim types noted are also present among the black-glazed coarse earthenware, but there are two dominant types among the shallow-sided vessels. Among the red-bodied sherds the dominant type is a rounded, thickened, slightly everted rim. Among the pink-bodied sherds it is a wide, thickened, flat, everted rim. These are from vessels up to 56cm in diameter. The rim is up to 35mm wide and may have either an upturned or down-turned lip. The rims to upright vessels are varied, but the rectangular-sectioned, thickened, flat-topped type that was common among pink-bodied black coarse earthenware and vitrified equivalents is also common here.
The commonest form that can be deduced from the sherds is the pancheon. Two handles were found and one pink-bodied sherd has a handle stub. As one rim sherd could have been from a chamber pot the handles might also be from these. In addition there are numerous straight-sided jars and other vessels up to 56 cm wide and one colander or cheese strainer.
This forms an apparently homogenous group of sherds with a salmon pink body and a clear glaze on white slip, which gives a yellow final colour (33347). The body colour varies through shades of salmon pink. In some sherds there is a white lamination, which may reflect an original variation in clay composition or perhaps the mixing of two clays. There is a small amount of sand in nearly all sherds. White angular fragments that are possibly feldspar dominate in some. In addition there may be a little quartz and some iron oxide. Some sherds contain angular rusty grains that look like oxidised clay.
The sherds are only glazed on the inside. Outside the vessels a red or orange slip has been applied, which usually laps over to the top of the rim. Where the glaze overlaps this slip on the rim it is light brown. There is no sign of any decoration on the body.
Nine base sherds were found. Two have poorly defined raised bases and on one of these the body above it is curved. All the others have sharp angular junctions between base and side. Angles vary between 114 and 150 degrees.
In 30 rim sherds (Figure 2.27) the majority (15) are clubbed, usually squared in section and sometimes grooved, no two of which are exactly the same. They came from vessels 28 to 42 cm in diameter. There are three wide, everted rims measuring 18 to 30 mm in width. One has an upturned lip. These are from 30 to 38 cm-diameter vessels. Six others are flat rims with simple upturned lips from vessels 26 to 32 cm in diameter. Among the rest one is a thickened rim with a red body from a vessel 20 cm in diameter. This looks more like a yellow-glazed version of red-bodied coarse earthenware and likely to be 19th century or younger.
With the exception of a small number of thin, curved sherds that may have originated in small bowls, all the rest are from pancheons and other large hollow ware vessels used in dairy and farm kitchen. The pink body colour and rim style of these is similar to pink-bodied black glazed coarse earthenware, but there is much less temper, the clay having been better prepared than for the pink-bodied coarse earthenware.
Several types of ware yielded only a few sherds. Among these is Glazed Red Earthenware recognised by Jane Young among a selection of finds shown to her from Bingham. It has a well-prepared, fairly soft, sand-free red-orange fabric with a green glaze or a greenish tinge to the dark glaze. Only five sherds were found and little can be inferred from them. She gave the age range as early/mid 16C to early/mid 17C. One sherd of Bourne Ware (18508), also recognised by Jane Young, is mid 15th to 16th century. Two sherds of Tin-glaze earthenware were found, probably from the 17th to mid 18th century. Several sherds found were of copies of Martincamp flasks made in Ticknall. They were identified by Alan MacCormick and dated to the mid 17th century.
Post-Medieval Stoneware, including Bellarmine ware and other German-made wares, dated from the late 16th to 18th century is considered separately.