Over 4200 fragments of glass were collected. They were identified by Peter Hammond. A few are thought to be Roman and there are two that could have originated in the 16th century. The rest were made in the 17th to 20th centuries, with the abundance increasing towards the present. Small fragments of glass are not easy to date without recourse to chemical analysis. In some of the later glass individual marks could be used to identify the manufacturer and date of manufacture, but most were classified on colour, thickness, density, shape or style of vessel, method of manufacture and rim style.

In the section below they are described by the century of manufacture, but many fragments could not be precisely dated, being of a type that is known to have been long ranging. Many fragments have a strong golden patina caused by a chemical reaction between the glass and the soil. This is not necessarily a function of age.

The find numbers of examples of various types of glass are given in brackets.


Three pieces were identified as possibly Roman. One nearly square fragment of green glass might have been part of a tessera (2567). This was found in field 9809, which borders the Foss and contains plentiful evidence of Romano-British habitations along the roadside. The other two are aqua fragments and were found with some Roman pottery, but outside the main settlement area around Margidunum (31271, 38460).
Another 17 fragments of mostly green (4483) with some aqua (21138) and clear (20831) glass show similarities with Roman glass, but could also be from the 17th or 18th centuries. Most of these were thin, flat, quite delicate and freeblown. Bases were pontilled. There were some bottle necks and lips showing that they were hand blown. All of these were found in fields containing Roman pottery.

16th century

Two fragments of multicoloured, decorative glass are thought to be Venetian from the 16th to 17th centuries (21261, 21272).

17th century

Over 800 finds, mostly of green bottle glass, can be attributed to the period 17th to early 20th century. About 14% of the fragments are certainly 17th century. The glass is dark green, thick, usually fairly dense wine bottle glass with evidence of being free blown (21136).

Two pieces of pink wine glasses (20933, 20936) are of a type that first appeared in the 17th century, but could be later. They were found in the same field.

The rest are not so easy to tie down to the 17th century. A large proportion may be 17th or 18th century. Nearly all of these are fragments of green bottles, most are thick, but some are quite delicate. There is evidence that some of it is free blown (5526, 18443). A seal from a green glass bottle, now patinated through reaction with the soil, shows a bird (4797) and is from this period. One aqua flat piece (21072) and an emerald piece (21593) could also be from this period. There is also a part of a clear, free blown stem of a wine glass. All of the identified bases are from cylindrical bottles; some are pontilled (21104, 2913), others kick-up (27429, 27445).

18th century

While most of the glass from this period is still green, where it can be distinguished from the earlier glass it is generally thinner and better made. Some green glass is quite thin (4439). Some bases (4951, 6365) and rims (21168) of green bottles are clearly free blown. Not all vessels are round bottles, some squared corners (2356, 52939) have been found and some octagonal bases (26571,51862). Aqua bottles are present and include free blown bases (53042), pontilled bases (53217), flat side and shoulder (27444) fragments. Quite a lot of aqua window glass (21454, 27431) was found and some nearly clear, also possibly window glass. Pieces of milk white ornamental glass (6194), aqua ornamental glass (5086) and one free blown clear bottle base were collected.

Much of the glass could be attributed only to the 18th-19th century. Again, it is predominantly green bottle glass, but other colours and vessel types that started in the 18th century became more common later. It was during the 18th century that mould-made glass appeared and a good example of a mould-made drinking glass is 7035. Free blown drinking glasses (7038) exist alongside these. Various other coloured bottles include light aqua, very thin flat sided (18461), light green (20693), thin clear (21172), blue (26582) with a pontilled base and round aqua (27416). Some aqua (18455, 18441, 20631) and clear (52937) window glass was collected, clear wine glasses (3139), which became common in the 18th century and a green decanter stopper (53654).

19th century

Increasing diversity in colour, shape and form characterises the 19th century. In addition to green wine bottles, including mould-made types, there are now more numerous bottles in aqua (1089, 3140) including medicine types (6663), emerald green (4776) and amber (4994). Bottle shapes, already beginning to diversify in the 18th century, now include tall and thin, hexagonal, octagonal and narrow rectangular. In addition there are clear fluted (4097) and clear hexagonal (589) drinking glasses. Fragments of various ornamental, coloured dishes were found including opaque cream (8151), fluted purple (6971) and pink (20950). Window glass is now flat and clear. Two decanter stoppers were found; one cut glass (28626) and the other not (5167). Clear (6553) and turquoise (3297) wine glasses were found and a blue rod probably used for mixing chemicals.

19th - 20th century

In the second half of the 19th century, particularly around 1870 more changes took place in the glass industry and forms appeared that persisted into the 20th century. A large number of mould-made aqua bottles including inkbottles, Hamilton bottles (21472), torpedo type (21263) and other types emerged in the mid to late 19th century and lasted into the early 20th century. In 1872 the Codd mineral water bottle was patented and it continued to be used up to the 1930s. In it the stopper was a glass marble. The marbles themselves have been found, but also several examples of Codd bottle tops were picked up. Examples of an early type is 21042, later types include a half-pint bottle (21057). Blue and cobalt blue ridged poison bottles are fairly common (21121). Internal screw bottle tops (21203) appear around 1880. Embossed and numbered bottles (e.g.9172) appeared in large numbers from about 1870 and many of the firms that have been identified continued in production into the early 20th century.

Some of the named bottle glass fragments are listed here:

  • Barrett & Elers, Nottingham 1870-1890
  • William Ford, Nottingham 1870-1890
  • Bickerdyke Nottingham, mid - late 19th C
  • Edward Bonser Nottingham mineral water late 19th C
  • Woodward Chemists, Nottingham late 19th C
  • Unknown manufacturer with Rd. No. 9807, registered 1884
  • Redfern Brothers, Barnsley 1870 - 1930
  • Virtus trade mark (Wm Ford or Ford and Parr) Nottingham 1880 - 1910
  • Fletcher’s Eifell Tower Lemonade, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • Fletcher’s Sauce, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • Mellin’s Infant Food, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • City Bottling Co Nottingham, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • The Nottingham Brewery, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • Shipley sauce, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • Dalgliesh and Sons, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • Hickling & Co Brewers, Nottingham, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • Hyde & Co, London, ink manufacturers, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • Garton’s, Nottingham, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • Truman, Nottingham, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • James Thraves, Nottingham mineral water, 1889 - 1918
  • Skinner & Rook, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • Benbow’s Dog Mixture, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • Daddies sauce, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • Home Brewery, Nottingham, late 19th C - early 20th C
  • Harlene for the Hair
  • Owbridge’s Lung Tonic, late 19th C - mid 20th C
  • Superior Waters, late 19th C - early 20th C

Others include clear glass medicine, tonic and gripe water bottles. There are also clear chemist’s and perfume bottles. Among aqua bottles are inkbottles, Kilner jars, and medicine bottles. All possibly date from this period.

20th century

Clear glass is dominant in the 20th century with bottles, some embossed and with screw-threaded tops, drinking glasses, wine glasses, flat, ridged and frosted window glass, fluted and other designs for ornamental bowls and jars, cut glass, heavy ash-tray glass, pickle jars and baby feeding bottles. Sauce bottle stoppers included ones marked GARTONS (Garton’s HP Sauce). There are some aqua, light blue, green, amber and painted glass clearly originated in the 20th century in addition to the green glass that is essentially undatable. External screw thread appears on bottle tops after around 1920. White, opaque glass used for kitchenware was found and some coloured, ornamental glass. Although many pieces had the remains of embossed lettering surprisingly few could be identified. Among those that are sufficiently distinctively marked to be precisely dated are:

  • Lipton’s Tea from mid 20th century
  • Dickens & Hickton mineral water manufacturer, Nottingham 1912 - 1928
  • Clear bottle with the Rd. No 683154, registered in the First World War.
  • Veno’s Seaweed Essence, mid 20th C.

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