Aspects of Kentish Local History

Finds from the excavation of Eccles Roman Villa, Kent

First-century pottery manufacture at Eccles, Kent by Alec Detsicas
Roman Pottery Studies in Britain and Beyond. BAR S30 Oxford, 19-36

Pottery manufacture at Eccles, in the parish of Aylesford, Kent, was established in 1971-73, and the present paper is offered as an interim statement in anticipation of the definitive publication of the site. So far, it has been possible to process and study only a small part of the enormous amount of pottery involved, and a provisional series of forms of the various classes of pottery produced at the site has been worked out, except in the case of bowls and cooking-pots which await further work. No attempt is made here to quote parallels, even in the case of well attested vessels, and the dating suggested below relies exclusively on internal evidence.

The site (N.G.R. TQ 718605; O.S. 6-in. Sheet TQ 76 SW) lies on the 50-ft. contour very close to the old channel of the Medway, to the south of its east bank, in an area totally disturbed by large pits excavated for the disposal of industrial waste; a small area of the original ground surface, forming a plateau, had remained undistrubed in a small wood between these industrial pits and part of it was mechanically removed in 1971. As a result, an exposed section was observed to contain a thick band of pottery waste material deposited upon the clay subsoil and following the dip slope towards the river bank; trenching in late 1972 was followed, in 1973, by the complete stripping of the undisturbed area. This was found to be spread with a layer, about 0.30 m in thickness, of wasters, tiles and other material beneath a light covering of top soil.
   No kiln was found, except for a medieval tilery constructed in the middle of this waste material (Detsicas 1974a, 130-31), and it is presumed that such a kiln must have been situated nearby further to the south. In this respect, it is significant that a Romano-British tilery was excavated, in 1966, about 214 m south-west of the present site, and it must, therefore, be concluded that an industrial site, involving pottery and tile manufacture, was located northwest of Bushey Wood and lost to the modern industrial excavations. This manufacturing activity, begun about the middle of the first century A.D. on the evidence of the kiln waste, must have continued until at least the fourth century A.D., about which time the tilery ceased to function; it is, however, impossible to say anything more definite about the organisation and extent of this industrial site because of its modern destruction.

                           19     Next page

Return to Kiln waste Introduction

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received
 so that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too