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Skegby Pottery

A find of kiln wasters from an early medieval pottery kiln

In 2010 a chance find of Medieval kiln wasters in Skegby in Nottinghamshire
provided the Society with a unique opportunity to examine a rare ceramic tradition which was in place about 800 years ago.
We also had the responsible task of describing the find in a report of a sufficiently high standard which would command the respect of the profession.
This initial work has now been completed and copies of the report are now available from the Society's treasurer, see panel below.

The recovery of almost 800 sherds was hastily carried out on a building site within a very short window of opportunity before concrete was poured !
Because no contextual excavation was possible our only method of the dating of the pottery has been by typological comparison with other known assemblages in the County. This provides us with a postulated date of the latter half of the 12th. century or the earliest quarter of the 13th. C.

Ultimately the collection will be housed at Mansfield Museum and will be available for further study.

Skegby jug
Rouletting jpg

In very general terms the pottery, now officially referred to as Skegby Ware, is similar in character to Nottingham Splashed ware. However, there are significant differences which have lead us to believe that the production at Skegby could be anything up to 100 years earlier than the Nottingham city kilns.
The recovery of large quantities of kiln waste from several development sites in Nottingham have been atributed to the 13th. and 14th. centuries although no firm dating evidence exists for any of the recovery sites there.
The Skegby pottery takes much simpler, one could say more primitive forms. There is an absence of jug pouring spouts and the vertically applied decorative strips so often seen on medieval vessels is also rarely in evidence.
A significant feature of the jugs which is difficult to find a parallel for in other assemblages, is the way in which the jug handle springs directly from the rim of the vessel.
All these points are discussed at some length in the report with an appraisal also of the nature of the lead glazing which at all times is crude and inferior to the Nottingham wares.

The report which the Society has produced is straightforwardly descriptive. It is intended to bring this important find to the attention of students of Medieval pottery and hopefully will be a springboard for much wider research.