Pottery Pieces Found in the Moat Site of Vesey's Manor

The two fragments of old pottery shown below had lain in a box for several years.  They had originally been dug out of the moat in our garden.  Both looked “interesting”.

Our moat, which is one of several in the village, had been dated some years ago as probably 13th century.  It appears to have been a garden fashion!

Robert Skeen kindly arranged to have the pieces dated for us and the results were interesting, as both pieces were dated to the 11th century and therefore pre-date the moat in which they were found.  Please see below for further details.

Terry Lynch, May 2011

Both moat site pieces are from the same period and are late Saxon ware.

Robert Skeen

A Piece of Thetford Ware: part of rim with thumb impression - 7 x 6cm
This is a piece of Thetford ware and is part of the rim of a substantial storage jar.
Thetford ware is so-called because the kilns for the manufacture of this Late Saxon wheel-made pottery were first uncovered in Thetford.  However, it is likely that the pottery developed in Ipswich where kilns have been excavated and was first made by Ipswich potters in the late 9th century.  This is a medium sandy greyware, although fine and course fabrics are known.
The main forms are plain jars with everted rims, but other forms include spouted bowls and pitchers, large strapped storage jars and lamps.  Decoration typically includes bands of diamond rouletting (produced using a tool similar to a pastry cutter), applied thumbed strips (as is the case in this example) and occasionally incised wavy lines.
This piece is probably from the 11th century.
Photograph by Robert Skeen
The piece of Stamford ware: rim with small spout - 5 x 4cm
There are speckles of glaze around this piece which suggest that it is probably Stamford ware.  It is redder than usual but is probably oxidised.  Probably 11th century.
Photograph by Robert Skeen
This is a piece of Stamford ware from the Ashmolean museum. It shows how the spout pictured above may have been fixed to the pot.
It is interesting to note that the above piece was originally presented to the British Museum by A W Franks, the man who also presented the Meldreth Hoard to The British Museum.
Ashmolean Museum

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