KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage


The Roman Pottery of Kent
by Dr Richard J. Pollard  -  Chapter 5  page 173
Doctoral thesis completed in 1982, published 1988

Chapter 5

THE PRODUCTION OF POTTERY IN KENT: HISTORY

I. INTRODUCTION

An exhaustive gazetteer of production sites in Roman Britain lists 67 sites in Kent (Swan 1984, 387—421). Twenty-four of these lay in the Upchurch Marshes, mostly poorly recorded by nineteenth- and twentieth-century antiquaries. A further ten sites are known along the southern fringes of the Medway estuary, nine on the Cliffe peninsula and Isle of Grain, and 12 along the floodplain of the Thames between Swanscombe in the west and Higham in the east. Canterbury is ringed by seven sites, the only other east Kent location being at Preston-near-Wingham, above the mouth of the Little Stour. Two sites at Ash-cum-Ridley (New Ash Green, between the rivers Darent and Medway), and one each at Otford (near Sevenoaks, south-west Kent) and Eccles (in the Medway valley) complete the picture. Two hypothesized kiln sites, at Joyden’s Wood, Bexley, and at Stone Wood, Stone near Dartford, are discredited, whilst a third at Dymchurch (Wheeler 1932) fails to merit even a dismissal.
   The studies of the distribution of pottery wasters and of wares can add some generalized areas of production to the sites catalogued by Swan (see below, 5.IV and 6.III.2). It is to be expected that in a county whose Iron Age traditions


of potting were as strong as those in Kent, pottery manufacture was a widespread, though by no means ubiquitous activity. Two regions stand out, however: that between Swanscombe and the Upchurch Marshes, and the environs of Canterbury.

II. THE POTTERY INDUSTRY OF NORTH KENT:
     THAMESIDE, THE CLIFFE PENINSULA AND
     THE MEDWAY MARSHES

1. Background

The southern marshes of the Medway estuary, around Rainham and Upchurch, were the scene of some of the earliest searches for Roman pottery in Britain. The sea level has risen since the Roman period, inundating the second-century and later sites (Evans 1953), and areas such as Otterham Creek, Rainham, formerly one of the richest ‘veins’ of pottery, are now practically sterile. The antiquarian collectors have left little record of their finds (Monaghan 1987, 242—3), even the pots themselves often having been lost or separated from indications of their

Page 173

Page 171      Back to Chapter 5    Contents Page         Page 174

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society   click here

Back to Publications On-line               Back to Research Page            Back to Homepage                 

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
© Kent Archaeological Society 2004

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 research@kentarchaeology.org.uk