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The Roman Pottery of Kent
by Dr Richard J. Pollard  -  Chapter 6  page 186
Doctoral thesis completed in 1982, published 1988

(6.VI); the remaining sites produced, so far as can be inferred, grey wares for local markets. The kilns at Springhead (Southfleet) and Swanscombe may have operated within the Thameside-Cliffe peninsula rural nucleation, at its western extremity, or as a separate group or succession of sites serving the small town and religious complex at Vagniacae. The New Ash Green (Ash-cum-Ridley) kilns lay close to a villa centre, but on high ground some distance from the River Darent and thus in geographical isolation from the Thameside potteries. Kiln 1 (Swan’s notation, 1984) lay within a possible field system (cf. Mucking: Jones and Rodwell 1973) and may have fired BB2 as well as grey wares. Kiln 2 was adjacent to, but antedating the stone phase of, a villa outbuilding. Neither is thought to post-date the second century.
   Richborough has been cited already as the raison d’ętre for various potteries known and putative (6.III.2, 6.IV.1). The kiln site at Preston, it is argued below (6.VIII), existed at least in part to capitalise on the potential custom of the garrison of the Saxon Shore fort and its vicus. The enigmatic group of pottery ‘kiln waste’ (5.IV.2) would seem to represent a dependent individual workshop within the early military supply base or perhaps the small town ‘port of entry’ that succeeded the base. In view of the strong indigenous potting tradition in east Kent, it is unlikely that the army or fleet would have taken any direct role in pottery manufacture, and a civilian concern can be postulated with confidence. The existence of another individual workshop just across the county boundary, near Titsey in Surrey, is also worth noting (Swan 1984, 627, Tatsfield).


1. The Thames-Medway Industry

The model of four elements of this industry — the Thameside and Cliffe peninsula grey wares, the Hoo flagons, the Rochester mortaria, and the Medway estuary grey and fine wares — has been introduced above (5.11). It has been proposed that up to the late Antonine period the first of these operated as a series of individual workshops in mutual contact but with an essentially localised custom for a range of forms common to all sites. The evidence for the Hoo and Rochester potteries rests solely with the vessels themselves, products of workshops assuredly, but at what level of organisation? The lack of other evidence for mortarium production in this part of Kent is suggestive of an individual workshop, though mortaria were made at Thurrock along with flagons and utility vessels (Drury 1973). The relationships between Thurrock, Rochester, Canterbury and Colchester in the second century remain to be explained. Swan (1984, 403) considers that at Hoo the ‘range of vessels may imply production geared mainly to military markets’, a theory favoured also for the possibly contemporary kiln sites at Otford and Eccles (ibid., 406, 389, respectively). A pre-Flavian military presence at key points of communication on the rivers of Kent has yet to be identified, though Eccles may have had military connections (Detsicas 1976, 162). The military/estate models are examined below.
   The fine ware potteries of the Upchurch Marshes may have nucleated from their earliest years. Their location may have been determined in no small measure by the development of the villas at Hartlip and Boxted within the first century A.D. in an area which exhibits signs of considerable wealth at this time, as is also reflected by the number of rich early post-Conquest

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