Site of a pottery in Peats Close. It is probable that an earlier cottage on the site of 11 High Street (The Firs) had a croft that extended farther back into the field - this would bring it in line with the other holdings. When the pottery was disbanded and the new house built sometime before 1800, the rough area around the pottery may have been fenced off from the house and become part of the field. Pottery collected from the field is rich in decorated shards of early Cistercian ware - the potter who worked here had considerable skill. Some material from this site matches some from an archaeological deposit at the Austin Friars site in Leicester dated to c. 1480. The site therefore pre-dates the earliest known Ticknall pot makers by some 50 years. There is a lot of very fine plain Cistercian ware as well as kiln furniture such as large and small props. Other cruder and more basic ware also appears, but yellow ware is scarce. This site probably finished as a pottery well before the Civil War. (1)
Geophysical survey carried out in June 2010 identified a series of strong localised anomalies in this area. They are roughly circular and 3-4m in diameter, and probably represent the remains of kilns or concentrations of waste material associated with pottery production. Two further anomalies closer to the current rear property boundary are weaker and less coherent but may represent further such material. (2)
Several fieldwalking surveys have been undertaken at Peat's Close, focusing on an area defined by a spread of burnt clay. Finds analysis was carried out on a total of 4281 sherds recovered from the site. These ranged in date from the medieval (the earliest from c. 1150) to the post-medieval period (from c. 1850), with the majority of vessels dating between the late 15th to mid 17th centuries. Much of this was clearly waste from a production site, for example distorted and vitrified vessels; however the products of the kiln were also present and included cups, bowls, jars and jugs. Particularly noteworthy were numerous highly decorated Cistercian sherds with applied clay designs ranging from leaves to animals, executed to a high standard. A new handle and rim type-series has been established for this site and parallels have been made to the other Ticknall pottery production sites (Harper Avenue and Church Lane). Other material included tile, brick and kiln furniture. (3)
A resistivity survey was carried out in part of Peats Close in 2011. This picked up the same line of likely kilns as had the geophysical survey of 2010. It also showed more clearly a wider area of lesser disturbance to the north. Evidence from both surveys was used to target specific locations for further investigation, in the form of eleven test pits. These showed evidence of kiln sites, pottery dumps and other areas of man-made activity. The pottery showed the site to be well established by the time of the 1537-43 tax list; in fact, the presence of very early sherds of the Coal Measures group, together with early Local fabrics, suggests that the site was working in the 1100s and continued in operation until the mid-1500s, certainly having finished by around 1600. There was a preponderance of Midlands Purple ware from all the pits, with Cistercian ware, in smaller quantities, also coming from each pit. Other features and finds included broken fired clay from pottery kiln domes, red/orange burnt areas, fuel fragments and kiln furniture. There was no evidence of substantial deeper pot dumps and it appears that the pottery site was cleared and levelled to approximately 10cm above natural ground level. (4)
Bibliographic reference: Spavold, J & Brown, S. 2005. Ticknall Pots and Potters. Site 6; p 43.
Unpublished document: Malone, S. 2010. Land at Ticknall and Heath End, Derbyshire. Geophysical Survey.. HER Doc. No. 1422.
Unpublished document: Boyle, A and Green, L. 2011. Pottery Analysis of Material from Peats Close, Ticknall, Derbyshire. HER Doc. No. 1423.
Unpublished document: Spavold, J (ed.). 2012. Test Pits at Peats Close, Ticknall, Derbyshire. A Study by The Ticknall Archaeological Research Group. HER Doc. No. 1445.
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Centred SK 35095 23790 (58m by 48m)
TICKNALL, SOUTH DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
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Jun 29 2012 3:11PM
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