A Roman pottery kiln – found in the back garden
By BAMBI STAINTON and CHRIS STANLEY – Published in Records of Buckinghamshire volume 29 in 1987.
This has been selected by MIKE FARLEY, who writes:
In 1969 Bambi Stainton and Chris Stanley Learned that Romano-British pottery had been found in a back garden in Gerrards Cross. There was a lot of it and they were able to arrange a magnetometer survey, which is a common technique today but was unusual then.
This showed that the remains of one or more pottery kilns were buried in the garden. Space was limited, but they were given permission by the householders to excavate in one area – and there was a kiln.
Other kilns have been discovered in south Buckinghamshire not far distant at Fulmer and Hedgerley (also reported in Records of Bucks) but this one was well-preserved with a complete clay floor. Its products and those of the others discovered in the area date to the second century AD.
There are a few other kiln finds of this period in Buckinghamshire, notably at Biddlesden in the north, but so far none has been shown to be as extensive or influential as those in adjoining counties. If you want to learn more after reading this article of the month, the standard work is Vivien Swan’s book The Pottery Kilns of Roman Britain (published by the Royal Commission on Historic Monuments in 1984). She also produced a useful Shire Archaeology book, Pottery in Roman Britain (1987).
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