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This type of pottery is a dark glazed fineware, sometimes referred to as black lead glazed ware and commonly referred to as Buckley type. This pottery was first manufactured in North Wales from 1690 (thus giving the name Buckley type as earliest examples of this pottery where discovered in kiln sites in Buckley, north-east Wales) to 1720 and in the late 18th and 19th centuries in Merseyside (Davey 1987). Buckley type wares are made from a mixture of red, yellow and white clays, which can sometimes be seen as bands within cross section of the fabric in utilitarian pieces such as storage vessels and cooking pots, but is less evident in tableware’s; like the fragment in the picture above; which were usually more finely mixed together (Philpott 1985). Buckley type wares are easily recognisable from the dark brown glaze which was prominent feature of 17th century pieces or black lead glaze which replaced the previous from the mid to late 18th century (Philpott 1985). The type of vessels that where created using this type of pottery can be split into two categories, the first being tableware such as cups, tygs and bowls to utilitarian items such as storage vessels, butter pots and cooking pots (Philpott 1985).

This fragment of pottery was discovered in Trench II, the garden trench and was discovered in a deeper context which comprised of silt and clay and is currently thought to be natural (Austin & Dollery 2011). However this fragment of pottery dates to the early 19th century and therefore coincides with the Paxton era of the site, whereas the context it was discovered is below the gravel paths which is associated with the Middleton’s, thus creating a paradigm as this layer cannot be earlier that what is above it. The explanation for such an occurrence is explainable however, burrowing animals. Occasionally, burrowing animals will dislodge material close to the surface and bring it further down in the stratigraphy than it was originally deposited, this is called contamination. This can be further backed up with the fact that no other artefacts where discovered from this context leading to the conclusion that this fragment of pottery has come from another context and was deposited (Austin and Dollery 2011, Barker 1982). From looking at this fragment of pottery, some deductions can be made. Firstly, from looking at the fabric of the piece and its width it is most certainly a fineware, probably a tableware (part of a cup, or bowl or tyg) (Woods 2012). The glaze also gives some indication of date, as it is an even black colour, it would suggest this is dates to the late 18th or early 19th century, which would fit into the Paxton era of the estate (Woods 2012). It is possible giving the date range that this fragment of pottery may have been produced in the north west of England possibly in Prescott (Philpott 1985).

Austin, D. & Dollery, J. The Excavation. In Austin, D [Ed] 2011 Paradise Lost In Search of a Garden before the Garden: Middleton Hall. Report of project conducted in 2011. Heritage Lottery Fund.

Barker, P. 1982 Techniques of Archaeological Excavation. London. Batsford

Davey, P.J. 1987 Further Observations on a Post-Medieval Kiln Group from Pinfold Lane, Buckley. In Studies in Medieval and Later Pottery in Wales, Blaise Vyner and Stuart Weathall, editors, pp. 93-120. University College, Cardiff.

Philpott, R. A. 1985 Black Glazed Ware. Journal of the Merseyside Archaeological Society, 4:85-105

Woods, M. 2012 The National Botanic Garden of Wales: A History Through Finds. University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. Unpublished

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