house was built some forty
years ago there was, according to local
evidence of a pottery on
the site. Nobody can be sure of exact dates
pottery finds in the
garden of our neighbour have been dated to around
fifteenth to sixteenth century.
in the village already know that pottery was made at
at least four hundred years and once production had finished the land
to agriculture including our back garden and those of our close
well as other houses in Ticknall.
It was when we kept digging up bits of highly glazed pottery sherds
decided to join the Ticknall Archaeological Research group (TARG), and
more about this intriguing subject of archaeology, and Ticknall pottery
The rest, as they say, is history!
On an unusually warm and sunny day in early November 2014 a small army
volunteers came to start what was scheduled to be a one day dig. The
site, was a space formerly occupied by a derelict greenhouse that had
dismantled. Underneath the paving slab base was an eight by eight foot
already showing bits of Midland Purple sherds.
Seven days later, on a wet and cold afternoon the last of our
volunteers had to
be almost prised out of her muddy digging spot four feet down clutching
final piece of decorated Cistercian ware. Even our professional
David Budge, risked a pelting of soil and stones as the site was filled
such was his enthusiasm to rescue interesting pottery rims, bases and
that had been overlooked during the early days of the dig.
In addition to buckets of Midland Purple ware excavated, a substantial
of decorated Cistercian ware was found, as well as evidence, although
inconclusive, of kiln furniture showing that the area close by would
a pottery including a working kiln.
The many finds are still being analysed and recorded and, in due
professional report will be published confirming approximate dates, but
moment it is believed the recovered Cistercian ware dates around the
period of time.
Many thanks must go to the professionals; Sue Brown, Janet Spavold,
Foster and David Budge for their support, advice and enthusiastic help.
Equally, without the voluntary aid of Harold, Annette, Sybil, Anne,
David, Martin, Colleen and everyone else who dropped in, plus a
husband- Nigel- the dig would not have happened and we would not have
this important part of Ticknall's local history.
If you want to find out more about the background to the extensive
industry in Ticknall, as well as the social and economic life of our
you can make a start by reading Janet Spavold and Sue Brown's book
'Ticknall Pots & Potters' published in 2005 by Landmark Publishing.
In the meantime, have a look at some of the photos of our Cistercian
pottery finds, and maybe, like me, you will be inspired to have a
little dig in
Who knows what you might find!
© Maria Picken
Decorated Cistercian cup
Decorated Cistercian fragments