The Search for one of Somerset's Major Post-Medieval Pottery Product Centres
Over the past thirty years there has been a growing body of archaeological evidence to suggest that a major centre of earthenware pottery production in the 16th to early 19th centuries was based in East Somerset in the area of the villages of Nunney, Trudoxhill and Wanstrow. Its products have been identified on archaeological excavations in Glastonbury, Wells and Bristol among other places.
The Wanstrow Pottery Group have carried out extensive field-walking in the parish of Wanstrow have been researching the industry and collecting sherds and identifying concentrations of waste material from kiln firing over the past six years.
In 2017, we were please to provide a grant from the Maltwood Fund for geophysical surveys to try to locate more precisely some of these production sites. Test-pitting confirmed the former existence of pottery kilns on one particular site but unfortunately all detail had been destroyed by 20th -century activity leaving just scatters of kiln debris. Research is continuing.
The project is an off-shoot of the parish survey carried out by the Wanstrow History Group and published in 2016: Jefferson, J (ed.) A History of Wanstrow (Wanstrow History Group), a copy of which may be consulted in the SANHS library.