I have read Trevor Dunkerly's reply to your plea and he has given you a
text book answer in many ways. As a newcomer to the discipline, I am
frequently in despair at the lack of information available on North Devon
pottery. Like you our local history group and students from Exeter
University have carried out field walks but in the Brayford area and a high
percentage of finds can not be dated within 300 years. It also means test
pits can not date many houses at all closely. Fortunately most of the local
digs I have been on have a majority of Roman sherds and because of the
extensive work at Exeter they can often be dated within a 100 year period.
North Devon pottery is often discarded here although in context, because its
in normal disturbance depth and because the known dating evidence is so
wide. I wonder how many other regional potteries in England are so poorly
categorised. Generally in North Devon it seems you are better off finding
sherds from other regions for dating purposes. I understand there is large
quantities of North Devon pottery in America, resulting from the shipping
routes and emigration from Barnstaple and Bideford that must represent a
wealth of dating opportunity.
I think you will find that Trevor may have made one error in his otherwise
precise reply. Its my recollection that the appraisal of material from the
Barnstaple digs are being carried out by Exeter Archaeology. With 5 years
appraisal I shall be surprised and delighted if our frustrations are
relieved within 15 years. While its not always popular on this list, public
demand for knowledge, resulting from media activity such as the Big Dig
might motivate English Heritage to accelerate funds for quicker research.
All those frustrated black dots on the Devon map of the big dig, might put a
bigger emphasis on the work, than all the painstakingly produced
professionally reports that do not get read often by the general public.
What industry would wait 15 years to categorise its basic operational data!
From: British archaeology discussion list
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Karl-James Langford
Sent: 22 July 2003 01:43
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: North Devon Gravelled Tempered ware
Is anybody out there conducting research into 'North Devon Gravelled
Tempered Ware'. I feel a little isolated in South Wales (doesn't anyone
living here), where I have found at many of my field walking excercises
over 10 years and my continued excavation at St. Brides major - has
revealled to distinct types of North Devon Gravelled tempered ware.
The main type is definitely that imported from North Devon with a heavy
clay and quartz gravel matrix. The other has a darker glaze from the
formers tudor green, and is remarkably thinner with smaller gravel matrix.
Is anyone carry out any research on this ware?