New Forest Pottery

Roman, 3rd–4th century AD

Much of the Roman pottery found in south Wiltshire was made in the New Forest, just to the east of Fordingbridge. The area was ideal for pottery production; clay, water and wood, the raw materials for making ceramics, were readily available. The potteries operated from the 3rd to the end of the 4th century AD.

The first recorded discovery of kilns for producing this ware dates back to the middle of the 19th century at Crock Hill and the Island Thorns Inclosure. However this was little more than treasure hunting; it was not until the early 20th century that more detailed excavations were conducted by Heywood Sumner on sites such as Ashley Rails, Sloden and Linwood. In the 1960s and 70s forestry work threatened to damage or make inaccessible some sites so further excavations were undertaken.

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Social History

Of particular significance in the collection are the relics of the ancient guilds of Salisbury.

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