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Stoke Archaeology finds highlight Swan Bank pottery
Pottery decoration
A few pieces from the dig showed more decorative approaches

Recent archaeological finds in Burslem in Stoke-on-Trent are being exhibited in the town.

Historians digging through an old car park discovered the old Swan Bank Pottery; and have traced the site's story back through 400 years.

Among the finds are not just pottery wares but also domestic items including pipes and tools.

The pieces are being shown at the Burslem School of Art, less than 100m (328 ft) from where they were created.


The archaeologists from the Stoke-on-Trent Museum Archaeological Society have been working on a site in the Clayhanger Street area of Burslem. They were targeting the remains of a Victorian bottle oven - and found evidence of the kiln's last firing.

Glass button
Some glass buttons had a royal seal

Among the discoveries were black Rockingham Ware teapots, and, from earlier ages, saltglazed stoneware, creamware from the 18th Century and deposits of mottled ware and flamboyant slipware from the 17th Century.

Glimpses of potters' everyday lives were found in the shape of marbles, clay pipes, buttons and tools.

The pottery was owned for a time by Ralph Wedgwood, Josiah's cousin.

Archaeologists were also able to find traces of the original 16th Century farm.

A Midland Purple chafing pot
A Midland Purple chafing pot is among the oldest pieces found on the site

Stoke Archaeological Society

The Stoke Archaeological Society works extensively across the north of the county, having recently also concentrated on a Roman site near Rocester where it found shoes made 2,000 years ago.

Although affiliated to the Potteries Museum, the society has decided to exhibit the finds first in the town in which they were discovered.

The exhibition, which opened at the Burslem School of Art at the beginning of January, runs until Friday, 5 February 2011.

Clayhanger Street site
Members of the society worked together to excavate the Clayhanger Street site (Photo courtesy of David Thomas, official SoTMAS photographer)

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