27th March 2017:

Staff from Oxford Archaeology are in Woolwich this week to excavate a post-medieval stoneware pottery kiln – 43 years after the kiln was first investigated

The kiln was originally excavated in 1974. The excavators revealed a brick-built structure and large quantities of Bellarmine jugs and other stoneware forms. Apart from being a remarkably well preserved kiln of its type, it is potentially the earliest stoneware kiln in Britain, having been dated to the mid 17th-century.

After the kiln was recorded, it was covered in protective foam (as can be seen in the banner image) and sealed in a wooden box. It was then lifted in bulk and stored in a number of locations before being moved to its current home next to the Greenwich Heritage Centre.

The current work has been commissioned by Berkeley Homes, which is redeveloping the site. The kiln will be recorded using photogrammetry, among other techniques, allowing a digital 3D model to be generated.

The excavation will continue until the end of the week. More information and images of the excavation will be posted in due course, so watch this space!


The kiln behind scaffolding outside the Woolwich Heritage Centre
A Bellarmine jug, the type of pottery fired in the Woolwich kiln