Frances Claire McIntosh
BAR Publishing, £38
Review Paul Booth
The importance of the Clayton Collection extends significantly beyond its home ground of Chesters (Cilurnum), though the focus of the present volume is on the material from Cilurnum. That is set in the context of Clayton’s ownership of, and interest in, the site; his position in the tradition of 19th-century antiquarianism; the formation of the Collection; and its subsequent development.
The study focuses on objects of personal adornment, militaria, and those related to craft and industry. A significant conclusion based on broad comparative analysis is that, despite its limitations (not least the lack of contextual information), the Collection remains an extremely important resource both for Cilurnum and for wider studies of the material culture of the Wall.
Discussion of the brooch assemblage particularly concerns types that are often thought to have specific military associations. The chapter on militaria similarly highlights uncertainty about the military associations of some object types. Discussion of craft and industry concentrates mainly on the evidence of iron tools, which demonstrate the range of activities necessary to support daily life within the military establishment.