Contact

Location: Mucklestone, Staffordshire
Dates: Beginning 8th April 2018, no end date specified
Cost: See full details below
Age: 16+
Training / Experience: No restrictions
Accommodation: No
Organization: Stoke on Trent Museum Archaeology Society
Name: Pat Blenkarn
Address: The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Bethesda St, Hanley
, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 3DW
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 01782 564 753
Web: www.stokearchaeologysociety.org.uk/Mucklestone/html/Mucklestone.html

Details

Here is what we believe to be the 17th C bread oven, newly-revealed. In this view looking north, you can see the remains of the burnt beam between rows of stones, forming the base of the oven's front wall [Photo Credit: Dave Thomas]

Here is what we believe to be the 17th C bread oven, newly-revealed. In this view looking north, you can see the remains of the burnt beam between rows of stones, forming the base of the oven’s front wall [Photo Credit: Dave Thomas]

A SOTMAS member and resident of Mucklestone, learned that whenever a field called “Old House Field” is ploughed, an area of dark soil emerges containing pottery sherds.  Field walking the site identified an area of darker soil with a high concentration of pottery fragments, mostly dating from the early 18th Century.

In 2013 and early 2014 magnetometry surveys and trial excavations revealed what appeared to be evidence of a bread oven.

In 2016 we confirmed that this was indeed the location of a bread oven, which from the pottery sherds we found in and around the debris seems to have collapsed, apparently following a disastrous fire, sometime in the 17th Century.

In 2017 excavation revealed some intriguing features: ditches, post holes, possibly a gateway, and possibly a corn drying pit.  We think that maybe the ditches surrounded a fenced enclosure in which crops were grown in a small way. Towards the end of the year’s dig, we investigated a small area along the S baulk of the whole site.  Here we found many nails, which tended to be aligned, and a lot of pottery sherds. Maybe the house was S or SE of the oven. In this position, the prevailing wind would have carried smoke from the oven away from the house.

The search for the house will continue.

Costs: Membership of the society is mandatory, as required by our insurers. Membership is £20 pa, or £10 for students. No food, accommodation or transport is provided, so diggers would need to budget for these.


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