Canterbury Archeological Trust

Barrett's Pound Lane
Paul Bennett

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Excavation photo An excavation in advance of proposed redevelopment is currently in progress on the forecourt of Barrett's of Canterbury Ltd. The excavation, financed by the developer, Mr Geoffrey Barrett, was cut to a 'V'-shaped profile by machine to the level of the watertable, some 3.25 m. below the present ground surface. Hand-excavated 'benches' are currently being cut to examine and record systematically the sequence and nature of the archaeological deposits in this part of the city.

At the present time (September) we have just uncovered the remains of a complete mid twelfth century kiln packed with pottery. The kiln is of unique importance. It is by far the oldest medieval kiln found in Kent and the kiln products are of a type that were hitherto thought to have been made in North France or the Low Countries. It seems likely therefore that the kiln and its contents are products of an immigrant French potter, producing glazed and decorated wares in the city during a period when Canterbury was a thriving cosmopolitan centre, both before and after the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170. Examples of this potter's work have been found on a number of Trust excavated sites, particularly in the precincts of the cathedral (e.g. the Norman Staircase excavations).

Although work on the kiln is nearing completion, a sequence of earlier levels, including Roman rampart deposits and early and pre-Roman waterlogged soils have yet to be investigated.

The Barrett's excavation is largely staffed by members of our Manpower Services Commission team under the supervision of Mr Mark Houliston. My thanks are extended to him and his team and particularly to Mr Geoffrey Barrett and his staff for their help, encouragement and generosity.

See this place today Click on the logo to see this place today.   The information on this page is Copyright © Canterbury Archaeological Trust Ltd 1988. Reproduced with permission.
The text and pictures were taken from Canterbury's Archaeology 1985/1986, The 10th Annual Report of Canterbury Archaeological Trust Ltd.

Peter Collinson Last change: 7th September 2008