Monument record WYB 005 - Med pottery found and subsequently donated to Ipswich Museum. Courseware, late 13th - early 14th century.

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Med pottery found and subsequently donated to Ipswich Museum. Courseware, late 13th - early 14th century.


Grid reference Centred TM 2458 7981 (50m by 50m)
Map sheet TM27NW


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

Pottery found in 11 acre field on land belonging to F Tibbenham, Fonnereau Farm, Weybread, by Frederick Howard. Finder donated it to Ipswich Museum. It includes spigot holes, twisted handles and wasters. Also a claw hammer (S1). Medieval Pottery Roof Ventilator from Weybread. Part of a pottery ventilator found with pottery wasters which indicate a kiln in the vicinity at Fonnereau Farm, Weybread, two miles S of Harleston. The pottery has a possible range in date from the late 13th to the mid 14th century.
The fragment is made of coarse gritty ware, grey in the core and light reddish-brown on the surface. The whole of the outside and the perforations are covered by dark green glaze. The inside shows wheel-marks which enable the fragment to be given its approximate slope. The diameter outside is about 13 inches.
The fragment shows the pointed heads of a series of apertures, each enclosed by a canopy projecting about three-quarters of an inch beyond the side. Inside the apex of each canopy are radiating incised lines. The canopies probably joined at a lower level, thus forming a continuous series of arches above the apertures, and extended downwards as a rib or fillet between the lower parts of the apertures. As restored in the drawing, each aperture is about 2 inches wide and may have been 6 - 8 inches in height. The number of apertures round the circumference of the structure can be estimated at twelve or fourteen.
Each canopy was surmounted by a cross in high relief with expanded arms. Deeply incised lines follow the margins of each arm of the cross. The greater part of one cross is preserved, and the base of the cross above the adjoining canopy. In the angles between the arms of the cross are half-inch holes piercing the side of the structure. Connecting the tops of the canopies is an applied wavy band, which ran horizontally round the ventilator and divided the vertically-sided lower part from the incurved or conical summit. In the spaces between the canopies and also between the crosses are deep stab-marks, made by a blunt-ended tool.
The ventilator is clearly architectural in character. In fact it is an elaborate version in pottery of the capping of a stone chimney shaft; the analogies in stone belong to the late 13th and 14th centuries. These chimneys, polygonal in plan, were provided with gabled window-vents, sometimes of lancet type as on the Weybread ventilators, for the exit of smoke.
In view of the fragmentary nature of the evidence, the question of the complete form of the Weybread ventilator remains open between two alternatives. (1) A separate structure fitted on the roof, and thus classed as a louver, and (2) the capping for a stone chimney shaft or smoke-vent, for the existence of which in Essex in C14 there is documentary evidence (S2).

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <S1> Museum Record Card: Ipswich Museum. IPSMG card. IPSMG, card 963-57, 1963.
  • <S2> (No record type): Dunning G C, Med pottery roof ventilator from Weybread, PSIA, 30, 1968, (3), 284-285 (ill).

Finds (3)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Sep 2 2005 10:39AM

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