The Museum Collection: Post-medieval Archaeology

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In this country, the Middle Ages are considered to have finished in 1485 with the Battle of Bosworth Field. After that come the Tudor dynasty, the Reformation, the Stuarts, Georgians and the reign of Victoria and the modern period.

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clay tobacco pipe bowlThe bowl of a  clay tobacco pipe. The long stems break into many pieces and are very common objects in the gardens of houses in the historic core of settlements, but whole bowls are less usual. This example was made in Rode, Somerset in the 19th century.

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sherd of slipware potteryAn example of another common find in gardens is this piece of combed slipware pottery. The unfired pot was dipped in liquid clay (the slip) to coat it. The usual pieces have a pattern of dark lines on top of the slip, often ‘combed’ like the icing of a Bakewell tart, to add extra interest, before glaze was added and the pot was fired. It probably dates from the 18th century and may have been made in Bristol.

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pied-de-biche spoon

The label attached to this spoon explains that it was found “under the Saxon Church”, probably under one of the outbuildings that were removed when the church was restored in the late 19th century. It is of a type called a pied-de-biche spoon (doe’s foot), referring to the shape of the end of the handle and is of 17th century date.

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