Early 18th century pottery from pre Lowland Clearance sites in Scotland

Smithwood slip ware bowl – reconstructed
Smithwood slip ware bowl – reconstructed
18th Century pottery report
18th Century pottery report

Several excavated sites in southern Scotland have produced assemblages of early 18th century red earthenware and other types of Staffordshire type slip ware pottery. The sites are known to have been abandoned before 1760 and furthermore much of the pottery is tightly dated by direct association with glass bottle assemblages.

Download pdf – Early 18th century pottery from pre Lowland Clearance sites in Scotland.

This report concerns relatively rare archaeological pottery in Scotland; that from the first half of the 18th century. Most of the pottery comes from secure archaeological contexts and is nearly all dateable by the inclusion of significant glass bottle assemblages which are tightly dated on stylistic shape and type (Murdoch 2006 & 2016), this was especially true of the Smithwood and Millbrae sites, however while the ages of the glass items are securely fixed to within a decade or so, the pottery is only positively dateable across the first half of the 18th century.

All of the assemblages had green and salt glaze pottery included, which in the case of the BAG sites certainly predated the pottery discussed here, while that at Millbrae (NCAS) may be contemporary with the earliest slip wares from there.

The sites by BAG are reported on www.biggararchaeology.org.uk and those by NCAS on www.spanglefish.com/northclydearchaeologicalsociety.com This report concerns only the 18th C pottery, which has never been ‘expertly’ examined and reported, the opinions expressed here must therefore be taken as ‘non-specialist’.

The sites

The BAG sites are all pre Lowland Clearance sites (Ward 2012/1) and include the only examples of excavated bastle houses in Scotland (see Ward refs below), and they are also uniquely the only archaeological evidence for the less well known Lowland Clearances in Scotland. The NCAS site is an abandoned early 19th century double cottage but which also had an earlier settlement as shown by a 17th/18th century midden/s (McIntyre & Ward 2016).

The sites where such pottery and glass was found are listed below; all by BAG excepting the last which is by NCAS: