For the last couple of weeks we have been excavating in Broseley, Shropshire. This early industrial town, in the hinterland of the Ironbridge Gorge, was the scene of extensive coal mining from the late 1500s onwards; later - as part of a wider group of settlements including Jackfield and Coalford - it developed a specialised ceramic industry, focusing in particular on the manufacture of clay tobacco pipes.
Here indeed is Kate having discovered a deposit containing numerous clay pipes, which appear to have been dumped here during the life of one of the later coal mines on the site. There seem to be two broad phases of mining. The most recent is this 19th century phase, with relatively large scale extraction of coal, ironstone and clay; the clay has been spread across the site and effectively seals a much earlier layer of mining activity. This seems to date to the 17th and early 18th centuries and was quite intensive in places.
Interestingly, as well as numerous tips of pottery and other artefacts, we have found a few ephemeral traces of buildings and structures associated with this earlier phase. The photo below shows one of those: probably a lean-to against one of the mining spoil heaps incorporating a small domestic hearth. This may have been a small 'squatter cottage' or more likely a pit-head shelter.
We have so far completed about two-thirds of our excavation, and finish next week. We will be offering a public tour on Tuesday 17th May at 6.00pm - so if you are interested do please come along!
accessibility aerial-cam aircraft Albany ALGAO antiquaries apley archaeology architecture art art nouveau Australia baltic Belgium beverley Birmingham black country Black Country Living Museum blast furnace blog borders Brexit broseley buildings cadw cambridgeshire canals cars castles charities chartership chief executive children chuches CIfA cinema coalbrookdale colonial community conferences conflict conservation contexts CPAT cracow crash cultural heritage culture cumbria cycling dark heritage dark tourism Darwin dawley devolution dialogue Dunsborough EAA earthworks england english heritage estonia EU Europe evolution excavation family family history fields fieldwalking food friends funding furnaces gardens geography geology geophysics governance Habsburg heritage heritage management hertfordshire hinkshay historic environment historical metallurgy society history holiday hotel housing hull IfA india industrial heritage industry instability interdisciplinary iran iraq iron iron age iron rolling ironbridge ironworking jackfield jewish heritage Kakadu landscape landslide latvia lecture legislation linguistics Lithuania local history london manor house marylebone metallurgy middle east mill mining moat monograph moss museums national identity Netherlands Newcomen Nexus Northern Territory painting pakistan Perth planning poland politics of heritage post-colonial pottery preservation professionalism publication railways rambling religion report riga road rock art romania romans ruin salaries sandwell sardines scheduling schools scotland settlements severn shakespeare ships shropshire snow soviet stirchley stirchley furnaces stirchley ironworks stirchley slagworks stratigraphy survey Switzerland syria tallinn teaching telford tenements terrorism theatre timber-framed towns trains transport trustees turkey UK Vilnius volunteers wales west bromwich Western Australia wooden road wrexham wrexham and shropshire wroxeter yorkshire