These fine white bowls with red painted decoration are now known as Parchment Ware. These two bowls and a jar were found at the Churchill Hospital site.
Photo by David Carpenter
OVER the last half century it has become clear that the Roman road from Alchester to Dorchester- on-Thames was lined for much of its length by a considerable pottery industry and that most of this development was centred on the high ground now covered by the eastern suburbs of modern Oxford, on the gravel terraces just north of Dor chester and on the Berkshire bank of the Thames. Until very recently the standard conception of the Oxford industry was of a minor version of that of the New Forest. It is now clear that Oxford wares had a much wider distribution than the latter and were of more importance. Previous emphasis on the New Forest seems to have been due to the accessibility of Heywood Sumner's type series of the New Forest types, in many cases very similar to those of the Oxford region. This has led excavators to attribute these late red colour-coat wares and red painted white wares (now known as parchment wares) almost automatically to the New Forest.
In fact the wares of the New Forest and Oxford can be distinguished fairly easily on fabric differences. New Forest colour-coat wares tend to have a creamy fabric while those of the Oxford kilns are red or orange and frequently micaceous. The Oxford parchment wares have a fine sandy fabric, normally white or cream but frequently with an orange or pink core and are much finer than those of the New Forest. The most common Oxford parchment ware
Romano - British Pottery (6)
THE OXFORD POTTERIES
by Christopher Young
T-shaped dryers such as this were often used for corn, but this one was used for drying the pots before they were fired. The stokehole was at the far end. Photo: Philip Kenrick