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Iron Age and Roman salt production and the medieval town of Droitwich: Excavations at the Old Bowling Green and Friar Street

Simon Woodiwiss (Ed.)

CBA Research Report No 81 (1992)

ISBN 1 872414 24 9


Title page of report 81

This is the first of a proposed three volume series, reporting on six excavations carried out in Droitwich between 1967 and 1985. The town has been a centre for the large-scale production of salt from the Iron Age until the early part of this century. This industry was based on the brine springs of exceptional purity and strength that naturally occurred in the area of the town. This volume commences with a general introduction which considers some of the geological, technological, and economic aspects of the industry. The main evidence for salt production from these excavations dates to the late Iron Age. It consists of large tanks lined with clay and revetted by stakes and probably used primarily for the storage of brine. These tanks were also associated with hearths and vast quantities of briquetage. The size and arrangement of these structures indicate a well organised and large-scale industry.

In the concluding general discussion two major themes are examined: Iron Age and Roman salt production, and the development of the Saxon and medieval town. For the historic period discussion of the excavations is integrated with an outline of the documentary and topographical evidence. These themes form the major aspects of two excavations at the Old Bowling Green and Friar Street. The combination of a primary industrial resource which was exploited over many centuries and well preserved archaeological deposits, gives Droitwich considerable potential for research on the development of European industry.


  • Title pages
    • Contents (pp v-vii)
    • Illustrations (pp vii-viii)
    • Plates (p ix)
    • Tables (p x)
    • Summary (p xi)
    • Acknowledgements (pp xiii-xiv)
    • Abbreviations (p xiv)
    • Project staff (p xiv)
  • 1. Introduction by Simon Woodiwiss (pp 1-7)
  • Old Bowling Green
    • 2. The excavation by Simon Woodiwiss (pp 8-34)
    • 3. Pottery by Helen Rees (pp 35-58)
      • Samian by Brenda Dickinson (pp 58-61)
    • 4. Ceramic building material by Simon Woodiwiss (pp 62-63)
    • 5. Other ceramic objects by Derek Hurst and Simon Woodiwiss (p 64)
    • 6. Fired clay by Helen Rees and Simon Woodiwiss (p 65)
    • 7. Clay pipe by Derek Hurst (pp 66-67)
    • 8. Glass by Julian Henderson (pp 68-71)
    • 9. Workedstone by Anne Crone, Fiona Roe and Alan Saville (pp 72-74)
    • 10. Inscriptions by Mark Hassall (pp 75-76)
    • 11. Brooches by Donald Mackreth (pp 77-79)
    • 12. Other copper alloy objects by Anne Crone (p 80)
    • 13. Ironwork by Anne Crone and Simon Woodiwiss (p 81)
    • 14. Lead by Anne Crone and Simon Woodiwiss (pp 82-83)
    • 15. Animal bone by Alison Locker (pp 84-92)
    • 16. Human bone by Michael Nellist and Simon Woodiwiss (pp 93-94)
    • 17. Worked bone and antler by Anne Crone (p 95)
    • 18. Environment by Susan Colledge and James Greig (pp 96-105)
    • 19. Wood by Anne Crone (pp 106-113)
    • 20. Miscellaneous by Simon Woodiwiss (p 114)
  • Friar Street
    • 21. The excavation by Justin Hughes and Alan Hunt (pp 115-131)
    • 22. Pottery by Derek Hurst (pp 132-153)
      • Samian by Brenda Dickinson (p 154)
    • 23. Ceramic building material by Derek Hurst (pp 155-157)
    • 24. Other ceramic objects by Derek Hurst (p 158)
    • 25. Clay pipe by Derek Hurst and Allan Peacey (p 159)
    • 26. Glass by Louise Monk (p 160)
    • 27. Worked stone by Derek Hurst, with stone identification by Fiona Roe, flint by Alan Saville and discussion of the Ruding memorial slab by Jerome Bertram (pp 161-165)
    • 28. Copper alloy by Derek Hurst (pp 166-167)
    • 29. Ironwork by Derek Hurst (pp 168-169)
    • 30. Lead by Derek Hurst (p 170)
    • 31. Pyrotechnological note by Derek Hurst and Gerry McDonnell (p 171)
    • 32. Animal bone by Alison Locker (pp 172-181)
    • 33. Worked bone by Derek Hurst,with bone identification by Alison Locker (pp 172-181)
    • 34. General discussion by Simon Woodiwiss (pp 183-199)
    • 35. Pottery fabrics; a multi-period series for the County of Hereford and Worcester by Derek Hurst and Helen Rees (pp 200-209)
  • Bibliography (pp 210-216)
  • Index by Barbara Hird (pp 217-223)

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