Excavation of Roman Drying Shed at Mancetter

Description of this historic site

The site of a drying shed associated with pottery production. The building was excavated and was found to date to the Roman period. It was situated 450m north west of Crab Tree Farm, Mancetter.

Notes about this historic site

1 1964: Part of a building was uncovered.
2 1965: Excavation continued on a heated drying shed associated with pottery kilns. Building was 5.8m by 3.6m externally, surrounded by rough stone walls, which served to retain an unusual and complex system of flues. Associated large post holes at the corners indicate a roof. There were two main phases. The earlier phase was largely obliterated. The second version was fired from a divided central flue. A suspended wooden floor on which the materials to be dried would have been placed may be postulated and the useful life of the dryer seems to have ended when it caught fire. Six small kilns had been dug into its debris. It was probably in use in the mid 2nd century to judge from associated pottery. Other dryers are known at the legionary establishment at Holt and the major Samian production centre at Lezoux. Carbonised cereals from the flues probably indicate the seasonal use of the drier for grain drying.

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