Significant archaeological remains were discovered along the Route of the SSSM pipeline at Congresbury including a Romano-British pottery kiln, its surrounding enclosure, a Romano-British trackway as well as drainage ditches, field boundaries and other discrete features.
It has previously been known that there was a Romano-British pottery industry located at Congresbury, although it is little understood. The discovery of the pottery kiln is significant as this is the first kiln in the Congresbury area to be excavated under modern conditions and have the ‘waster’ material fully analysed. The kiln comprised two structures, with an outer kiln and a secondary smaller one built within it. At present, we assume that this was done to achieve higher firing temperatures, although further analysis is needed to understand the construction and use of the structure.
Just as significant as the kiln was the volume of pottery ‘wasters’ recovered – in excess of 400 kg. Within the assemblage there are many fragmentary pots and a wide range of vessel forms present. Analysis of this material will add greatly to our knowledge of trading networks in North Somerset as well as the wider region.
Perhaps associated but 150 m to the north of the kiln, was the remains of a Roman trackway with a metalled surface. This appeared to lead towards a known pottery midden and presumably onwards to the River Yeo. The road had likely been built as part of the infrastructure for the manufacturing site. The majority of the features found across the site contained charcoal-rich fills which also suggests large-scale industrial activity.