A team from Wessex Archaeology’s Sheffield Office excavated the site of a late 19th century New Don glass bottle works in Mexborough, an important site in South Yorkshire’s glass making past.

This excavation has been undertaken by our clients Lidl, prior to development of a new community food store on the site.

One of the most interesting finds unearthed during the excavation was part of a Siemens-Martin tank furnace which would have been one of the earliest regenerative furnaces in Yorkshire. The waste heat and gases were reused to heat the tanks, allowing for continuous glass production and the use of less fuel.


Other finds included hundreds of marbles that were used to ‘stop’ early carbonated drinks bottles, called Codd bottles after their inventor Hiram Codd. The bottles themselves are very rare as many were recycled or smashed by children to retrieve the marbles!