Chronology

The pottery from the site was dated by reference to similar vessels found on other sites associated with historic events, such as the building and occupation of Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall, and closely datable items such as coins.  Samian ware is often more precisely dated than other kinds of Roman pottery because it was used over much of the Roman Empire and occurs in well-dated groups such as the disaster at Pompeii.  Using these means four ceramic phases could be identified: Flavian-Trajanic (cAD69-117), Hadrianic (cAD117-138), early Antonine (cAD138-161) and late second to mid-third century.  Although these date ranges are precise, in reality potters did not always change their repertoire right away, nor did settlement immediately acquire the latest pottery styles, so they should be thought of as rough guides only.  The samian ware and aspects of the coarse ware indicated that the strong evidence for activity during the early Flavian period at the Fairclough site was lacking here and that it is unlikely that there was any diminution in activity during the Trajanic period as was suggested at the Fairclough site.  During the first three phases the army was very involved in the region, and we know more about the sequence of events so the reference to the ruling emperors is appropriate. During the final phase military involvement may have been less pronounced and the dating is less precise since we know less about the history of the civilian population.

Much of the Flavian-Trajanic pottery came from the buried soil layers or were incorporated into later features- very little pottery came from secure Flavian-Trajanic phases.  The jars in this period were typically neckless jars with short everted-rims with shoulder grooves and/or rusticated surfaces (25, 44, 45).  These may have been made in the Middlewich kiln along with flagons with near vertical ring necks made in an oxidised fabric with white slip (21).  There was a smaller number of necked jars with everted rims.  This was a common form at the Fairclough site Phase 1 in the Flavian period, but was less common in the Trajanic-early Antonine levels at the Fairclough site and at Barton St, Manchester (Figure 1). The smaller number found here agrees with the evidence of the samian for a stronger Trajanic presence on the site compared to the Fairclough site and perhaps less Flavian activity.

Figure 1 Relative proportion of jar types at Middlewich and Manchester (MBF, Buckley’s Field all: all phases Buckley’s Field, MF1 the Fairclough site Phase 1: Flavian Middlewich Fairclough site., MF2 the Fairclough site Phase 2: Hadrianic-Early Antonine Middlewich Fairclough site., Barton St 2 Trajanic-early Antonine.  Necked jar= pre-Flavian toTrajanic with stronger presence in Flavian period, Ev rim jar, Flavian-Trajanic with stronger Trajanic presence, BB1 jar=Hadrianic-Antonine

Bowls included vessels copying the imported samian tableware from Gaul as well as a bowl with a flat reeded rim which is very common on sites of this date (4, 124).  Most of the features and structures date to the Hadrianic-early Antonine features.  At this time a whole range of vessels arrived from Dorset, known as black burnished ware 1 (BB1).  These industries supplied much of western England and the military north with cooking wares, and because the forms change through time they provide a useful dating tool.  Cooking pots, small beakers, bowls and dishes and lids were all transported, mainly by sea, to Middlewich during this period (as 31, 32, 47, 48, 49, 60 and 64). 

Both the coarse pottery and the samian suggested a decline in the numbers of sherds being discarded after cAD160.  This contrasts with the coin evidence from Middlewich, but corresponds to the results from excavations to the north of Buckleys Field on the Fairclough site.  A small amount of material dated to the early to mid-third century, but only two vessels demanded a date later than this.  The late Nene Valley colour coated range (http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/adsdata/cbaresrep/pdf/010/01010001.pdf ) of the late third to fourth century was not represented.  Only three late splayed-rim BB1 jars (5, and vessel associated with the cremation, 15) were identified, with bodysherds possibly from these or two more jars of the same type, and one developed bead and flange bowl (85). Jars in this form were not made until the third century and the bowls probably appeared in the potters’ repertoire cAD270.  Only three examples of the wide-mouthed jars with everted or wedged form rims (67) of the late second to third century were present and only three of the third century bifid-rim, narrow-necked jars (11-13). Only three reeded-rim hammerhead mortaria (7-8) were present and of these one was dated to AD200-260 while the other two fell within a range of AD 230-330 and 260-350 so could belong to the mid-third century.  Activity of any substance after the mid-third century in the excavated areas is unlikely on the basis of the pottery types.

Trench 1

The ceramic evidence indicated settlement from the late first century until the mid/late third century.

Phase 4-6

The earliest contexts in this trench were devoid of coarse wares but two small sherds from two South Gaulish samian decorated bowls were dated to AD 75-90 and 75-100 and came from the buried soil layer in Phase 4. A very small scrap from another South Gaulish decorated bowl came from surface layer 144 in Phase 4 and was dated to AD 65-90.  Such small numbers of relatively small abraded sherds cannot be used to date these phases with great confidence but do give a reliable date after which the features must date, a terminus post quem.  In this case the terminus post quem is in the late first century AD, cAD75 at the earliest. 

Phase 6

Bodysherds from a Dressel 20 Spanish amphora and a local oxidised ware vessel were present in the agger 166 in Trench 1.  The oxidised sherds are not closely datable but are typical of vessels made at kilns on the Cheshire Plain and Dressel 20 oil amphora were imported from southern Spain from the mid-first to the third century AD.  These very large vessels, holding an average of 63 litres, were made in the Roman province of Baetica along the banks of the River Guadalquivir between Seville and Cordoba (Peacock and Williams 1986).  This type was the most common and widely distributed of all amphorae, particularly in the Western provinces, being distributed along the Rhone and Rhine.  Rather than wine, this vessel was principally used to distribute olive oil.  These types suggest a date in the late first to early second century.

Phase 7-8

The Phase 7-8 ditch 150 in Trench 1 was clean of pottery apart from recut 127 (fill 125/126).  In this fill were found fragments of vessels which can be dated to the early to mid-second century.  The base of a beaker from this fill is a form typical of the Roman kilns at Wilderspool (Hartley and Webster 1973). The beaker was first formed on the wheel and then, when partially dried, tiny pieces of dried clay were attached to the walls and covered in a slip of darker liquid clay before being fired.  This resulted in a “non-slip” surface for the user to grip.  Such vessels were initially imported from a variety of sources in Gaul but this example is of local origin and was most common in the early to mid-second century.  Part of a flanged hemi-spherical bowl (2) was also found in this layer.  This form was a copy of imported samian ware bowls from Gaul.  The samian bowls with internal moulding like this example usually date to the late first century but the form of the vessel, apart from this feature suggests a date in the early second century.  Some very worn sherds from an FLB1 flagon with an upright rim has a little cupped area just inside the rim (1) to hold a small lid, perhaps wooden. A vessel very similar to this one was found at the Roman fort at Chesterfield in a context dated to the mid-second century (Leary 2001 no. 14) and Peter Webster dated one from Warrington to the late first to mid-second century (Webster 1992, 136 no. 521, Grimes 1930 no. 128).  No black burnished ware category 1 (BB1 henceforth) was found in this feature.  BB1 ware was used to make cooking pots and dishes and was traded up the west coast of England to supply military installations at Hadrian’s Wall from its source in Dorset from cAD120.  It is a key type in the dating of Roman features both because we know when it started to be traded in this area, and because the forms of the pots changed over time.  Excavations on Hadrian’s Wall and on the Antonine Wall and at excavations in Exeter have allowed archaeologists to date changes in the vessels very well; these dates can be applied to BB1 vessels all over Britain (http://www.potsherd.uklinux.net/atlas/Ware/BB1).  The absence of BB1 sherds in this group might suggest that it pre-dates AD120 although the beaker, flagon and bowl may still have been in use in the mid-second century so a later date is possible.  A sherd of samian dated AD140-70 was also present in the final fill 126 giving a terminus post quem of AD140. 

Ditch 184 has a samian sherd dated AD 60-80 in its primary fill 185.  This must have been re-deposited from earlier phases. The neck of an FLB1 flagon, a similar vessel to that found in ditch 150, was also found in layer 181 in ditch 184.  The date of this vessel lies in the late first to second century.  The material from 155 was not closely datable but this layer and 181 were above the upper fill of ditch 150 containing a sherd of samian dated AD140-170 so must belong to the mid-second century or later. 

Layer 198 under metalled surface 122 contained a sherd of a BB1 jar with acute lattice burnish, a decorative style used from around AD 120 to 200.  Still later forms were found within the metalled surface 122.  This included an OAB1 wedge shaped rim of narrow-necked jar (no. 3, cf. Evans et al 2000 type JM9 dated second to third and third and Webster 1976 no. 4. dated second to fourth century) and several sherds of the BB1 ware traded from Dorset which appeared in this area cAD120 or later.  Both bowls or dishes and jars were represented in this ware.  The OAB1 jar is similar to vessels made by potters in the Severn Valley industries (see http://www.worcestershireceramics.org/hms/object.php?type=fabrics&id=63).  Other vessels (as nos 11-13, 67, 73,77, 78 and 105) made at the Wilderspool kilns and found at sites on the Cheshire Plain are similar to the products of the Severn Valley industries  and, given these similarities it seems likely that some potters moved from there to the Cheshire Plain around the middle of the second century when the oxidised repertoire increased. A further fragment from the flagon found in the ditch 150 recut was found in this layer demonstrating the difficulty of sherds being moved from earlier layers into later layers. Layer 104 also contained the neck of an FLB1 flagon and a narrow-necked jar with wedge shaped rim as no. 3. Layer 198 included a sherd of a BB1 jar with acute lattice burnish, AD 120-200.  The pottery gives a date range in the Hadrianic to early Antonine period for this phase with the fill of the ditch 150 recut belonging in the early Antonine period after AD140.

Post hole, 164, cutting the Phase 8 trackway contained part of a GRB8 bead rim bowl (no.4). This vessel copied the imported samian table ware bowl form 37.  This example has a shallow upper body and, if compared with the chronological development of the samian bowls, comes early in the series, in the late first or, perhaps, early in the second century.  The vessel compares with a bowl from a Trajanic-Hadrianic kiln at Northwich (Jones 1972 fig. 11 no. 16) and from a Hadrianic context on the Fairclough site (Leary forthcoming no. 99).  The undiagnostic sherds from surfaces 155 and 157 were not closely datable but a samian vessel from layer 103 dated to AD120-60. However these layers can be dated to the Antonine period, after cAD 140, on account of the samian from the stratigraphically earlier fill of the ditch 150 recut, fill 126.  In Phase 8 the samian sherd from 126, dated to AD140-60, is rather later than the coarse pottery from the phase.  This is likely to be the result of the nature of the site at the time, a trackway.  One would not expect a great deal of pottery to be deposited near such a feature except where it bordered an area of domestic activity so the lack of later coarse ceramics need not indicate an early date.

Phase 10

The Phase 10 pit 128 contained a sherd from a late BB1 jar with splayed rim form of the mid-third century at the earliest (5) and the pottery from layer 102 represents the latest pottery from the site including several oxidised bifid-rim jars of third century type and multi-reeded mortaria from the kilns at Mancetter-Hartshill near Coventry common in the mid-third to mid fourth century (nos 6-14).  The Mancetter-Hartshill potteries were major suppliers of mortaria, large Roman bowls for mixing and mashing, during the second to mid-fourth centuries and traded large quantities of these vessels to the military zones in the north of Britain.  Mortaria were made by specialist potters due to the difficulty of making such large, heavy vessels and successfully attaching a rim strong enough to use to pick up the vessels.  Small, sharp fragments, usually of stone or re-fired, crushed ceramics, were embedded in the inner surface of the vessels before firing to help mash or grate foodstuff.

These vessels indicate activity on or near the trench at least as late as the mid-third century.  The absence of later types such as bead and flange bowls, Nene Valley or Oxfordshire colour-coated wares or late shelly wares in this trench suggests occupation did not continue significantly beyond the mid-third century.

Phase 8

Ditch 150 recut
1. FLB1 flagon with upright rim, rebated. The form compares with an example from an early Antonine group at Chesterfield (Leary 2001 no. 14) and a vessel dated from the late first to mid-second century at Warrington (Webster 1992, 136 no. 521, Grimes 1930 no. 128) 40g. Re 41% 126
2. OAB1 flanged hemi-spherical bowl.  Flanged bowl forms of this type were found in Hadrianic-Antonine levels at Derby Little Chester and Chester (Birss 1985 fig. 39 no. 6 and table 6, Gillam 1970 no. 294 dated AD120-50, Grimes 1930 nos 157-60).  However the internal moulding on the flanged bowl is a Flavian feature of the samian prototype.  87g. Re 20% 126

Surface 122
3. OAB1 wedge shaped rim of narrow-necked jar, cf. Evans et al 2000 type JM9 dated second to third and third and Webster 1976 nos 4-5 , .dated second to fourth.  54g. Re 11%.

A grey rusticated sherd was also present with FLA4 sherd from a large vessel, perhaps a mortarium, late first-early second century. Undiagnostic sherds in fabrics OBA1 and GRB2 came from layers 116 and 119 respectively.  A BB1 bowl/dish sherd and a BB1 jar sherd were recovered from surface 103 dating to AD120 or later.  A further fragment of flagon no.1 came from this layer. 

Posthole 164
4. GRB8 bead rim bowl coping samian form 37.  This example has a shallow upper body and if compared with the samian bowls, comes early in the series, in the late first or, perhaps, early in the second century.  The vessel compares with a bowl from a Trajanic-Hadrianic kiln at Northwich (Jones 1972 fig. 11 no. 16) and from a Hadrianic context on the Fairclough site excavations (Leary forthcoming no. 99).  17g. Re 6% 164

Phase 10

 Pit 191

One fragment from a burnt FLB1 ring necked flagon was identified.Pit 128

5. BB1 splayed rim, probably of mid to late third century date Gillam 1976 nos 8-9). 24g Re 8% Fill 108

Phase 11

Only a residual sherd from a late first-early second century “honey pot” was recovered. These narrow-mouthed vessels with two small handles are common in the early Roman period, particularly in the first and early second century and are a well-known type on the Continent and was introduced to Britain by the military (Evans 2000 type JH, Gose 1950 nos 420-428, Bidwell and Croom 1999, 476 types 175-7mid first to early second century)

Phase 12

Layer102

6. BB1 plain rim dish with burnished intersecting arcs outside body and outside base. Gillam 1976 no. 77 late second to early third century. 73g Re7%.
7. MH2 multi-reeded rim mortarium.  AD260-350. 104g Re 21%.
8. MH2 multi-reeded rim mortarium. AD230-330. 148g Re 15%.
9. MH flanged mortarium. Antonine, probably after AD180.  29g. Re 6%.
10. OAA2/SV narrow-necked jar with bifid rim.  Cf Webster 1976 type 11 third century.  20g Re 15%
11. OAA2 narrow-necked jar with bifid rim.  Cf Webster 1976 type 11 third century. 21g 12%
12. OAA2 narrow-necked jar with bifid rim.  Cf Webster 1976 type 11 third century.  6g. Re 12%
13. OAB1 narrow-necked jar with bifid rim.  Cf Webster 1976 type 11 third century. 28g. Re 10%.
14. GRC4 wide-mouthed everted rim

This layer also contained a BB1 jar fragment with traces of obtuse lattice, a decorative motif dating after c 220AD (Bidwell 1985, 174-6).  The forms present indicate a date range continuing to the mid-third century at least.

Trench 2

Phase 9 mid-third century

34 sherds of Romano-British pottery were excavated and 30 of these came from a cremation, a BB1 jar (15) with splayed rim, shoulder groove and  obtuse lattice, a type dated after AD240 by Evans (2004b, 334).  The jar was rather burnt around the lower body both internally and externally, with burnt matter outside the body and some limescale inside. The limescale suggests that this was a well used domestic cooking pot taken from everyday use for use during the funerary rites.  There was a small perforation through the body of the jar, perhaps indicating the jar had been repaired at some point, such repairs were usually made using lead rivets or cleats.  The use of lead rivets in pyre goods and cremation urns may, however, have a ritual significance.  Lead is a metal associated with the gods of the underworld, being particularly associated with ill health and death and used as a medium for curses (Tomlin 1988, 81). Riveted vessels are not uncommon in graves but their associations do not always suggest mere poverty.  Rather their presence in otherwise rich graves suggests some other significance, perhaps linked to the particular suitability of lead alloys for the gods of the underworld (Cool and Leary forthcoming). 

This jar was largely incomplete and is likely to have been offered on the pyre and been gathered up with some of the cremated bones rather than serving as a cremation urn.  This is a common occurrence and ceramic pyre goods seem to have been both commonly offered at military sites and also had sherds collected for burial (Leary 2008).  Also present were a BB1 jar sherd with acute lattice burnish, a BB1 flat-rim bowl/dish sherd with acute lattice burnish, both of second century date, and two GRA4 sherds.  These showed no signs of being burnt and are likely to be residual sherds from earlier occupation.

15. BB1 jar with splayed rim, shoulder groove and obtuse lattice.  One perforation, 4mm by 2mm through a wall sherd. 359g. Re 14%.  208.

Trench 4

The three earth-cut features 403, 405 and 408 in Trench 4 contained ceramic assemblages dating to the Hadrianic period. 

Pit 403

The assemblage from pit 403 included some large sherds which were relatively unabraded as well as smaller abraded sherds.  Conjoining sherds were found in fills 402, 417 and 412 and roughcast sherds, probably from the same beaker, were found in fills 409 and 412.  BB1 was present in the earliest fill with pottery, 419, so infill took place after AD120.  A BB1 jar from this fill had wavy line burnish on the neck which was a decorative motif which went out of fashion towards the middle of the second century AD (18).  The proportions of campanulate bowls (nos 20, 22, 28, 34-36) and late first-early second century neckless, everted-rim jars (17, 25 and 26) were high and the BB1 vessels (nos 18, 31, 32, 38, 39) present suggested a date before the middle of the second century.  The neckless everted rim jars, rusticated (rustication is a technique where a tool was used to roughen the surface of a pot while the clay was still wet to form linear or nodular raised area similar to spikes created using royal icing on a Christmas cake) or plain, declined numerically during the Hadrianic period (Gillam 1970 types 97-8, AD 80-130, and nos 103 and 105, AD70-120) and their relative abundance in this pit group may indicate that the assemblage represents ceramic debris dating to the Trajanic-Hadrianic period, perhaps deposited early in the Hadrianic period.  If compared with the Trajanic and Hadrianic groups from the stream deposit and mansio deposits at Melandra, the pit 403 assemblage is closer to the Trajanic group which included some BB1 vessels  (Webster 1971 table 1).  In the stream deposit, c23% of the group comprised everted-rim jars and only 2% were BB1 jars whereas in the mansio deposit this ratio is reversed with 22% BB1 jars and 2% everted rim jars.  In pit 403, using rim equivalents, everted rim jars made up some 37% of the group and BB1 jars c 15% suggesting a date early in the Hadrianic period.  The samian ware supported this dating and included a fragmented dated to AD 100-140 from fill 419 and another dated AD120-60 from fill 410.

Other vessels of interest from this pit include a tazze from fill 419 (16). Tazzes were used as incense cups and, like this one, are often found scorched on the inside where the incense has burnt.  Another vessel from fill 417, a small mica-dusted beaker of early second century type (no. 19, Marsh 1978 type 22) was scorched along the rim edge and may have been used in a similar way.  At Manchester a building probably used as a temple or shrine had a high proportion of beakers and it was thought that this related to the rites being carried out there (Leary 2007, 106-8).  The scorching on this beaker may indicate that it was also being used in a similar way to the tazze for burning incense or fragrant oils.  Fragments from a ring-necked flagon (21) add to this range of vessels and a Dressel 20 rim (24) from a one of the large oil amphorae from Spain add to the types of comestibles being used on this part of the site. 

Part of a G4 storage jar (29) along with a GRB1 lid (27) and a BB1 lid (31) add another aspect to the function of the area, namely storage of goods.  A rim sherd from a narrow-necked jar with almost flat everted rim (37) may belong to an early series of vessels related to so-called honeypots (see 59) and a misfired or burnt FLB1 carinated bowl with rouletted upper and lower body (30) is copying one of the imported samian bowl forms of the mid to late first century.  Sherds from a ring-and–dot beaker were present and this type is typical of the late first to early second century date (40).  Two other bowls, a GRA1 bead and flanged hemi-spherical bowl and an OAA1 grooved-rim vessel of uncertain form (33 and 23) were also present.  The latest sherd from pit 403 was a Nene Valley beaker sherd from the final fill 402 with en barbotine decoration (41) made from the mid/late second century to the third century.  The Nene Valley industries near Peterborough supplied much of the fine wares to the Midlands and Northern Britain in the third and fourth centuries but the journey to the settlements on the Cheshire Plains would have involved a long and expensive journey overland so these wares were not common in this region.

BB1 sherds were present in the lowest fill but the preponderance of neckless jars of late first-early second century type and the form of the campanulate bowls, close to the terra nigra prototypes from Upper Germany and Rhaetia (Greene 1979, 110 type 6 fig. 46, Ward 1981 types III.1 and .2 and III. 1 and p. 62-3), suggests the group belongs to the early second century in the Hadrianic period. At Usk Greene gives a mid-late first century date range for the Terra Nigra bowls which have somewhat deeper profiles than the Middlewich vessels.  At the Fairclough excavations, this form was associated with Hadrianic-early Antonine pottery (Leary forthcoming). At York a similar vessel, type BB (Monaghan 1997 no. 3935), was dated Flavian to Hadrianic-early Antonine.  A similar form was present at Warrington (Webster 1992, fig.  32 nos 246, 313) and at Whitchurch in a Flavian-Trajanic and a late second century group (Jones and Webster 1969, nos 124 and 148) where a Gallo-Belgic derivation is noted with continuation into the late second century (Gillam 1970 nos 211-2).  A group of similar carinated bowls with plain everted or bifid everted rims occurred at Wall cemetery site, Warwickshire associated with Hadrianic-early Antonine pottery and at rural sites at Coleshill and Tiddington, Warwickshire in contexts dated to the mid to late second century (Booth 2006 no. 498 and 1996 nos 184-196 respectively).  Its’ association here with BB1 jars of early second century type may indicate popularity in Middlewich in the Hadrianic period.  Although some of the pottery may belong to an earlier phase, these may have been cleared up into this feature in the Hadrianic period.  The number of large fresh sherds of this bowl type rather suggested it was contemporary ceramic rubbish.  

Fill 402 had the greatest number of sherds.  It was not absolutely clear how many campanulate bowls were present but an unusually high number were identified and the presence of an oxidised example along with some undiagnostic waster GRB1 bodysherds raises the possibility that these were being made nearby along with neckless everted rim jars of which two distorted rims were present.  Pottery has previously been identified on the Fairclough site in the form a kiln (http://www.earthworksarchaeology.co.uk/pages/projects.htm)
excavated by Earthworks and dated by them to the late first to early second century.

Pit 405

In contrast only a very small number of sherds including three rusticated sherds and a rim from a neckless everted rim jar came from pit 405 fill 404.  All of these types were common in the late first to early second century.

Pit 407

In pit 407 a reduced mica-dusted campanulate bowl (42) similar to the grey ware examples from pit 403 was present with a CC4 roughcast ware beaker (43).  This fabric compared to a sherd found in the Severn St kiln at Manchester dated to the late first to early second century.  An everted rim from a neckless everted rim jar of late first to early second century type was also present with undiagnostic BB1 sherds from a bowl or dish and a jar.  The BB1 sherds give a date after AD120 for this group and the early character of the pottery with several of the Flavian-Trajanic types still present point to a Hadrianic date. An incomplete mortarium rim in oxidised ware with white slip is of local origin, perhaps Wilderspool, and was given a date in the first half of the second century and a samian sherd came from a vessel dated AD 70-100.  The sherds from this pit were relatively small and abraded.

Feature 403

Lowest fill 419
16. FLB1 tazze.  Scorched and blackened inside body and over rim.  35g. Re 19%
17. GRA1B neckless, everted-rim jar, slight distortion of rim.  48g. Re 14%.  A second, slightly distorted vessel of similar form was also present in this fill.
18. BB1 everted rim jar with wavy line burnish on neck and acute lattice burnish on the body.  Gillam 1976 nos 1-2.  Burnt with burnt matter adhering to the neck and upper body.  The form suggests an early to mid-second century date, before the middle of the second century.  52g. Re 5%.
At least five other jars in the same form as no. 17 were present along with the neck of an FLB1 flagon, FLA2 bodysherds and a plain GRA1b rim probably from a bowl of campanulate form

Fill 417

19. MG3 beaker/small jar with short everted rim, double shoulder groove and at least two undulations of the middle and lower body, cf Marsh 1978 type 22 early second century. Non-adjoining sherds present in fills 417 and 412.  116g Re 44%. Some scorching visible along part of the rim edge.

Fill 412/416

20. GRA1 campanulate bowl with groove above carination 37g. Re 20%. 412
21. FLB1 ring-necked flagon.  6g 155. 412
Part of the MG3 beaker no. 19 came from this fill. A neckless everted-rim jar and a second campanulate bowl were present similar but not the same as that from fill 402 (no.22)  Other undiagnostic GRB and OAB1 sherds were identified and sherds of Dressel 20 and fabric FLA2 were present in fill 416.

Fill 410
22. GRB1 campanulate bowl.  84g. Re 6%.
23. OAA1 open vessel, bowl or dish, with grooved rim and groove outside upper body.  12g. Re 10%.
24. Dressel 20 rim. No. 89 in Martin-Kilcher’s Dressel 20 rim typology, c. AD 110-150 [1987, Beilage 1, no. 80.  144g Re 15%.

Body and handle fragments from an FLB1 flagon, the rim of a Malvernian jar and some oxidised bodysherds were also present.

Fill 409/411

25. GRB2 everted-rim jar.  34g. Re 21%. 409
26. GRB1 rim of necked jar with everted rim.  5g Re 5%. 409

The base and lower body of a CC4 roughcast beaker and sherds from a BB1 jar with acute lattice burnish and a campanulate bowl as no. 22 were present in fill 409.

27. GRB1 blunt-rim lid.  11g Re 1% 411
28. GRB1 base and lower body of campanulate bowl.  229g. This vessel has shallow spaced grooves/burnish line on the body and is almost certainly the same as a rim sherd from 402 with similar treatment. 411

Fill 406

29. G4 very abraded everted-rim storage jar 43g. Re 6%.

Undiagnostic sherds included a hemi-spherical bowl with a flange stub and the neck of an FLB1 flagon.

Fill 418

30. Misfired or burnt FLB1 carinated bowl with rouletted upper and lower body, probably a samian form 19 copy.  Mid-late first century.  11g
31. BB1 lid decorated with burnished zigzags.  20g. Re 6%
32. BB1 necked jar with acute lattice decoration.  Gillam1976 no. 3 mid- to late second century. 48g Re 10%

This deposit also contained another campanulate bowl as no. 22 and a neckless jar as no. 17.  Rusticated GRB1 bodysherds were present and a MH1 mortarium of the first half of the second century.  Two cordoned SV2 sherds were present.  A GRB2 bodysherd was both distorted and bubbled and is best considered a waster sherd.

Fill 402

33. GRA1B flanged rim from bowl with low bead rim and flange level with rim.  A hemi-spherical form.13g. Re 5%.
34. GRB1 campanulate bowl 119g. Re 26%.  759
35. GRB1 campanulate bowl.  98g Re 32%.
36. OBB1 campanulate bowl.  71g Re 5% Possibly GRB1 vessel burnt or waster.
37. GRB1 rim of rather narrow necked vessel with rim turned out almost flat. 19g Re 23%.
38. BB1 necked jar with burnished wavy line on neck and acute lattice on body.  Gillam 1976 nos 1 -2 early-mid second century.  20g Re 31%
39. BB1 necked jar with burnished wavy line on neck.  Gillam 1976 nos 1-2 early-mid second century Burnt.  28g. Re 12%
40. GRB1 everted rim of small jar/beaker. Bodysherds with ring and dot decoration present in this context may be from the same vessel 5.4g Re 16%
41. NV1 beaker sherd with barbotine dot trail.  6g.

This fill had the greatest number of sherds.  It was not absolutely clear how many campanulate bowls were present but an unusually high number were presented and the present of an oxidised example along with some undiagnostic waster GRB1 bodysherds raises the possibility that these were being made nearby along with neckless everted rim jars of which two distorted rims were present. 

Pit 405

A very small number of sherds including three rusticated sherds and a rim from a neckless everted rim jar came from fill 404.  All of these types were common in the late first to early second century and the small size of the group means closer dating eludes us.

Pit 408

42. GMG1 bowl with flaring everted rim.  Probably a campanulate bowl as those from feature 403.  16g. RE 10%.  407
43. CC4 grooved, cornice rim roughcast beaker.  12g RE 10%

An everted rim from a neckless everted rim jar of late first to early second century type was also present with undiagnostic BB1 sherds from a bowl or dish and a jar.  The BB1 sherds give a date after AD120 for this group and the early character of the pottery with several of the Flavian-Trajanic types still present point to a Hadrianic date. An incomplete mortarium rim in oxidised ware with white slip is of local origin, perhaps Wilderspool, and was given a date in the first half of the second century.  The sherds from this pit were relatively small and abraded.

Trench 5

This trench had 13 Romano-British sherds in context 501 and these comprised four Dressel 20 amphora sherds, an FLA4 sherd, a bodysherd from a Mancetter Hartshill mortarium and seven OAB1 bodysherds.  The Mancetter-Hartshill mortarium sherds dated after AD140.

Trench 8

Two contexts 802 and 805 contained Romano-British pottery.  The pottery from 802 included some indeterminate mortarium sherds probably from Wroxeter dated to the first half of the second century, OAB1 roughcast sherds and the rim of a SV1 wide-mouthed jar with an everted rim belonging to the earlier group (Webster 1976 no. 20-21, first-second century).  A second incomplete rim from a flanged Mancetter-Hartshill mortarium came from 805 with a Nene Valley colour-coated sherd with rouletting and four OAB1 bodysherds. The Mancetter-Hartshill mortarium had traces of a name stamp (140) and was dated to the early second century.

All the sherds from this trench were abraded.  The Nene Valley ware sherd points to a date in the mid to late second century and the mortaria give a date range in the first half of the second century and the samian sherds were only broadly datable in the range AD 120-200.

Trench 9

Pit 909 in Trench 9 was in use perhaps in Phase 5 or 6 and fell into disuse, being filled up during Phases 7 and 8.  The pottery from the buried soil layer in Trench 9 (905 and 906) included early-mid second century forms such as the neckless everted-rim jar (as no.32), a variety of second century BB1 jars, bowls and dishes.  Some Dressel 20 oil amphora sherds were present. A possible medieval sherd was also identified.  The latest sherds were two BB1 jar sherd with obtuse lattice, a decorative motif dating after cAD220.  These soil layers were clearly receiving sherds throughout occupation of this area of the site.

Pit 909, dug into this horizon, contained a group of Hadrianic-Antonine pottery.  The lowest fill with ceramics, 912, contained pottery datable to the early second century.  No BB1 sherds were present at this level so a Trajanic date is possible.  An OAB1 roughcast ware beaker base was present and two jars, neckless, everted-rim jars (44 and 45).  Both were types common in the late first to early second century. The samian included vessels dated to AD70-100 and 70-110 suggesting a Trajanic date is likely.  The red clay fill 911 contained three large Dressel 20 oil amphora sherds with fragments from an FLA2 flagon, and the top of a GRB1 knobbed lid (46).  The main concentration of pottery however was in layer 908.  Sherds were abraded but relatively large including significant proportions of two BB1 jars (47 and 48) of Hadrianic-early Antonine date, a rouletted beaker (50) and flanged bowl (51) of similar date range and an unusual narrow mouthed vessel/beaker (52).  OAB1 roughcast beaker sherds were also present along with a mid-second century BB1 bowl (49), an OBB1 bead rim from a narrow-necked jar and an OAB2 everted rim from a wide-mouthed jar.  The date range of this group was concentrated in the mid-second century.  The oxidised wide-mouthed jar and narrow-necked jar could belong to the late second century but nothing demands a date after the mid-second century. Fill 907, a layer of briquetage above fill 908, contained similar material in an abraded state including a BB1 jar with wavy line burnish. A date in the Hadrianic-early Antonine period is indicated.

Phase 7 to 8

Pit 909

Fill 912

An OAB1 roughcast ware beaker base was present.

44. GRA1 neckless jar with triangular rim, probably belonging to the short everted-rim jar series of the late first-early second century.  10g Re 15%.
45. GRA2 short everted-rim jar with shoulder groove of the late first-early second century.  17g. Re 19%

Fill 911

Three large Dressel 20 amphora sherds were recovered from this layer with fragments from an FLA2 flagon, grey ware bodysherds and the top of a GRB1 knobbed lid

46. GRB1 knobbed lid.  64g.

Fill 908

47. BB1 everted-rim jar with acute lattice burnish.  Gillam 1976 no. 3, mid to late second century.  A rim from a second similar jar with wavy line burnish was also present.  This was encrusted with burnt matter.  183g Re 60%.
48. BB1 neckless small jar/beaker with short everted rim, with acute lattice burnish.  Burnt with burnt matter outside rim and body, Gillam 1976 no. 17.  113g. Re 15%. 
49. BB1 flat rim bowl with burnished acute lattice, Gillam 1976 no. 37 mid second century.  43g Re 15%.
50. CC1 everted-rim rouletted beaker.  31g Re 13%.
51. OBA1 flanged hemi-spherical bowl.  71g Re 10%
52. GRC4 vessel with bulbous body and long necked, funnel rim.  Unknown form.  52g Re 10%

Trench 12

Phase 4

Gully 1290

In Trench 12 five body sherds (FLA7, GRA2 OAB1 and OAB4) were found in gully 1290.  Although these lacked datable features for the most part, one sherd came from a jar with the shoulder groove typical of the late first-early second century jars (as no.45).

Phase 5

Four bodysherds of wares FLA2, GRB1 and OAB1 were recovered from buried soil 1263.  The GRB1 sherd was from a jar with a double shoulder groove, a feature typical of the everted-rim jars of the late first to early second century. These few sherds could be late first to early second century but the small number precludes certainty.

Two further buried soil deposits (1231 and 1219) belonged to this phase stratigraphically but these were not sealed deposits and their pottery shows that some groups continued to accumulate during Phases 7 and 8. 
Phase 7

Sherds from a BB1 jar with acute lattice from clay floor 1208 date this feature to cAD120 or after.  Jars with acute lattice burnish around the body date to cAD120-200/220 since after that the angle of the lattice decoration became more obtuse as time went on. These small changes in decoration can help date features quite precisely.  This layer also contained sherds from a FLA2 rebated rim large flagon and a large FLA7 flagon (53 and 54) in form similar to the Gauloise 4 wine amphora. 

A sherd from a samian vessel dating to AD120-200 came from cobble layer 1267, and the overlying clay floor 1266 contained a plain-rim BB1 dish with acute lattice burnish dating to the early to mid-second century (Gillam 1976 no. 75).This fragmented layer also contained a samian sherd of much later date, AD 170-260, but this may have derived from late activity in the vicinity. 

A single samian sherd from pit 1230 was given a date range of AD120-200. 

Sealed buried soil layers

Two deposits of buried soil were fully sealed under Phase 8 features and belong to Phase 7.  These contained pottery of Hadrianic-early Antonine type including samian dated AD120-60.  Buried soil 1271 was sealed under clay layer 1261 and contained a group of abraded and quite small sherds.  Some sherds were late first to early second century types - everted rim jars and rusticated ware – but Hadrianic-early Antonine types were also present  a ring necked flagon with pronounced upper ring, a GRB1 campanulate bowl and a BB1 lid (as nos 31 and 122).  The pottery suggested accumulation in the late first or early second century until the Hadrianic/early Antonine period. The very small group from buried soil 1284 sealed under clay surface 1268/1283 included bodysherds from a ring and dot beaker, an OAA1 everted-rim jar and a Gauloise 4 amphora giving a date range in the late first to early second century.

Clay floor 1208

53. FLA2 rebated rim large flagon/amphora as Gauloise 4.  196g Re 22%
54. FLA7 rebated rim large flagon/amphora as Gauloise 4. 33g. Re 10%.

Also present the body of a BB1 jar with acute lattice burnish (cAD120-200) gives a Hadrianic terminus post quem.

Phase 8

Pit 1254

Pit 1254 fill 1242 contained a burnt BB1 rim of jar with everted rim of mid-late second century type (no. 57, Gillam 1976 nos 3-4 mid-or late second century).  Also  present was a MG3 carinated bowl with everted rim (55), similar to campanulate bowls but the upper wall slopes in more and the rim makes a sharper angle with the body, similar to vessels made at the Wilderspool kilns  (Hartley and Webster 1973  nos 49-52).  Fill 1232 yielded a small sherd from an unusual Terra Nigra eggshell ware vessel (58) with rouletted decoration outside the middle body, a groove and burnished all over.  The form is not readily paralleled but belongs to the mid-late first century.  Abraded sherds from this layer included a fine white ware “honeypot” (59), another type common in the first and early second century. Later sherds such as a BB1 jar (Gillam 1976 no. 3) dated to the mid-second century and an abraded scrap of colour-coated ware may come from a vessel made in the Nene Valley kilns.  Nene Valley colour-coated ware is unlikely to have come before the mid-second century and at Manchester did not appear until period 3 Phase 3 dated after AD160 (Leary 2007, 10 and Gregory 2007, 45-50).  This sequence suggests a date range from cAD120 until the mid-second and early late century, cAD160, for the infilling of this pit.  The small sherds of earlier material are likely to be from earlier layers through which the pit has been dug and which have fallen in after the pit fell into disuse and its side begun to crumble and collapse into the pit cavity. A date within the range mid to late second century is suggested and samian included a sherd dated AD120-60 and two vessels dated AD120-45.

Fill 1242

55. MG3 carinated bowl with everted rim, similar to campanulate bowls but the upper wall slopes in more and the rim makes a sharper angle with the body.  Hartley and Webster 1973 nos 49-52.  37g Re 11%
56. GRB2 necked jar with everted rim tip.  Most common in Flavian contexts at king St but still present in Hadrianic period.  35g Re 25%.
57. BB1 rim of jar with everted rim.  Gillam 1976 nos 3-4 mid-late second century.  Burnt.  18g Re 6%.
Also present were Dressel 20 oil and Gauloise wine amphora sherds, the neck of an FLA2 flagon and an FLB1 flagon body and sherds of GRB1 and 2.

Fill 1232

58. TN EGGS bodysherd with rouletted decoration outside the middle body, a groove and burnished all over.  The form is not readily paralleled. 2g.
59. FLA2 honeypot type vessel with small ribbed handle.

Ditch 1221

Ditch 1221 contained a large group of pottery.  Fill 1223 contained many large sherds from several freshly deposited vessels dating to the mid-second century/early Antonine period including samian dated AD135-60.  Several BB1 necked jars with acute lattice burnish were present, some burnt and with burnt on accretions (60-62).  This type was used mainly in the early-mid second century.  An uncommon handled BB1 beaker was present (63) and a grooved-rim dish with acute lattice (64, Gillam 1976 no 73 dated early third century but decoration like no 68 dated early to mid-second century).  Sherds from a CC1 everted rim roughcast ware beaker (65) and a GRB3 everted rim roughcast ware beaker (66) were found and in both cases the slip still covers the rough cast as if they had not been extensively used.  An OAA2 incomplete wedge-shaped rim of wide-mouthed jar (Webster 1976 no. 23-3 mid-second to third century) and the rim of an OAA1/SV1 narrow-necked jar with wedge-shaped rim are both of Severn Valley type (67 and 73).  A near complete GRB1 campanulate bowl (68) also came from this layer.  All of the neck and rim of an FLB1 ring necked flagon (69) was recovered with the rim of a large FLA7 flagon with rebated rim (70) similar in form to imported Gallic wine amphora and perhaps also used for the serving and storing of wine.   A ring-necked flagon in grey ware (72) was also present and may be a local product such as those made at the Middlewich kiln. Sherds from three MOWS mortaria dating to the first half of the second century were present and two of which had maker’s stamps (143 and 144) see Hartley this report).

Fill 1222 contained further sherds from the narrow-necked SV1 jar no. 73 in layer 1223 were present with sherds from BB1 jars of second century date with acute lattice burnish and undiagnostic reduced and oxidised sherds. 

The pottery vessels from fills 1205 and 1216 were of similar date.  These included a mortarium from Mancetter-Hartshill, near Coventry, stamped by the potter Icotasgus cAD120-50 (139, see Hartley).  A large section from a so-called Rhaetian mortarium (75, type Bb) was present dating to the first half of the second century probably made at Wilderspool.  These mortaria, made in some quantity at Wilderspool as well as at Holt and Walton-le-Dale, are of a type made in the Roman province of Rhaetia and suggest potters trained in those workshops migrated to the North West during this period to serve the army.  A third mortarium (76), of local origin, in a white-slipped oxidised fabric, was represented by a flange sherd with a groove at the end of the flange in a similar way to some of the Rhaetian mortaria.  This can be dated to the second century.  The local mortaria are in an orange sandy ware, a fairly poor quality clay.  These were improved by dipping the dried clay vessels in a finer watery clay, called a slip, which would make a finer surface when fired.  The Rhaetian mortaria were given a red slip while the MOWS mortaria were given a white slip making them more like the good quality mortaria from Mancetter-Hartshill or the fortress of Wroxeter.  This group included a Derbyshire ware sherd, from a jar type made near Belper after cAD140, several BB1 jars, bowls and dishes (nos 81, 83 and 84, mid to late second century) and some later types including the tip of a rim from a BB1 jar apparently with a widely splayed rim (82), a type usually dating to the third century, and a burnt bead and flange BB1 bowl (85), a type not appearing in the north until cAD270 or later.  Two Severn Valley ware vessels, a bowl and a narrow-necked jar (nos 77 and 78, Webster 1976 type F50, late second to third century) were identified, a ware which became more common in the mid- to late second century at Manchester.  Some earlier types were present.  A GRB1 flagon waster (86) is probably from the late first to early second century kiln on the Fairclough site and a necked jar with everted-rim tip (88) may also have been made there.  An exceptionally fine, thin-walled black carinated vessel is a terra nigra eggshell ware beaker (87) probably imported during the first century.  Such a vessel may well have been treasured for a considerable length of time.  The carinated form is not unusual (see at Holt, Greene 1979, fig. 52).

These types in this large group indicate infilling in the mid-second century and perhaps the late second century with continued, low-level, accumulation in the third century as late as AD270 at least.

Fill 1223

This fill contained many large sherds from several freshly deposited vessels dating to the mid-second century/early Antonine period.

60. BB1 necked jar with acute lattice burnish, Gillam 1976 nos 1- 2, early-mid-second century.  One sherd very burnt.  Some burnt accretions 156g Re 30%
61. BB1 necked jar with acute lattice burnish, Gillam 1976 nos 1-2, early-mid-second century.  89g 16%
Two more jars of similar form to no. 60 were represented and the base of a BB1 bowl or dish.
62. BB1 neckless bead-rim jar, Gillam 1976 no. 30. early-mid second century.  26g Re 11%
A second vessel in this form was also present.
63. BB1 handled beaker, Gillam 1976 no. 68. 26g.
64. BB1 grooved-rim dish with acute lattice burnish, Gillam 1976 no 73 dated early third century but decoration like no 68, early-mid second century.   Re 4%.
65. CC1 everted rim roughcast ware beaker.  The slip still covers the rough cast.  18g. Re 8%
66. GRB3 everted rim roughcast ware beaker.  The slip still covers the rough cast.  13g. Re 8%
67. OAA2 incomplete wedge-shaped rim of wide-mouthed jar.  Webster 1976 no. 23-3 mid-second to third century. 17g.
68. GRB1 campanulate bowl, nearly complete. 384 g. Re 14%
69. FLB1 ring necked flagon.  338g. RE 100%.
70. FLA/Gallic large flagon with rebated rim as Gauloise 4 amphora form.  106g Re 15%
71. GRB3 abraded rim of narrow-necked jar with everted rim.  63g. Re 25%.
72. GRA2 ring-necked flagon.  Upright.  15g Re 34%
73. OAA1/SV1 narrow-necked jar with wedge-shaped rim.  37g Re 14%

Layer 1222

Further sherds from vessel no. 71 were present with sherds from BB1 jars of second century date with acute lattice burnish and undiagnostic reduced and oxidised sherds.
74. OAB1 grooved rim hemispherical bowl.  Quite an early type, early second century.  15g Re 4%.

Fill 1205 and 1216

75. MRS1 Rhaetian mortarium.  184 Re30%. 1216
76. MOWS8 incomplete rim sherd from flanged mortarium with grooved distal end.  7g. 1216.
77. OAA1/SV1 narrow-necked jar with wedge shaped rim.  17g. Re 8% 1216
78. OAA1 incomplete rim and body of bowl, Webster 19 F50.  14g.
79. OAB1 hemispherical bowl rouletted body.  23g Re 2%
80. GRB3 necked jar with everted rim tip.  113g Re 55%. 1216
81. BB1 necked jar with wavy neck burnish, Gillam 1976 nos 1- 2 early to mid-second century.  69g Re 25% 1216
82. BB1 rim tip of splayed rim jar, late.  9g. Re 5%. 1216
83. BB1 plain rim dish, acute lattice burnish.  Gillam 1976 no. 76 mid-late second century.  50g Re 15%.  
84. BB1 flat-rim bowl, Gillam 1976 no. 61 late second century.   52g. Re 13%. 
85. BB1 bead and flange bowl.  270 or later.  40g Re 7%
86. GRB1 waster neck and base sherds from flagon.
1205
87. TN EGGS sherds from carinated beaker.  6g.

Mid- to late second century pottery and a BB1 bead and flanged bowl of late third-fourth century date.

Pit 1247
 
The pottery vessels from pit 1247 gave an early to mid-second century for much of its infilling.  The brown peat fill 1278 contained a GRB1 footring, misfired pinkish grey on the inside, perhaps from the Middlewich early kiln.  An incomplete rim and bodysherd from a bowl, possibly with a reeded rim, was in a mica dusted fabric MG10 and dates to the early second century.  A rim sherd from a GRB2 necked jar with everted rim (88) with a base, probably from the same vessel, is of similar date and this layer may have begun to accumulate in Phase 5.  From fill 1288 a GRA1 carinated bowl with bifid rim (89) with double groove in middle of upper body and  traces of oblique burnish lines on lower half of upper body dates to the late first-early second century and was found with a sherd from a GRA1 short everted rim jar 90, the form most common is this period.  In fill 1289 part of the rim of an FLA 7 (91) late first to early second century, ring-necked flagon  was found but a BB1 sherd means that this fill must have occurred after cAD120.  More BB1 sherds were present in fill 1255 and in fill 1246 a campanulate bowl similar to those from pit 403 was found in fabric GMG (92), a mica dusted grey ware known from the unpublished Severn St kiln at Manchester dated to the late first to early-second century.  The mica-dusting finish would give the vessel a metallic look originally.  Another neckless BB1 jar (93, Gillam 1976 no. 30 early-mid second century) came from this layer which was badly scorched.  In fill 1245 a large section from the rim and spout of a MOWS mortarium (94) was found. This was made at a kiln on the Cheshire Plain but perhaps not Wilderspool.  The trituration grits (the little sharp stones set in the clay around the inside of the vessel before firing to aid mashing or grating) are worn suggesting this was a well used vessel.  Another rim and neck fragment from an FLB1 ring-necked flagon came from the upper fill 1210.  As the upper neck and rims of these vessels were made separately and then luted onto the bodies and lower necks, these fragments often break at this point.  On this example the join can be clearly seen.  An incomplete rim of flanged mortarium (101) from Mancetter-Hartshill dates to AD140-70.  Several BB1 vessels were present (95-98): a BB1 necked jar with everted rim, Gillam 1976 no. 3 mid to late second century, a BB1 grooved rim bowl/dish and a BB1 flat-rim bowl/dish with acute lattice burnish, but an incomplete rim sherd of a flat rim bowl or dish with a grooved rim is of later date, belonging to the late second to early third century.  Several samian sherds were given a date range AD160-200.  In addition to this a shell-tempered ware CTA2 jar (100) with rim bent over to form bead is of at least third century date typologically and may be much later. Another traded vessel is represented by a sherd of Derbyshire ware.  This came from kilns near Belper in Derbyshire which specialised in making a very hard gritty fabric, described famously by the late John Gillam, a very well know expert in Roman pottery, as being like petrified gooseflesh.  Two main kinds of jars were made here, a lid-seated form and a rolled-rim form (potsherd link), and they are rare finds in this region but were distributed here in small numbers, perhaps for their contents.  The forms and fabrics suggest a date in the mid- to late second extending into the early third century for the final fill.

Brown peat fill 1278

88. GRB2 necked jar with everted rim.  19g RE 16%.  A base may belong to the same vessel.

A misfired footring base from this fill was misfired pinkish grey on the inside.  An incomplete rim and bodysherd from a bowl, possibly with a reeded rim, was in a mica dusted fabric MG10.  Early second century.
Fill 1288
89. GRA1 carinated bowl with bifid rim, double groove in middle of upper body with traces of oblique burnish lines on lower half of upper body.  Late first-early second century. 84g. Re 8%.
90. GRA1 short everted rim jar.  61g Re 56%.
Bodysherds of GRA1, GRB1 and GRC1 also present.

Fill 1289

91. FLA 7 ring-necked flagon.  6g Re 10%.

This fill contained misfired sherds of a GRA2 everted rim jar as no.45 and some very flaked GRA4 sherds which may be waster material.   A BB1 sherd was present in this group.

Fill 1255

 Another neckless everted rim jar was present with sherds of BB1, FLA1, FLA7, FLB1 and GRB1.

Fill 1246
92. GMG1 campanulate bowl.  18g Re 13%.
93. BB1 neckless jar, Gillam 1976 no. 30 early-mid second century, burnt.  22g Re 6%.

Also present was a reeded FLB1 handle from a large flagon, sherds of FLA2 and 7, GRA1, GRB1 OAb1, OBB1 and SV2.

Fill 1245

94. MOWS1?  flanged mortarium.  AD100-mid second century. 317. Re 28%.

The rim of a bead rim OAB1 bowl of indeterminate form was also present.

Fill 1244

This fill contained a BB1 neckless jar as no. 93 and a necked jar with wavy line neck burnish dating to the first half of the second century.  Other sherds include bodysherds of FLA2, FLA7, FLB1, GRA1, GRA4, GRB1, OAA1, OAB1 and OAB6.

Fill 1210 upper fill

95. BB1 incomplete rim of grooved flat rim bowl, Gillam 1976, late second to mid third century.  9g. Re 3%.
96. BB1 necked jar with everted rim, Gillam 1976 no. 3 mid to late second century.  44g Re 38%.
97. BB1 grooved rim bowl/dish.  12g Re 5%
98. BB1 flat-rim bowl/dish with acute lattice burnish.  36g Re 7%
99. FLB1 ring-necked flagon. 207.  RE 44%.
100. CTA2 jar with rim bent over to form bead.  29g. Re12%.
101. MH1 incomplete rim of flanged mortarium, AD140-70.  176g Re 10%.
The forms and fabrics which included Derbyshire ware suggest a date in early Antonine period extending into the late second to early third century. The CTA2 rim may be much later.  Although this type was being made in the third century in Northamptonshire, it is typical of the fourth century (Brown 1994, fig. 9 nos 174-8) and these later shell-tempered wares tend to date to the late fourth century in Wales (Webster 1993a, 294-5). 

Ditch 1224

Fill 1215 contained very abraded undiagnostic, Roman sherds with one medieval sherd.  An OAB1 sherd from a narrow-necked jar with a zone of lattice burnish is likely to be of late first to second century date. The samian gave a date in the Antonine period cAD140-200.  

The clay floor 1266 contained a plain-rim BB1 dish with acute lattice burnish dating to the early to mid-second century (Gillam 1976 no. 75). This fragmented layer also contained a samian sherd of much later date, AD 170-260, but this may have derived from late activity in the vicinity. 

Samian from layer 1282, beneath the crushed briquetage surface 1264, dated AD 130-60 and BB1 vessels of the mid- to late second century suggests this layer belongs to this phase.  The BB1 cookware included a dish with flat rim and lattice burnish (102, mid-second century), a jar (103, mid to late second century and a neckless everted-rim beaker (104, mid to late second century).  These were all traded wares from Dorset.  A GRB5 narrow-necked jar with rebated rim and zone of vertical burnished lines on shoulder (105) may be a local kiln product and an oxidised (OAB1) wide-mouthed jar with everted rim (105) is likely to be from kilns operating on the Cheshire Plain, perhaps at Wilderspool, in the mid to late second century.  This group indicates a date of deposition in or after the mid-second century and not later than the end of the second century.

1282 layer under 1264

102. BB1 dish with flat rim and lattice burnish.  Gillam 1976 no. 61, mid-second century.  35g Re 10%.
103. BB1 necked jar rim.  Gillam 1976 no. 3 mid to late second century. 21g Re 5%
104. BB1 neckless everted-rim jar/beaker.  Gillam 1976 nos 16 or 20 mid to late second century.  11g Re 14%
105. OAB1 everted rim of wide-mouthed jar (Leary 2007 fig. 3.62 no. 166 from group dated to the Antonine period after AD160).  25g Re 8%.
106. GRB5 narrow-necked jar with rebated rim and zone of vertical burnished lines on shoulder.  39g. Re 15%

Clay and stone layer 1228

The clay layer 1228 below the trackway is of similar date.  The pottery from this layer included sherds from an oxidised shell-tempered jar (107) with cordoned neck and everted rim. This is likely to be a Harrold jar but the cordoned neck and a bodysherd with a double groove suggest that this is not a late shell-tempered jar but belongs to the earlier range of shell-tempered wares (Brown 1994, fig.24 no. 29 late first century, and fig. 26 no. 85 second half of the second century). This ware was also present at the Fairclough site in a group of late first to early second century pottery (Leary forthcoming).  A late first to early second century channel-rim jar in this fabric was recorded at Walton-le-Dale also (Evans in prep).  Another mortarium (108) from the St Albans potteries was present and dated to AD80-120 but sherds of BB1 from this level indicate a date after AD120 but within the early second century.

107. CTA2OX jar with cordoned neck and everted rim. This is likely to be a Harrold jar from kilns in Bedfordshire but the cordoned neck and a bodysherd with a double groove suggest that this is not a late shell-tempered jar but belongs to the earlier range of shell-tempered wares (Brown 1994, fig.24 no. 29 late first century, and fig. 26 no. 85 second half of the second century). This ware was also present at the Fairclough site in a group of late first to early second century pottery.  A late first to early second century channel-rim jar in this fabric was recorded at Walton-le-Dale also (Evans in prep).  72g Re 17%.
108. MVER mortarium.  Gillam 1970 no. 240, late first to early second century.  262g. Re 9%
Sherds of BB1, OBA2, GRB1 and GRB2 were also present suggesting a date after AD120 but within the early second century.

1206 trackway

Pottery from the trackway metalling 1206 included a relatively large assemblage comprising Dressel 20 oil amphora bodysherds and Gallic wine amphora sherds, a range of second century vessels such as BB1 flat-rim bowl and lid (as nos 49 and 31), a GRB1 campanulate bowl (as nos 34-36), a CC4 roughcast beaker (as no.43), sherds from FLA2 and FLB1 flagons and an FLB1 honeypot, a necked, GRB1 everted-rim jar (as no. 26) and sherds from an OAA1/SV1 narrow-necked jar (as no.73), the lower body of a MG2 carinated bowl and an OAB1 hemi-spherical bowl (as no.4).  Four mortaria were represented by bodysherds and a flange: a Mancetter-Hartshill vessel dated to the first half of the second century, sherds from MOAB and MOWS vessels of second century date and sherds from an MVER vessel of the late first to early second century.  The sherds were abraded and medium to small in size.  Sherds from a CTA2 everted rim jar with double shoulder groove (109) was present here and also in layer 1220.  This jar form with simple outcurved rim came from Bedfordshire, probably the Harrold kilns and was the commonest form in Phase 4, later third century. (Harrold 1994 fig. 29).  This appears to be a group dating from the Hadrianic-early Antonine period with some additions in the third or fourth century.  There were a very small number of late first-early second century types such as the St Albans mortarium and these may be residual.

Additional pottery from the cleaning of trackway 1206 was of similar date range with a sherd belonging to the shell-tempered jar from 1228 jar no. 107, sherds from two early-mid second century BB1 jar (as nos 18 and 62), a GRB1 everted-rim jar (as no. 17) and a lid, bodysherds from FLA2, FLA7 and FLB1 flagons and one post-Mediaeval sherd. The sherds in this group were again small and abraded and represent accumulation of small scraps of ceramic debris during the life of the trackway and after.

109. CTA2 everted rim jar with double shoulder groove.  Harrold 1994 fig. 29, this jar form with simple outcurved rim was the commonest form in Phase 4, later third century.  27g Re 35%.   Also present in layer 1220.

1292 pit

Pit 1292, cut through 1264, contained pottery dating to the mid-second century in its fill, including a samian sherd dated from AD140 in fill 1281.  A BB1 jar of mid-late second century type came from fill 1286 (112) as well as a rather unusual OAB4 everted rim jar with a cordoned neck and traces of a handle (111) and a small rim sherd from an everted-rim narrow-necked vessel (110).  A BB1 jar (114), beaker/small jar (113) and a plain-rim dish (115,  mid-second to early third century) from fill 1281 all point to a mid-second century date.  The plain-rim dish had been burnt and this has resulted is such surface deterioration that it is difficult to determine the decoration.  A single linear suggests it was originally lattice burnish pointing to a date in the mid-second century.  A large sherd from a very large OAB1 bowl (117) was present in this layer. This compares with lug handled bowls made at York in the second century (Monaghan 1997 type BL).  This type is also made at Holt where a reeded rim variety is illustrated (Grimes 1930 fig. 73 no. 212) and this example is more likely to come from those kilns. Swan in her consideration of the York vessels, points to parallels made in upper Germany (2002, 49-52 and fig. 9 nos 103 and 104).  A large rim and body sherd from a Mancetter-Hartshill flanged mortarium (119) dates to CAD140-80 but a much earlier vessel, an imported North Gaulish mortarium (118) of AD70-100 was also identified.  This latter vessel was extremely battered and abraded and was redeposited from an earlier phase.  The pottery indicated a date in the mid- to late second century.  Several of sherds from the jars were large and other types present included the neck of a Gallic wine amphora, the base of a second century MOWS mortarium, much of an OAB1 jar and an OAA1 open vessel, three fairly large Dressel 20 oil amphora sherds and part of the base of a CC4 roughcast beaker.

1286 fill

110. GRC6 everted rim from narrow-mouthed jar.  15g. Re13%
111. OAB4 handled jar with everted rim and cordoned neck.  The handle scar of the rim makes it difficult to be sure of the rim form.  215g.  Re 11%
112. BB1 jar with acute lattice burnish.   Gillam 1976 no. 3 mid to late second century.  84g Re 6%.

These types suggest a date in the mid-second century.

Fill 1281

113. BB1 neckless jar, Gillam 1976 nos 16 or 20 mid to late second century.20g Re 15%
114. BB1 jar rim, Gillam 1976 no. 3.  19g Re 7%
115. BB1 plain rim dish, Gillam 1976 no 75-9, mid-second –early third century.  Burnt.  The burning has resulted in surface deterioration but a single linear suggest this originally had lattice burnish as Gillam 1976 nos 75-6 second century.   22g  Re 7%
116. GRA2 neckless everted-rim jar, Flavian-Trajanic.  35g Re 21%
117. OAB1 very large dish with flat rim. Unparalleled. 378g Re 18%. 
118. M GAL mortarium, Gillam 1976 no. 328 AD 70-100. 115g Re 14%
119. MH2 flanged mortarium.  AD 140-80.  332g Re 25%.

The pottery indicated a date in the mid- to late second century.  Several of the jars were large and included the neck of a large FLA7 flagon, the base of an MOWS mortarium, much of an OAB1 jar and an OAA1 open vessel, three fairly large Dressel 20 amphora sherds and part of the base of a CC4 roughcast beaker.

The unsealed buried soil layers

Phase 5

The pottery from layer 1231 was somewhat later than that from 1263 and included three BB1 vessels dating to the mid-second century ( a BB1 necked jar, Gillam 1976 no. 3 mid to late second century, BB1 grooved-rim dish, Gillam 1976 no. 69 mid-second century and a BB1 flat-rim bowl with acute lattice burnish, Gillam 1976 nos 37 or 40).  Layer 1219 also contained some early second century pottery including a mortarium from St Albans similar to examples from layer 1220 (no.127 and 128).  However a multi-reeded mortarium from the large potteries at Mancetter –Hartshill near Coventry is a type not found until the third century, cAD200-260.

Phase 7 buried soils

The pottery from the buried soil layers in Trench 12 (1237 and 1263) was of late first to early second century date.  A large amount of a narrow necked jar with everted rim with zone of oblique lines defined by horizontal grooves on upper body in layer 1237 is a type made in the Severn Valley potteries in the mid-first to second century (120, Webster 1976).  Another sherd from this layer is even earlier - a GRA2 jar bodysherd with zone of linear rustication between horizontal grooves, and between two plain zones with no rustication.  This probably comes from a rusticated girth beaker (121) dating to mid-first century before cAD70. Seven large Dressel 20 oil amphora sherds were also present.  Dressel 20 amphorae were imported into Roman Britain from the earliest days of the Conquest until the third century. 

Layers 1203, 1220, 1271 and 1284 also contained pottery of this date but later sherds demonstrate that these deposits continued to receive ceramic debris in Phases 7 and 8.  The group from 1220 included a fine example of a white ware (FLA2) ring-necked flagon, a type common in the late first to mid-second century (121).  The splaying of the neck suggests a dated later in this sequence, perhaps in the early second century since the necks became more splayed as time went on.  Two bowls, one with a flat rim and the other with a reeded rim (123 and 124) are of a type most common in the late first to early second century and a GRA2 neckless jar with short, sharply everted-rim (125) is also the jar form of preference during that period.  Four examples of this jar form were present and these typically had a single or double groove around the shoulder.  A GRB8 hemispherical bowl (126) was present in a form copying the samian bowl form 37 imported from Gaul.  This type dates to the first half of second century. Two early mortaria (127 and 128), a type of mixing bowl used for mashing or pounding foodstuffs, were present.  These came from potteries at St Albans and their distribution in Britain was most extensive in the late first to early second century.  One example dates to the Flavian period in the late first century and another is most likely to date to c AD90-110 .The latter vessel was burnt around the upper body.  Mortaria are often found scorched or burnt and it may be implied that although used for mashing and pounding, as the worn bases and lower bodies indicate, their use may also have involved heating on a fire or in an oven.  Much of an OAB1 roughcast beaker was also present in this layer alongwith two GRB2 lids, parts of some other FLA2 and FLB1 flagons.  The group is predominantly Flavian-Trajanic apart from samian sherd dated AD 120-40, one BB1 jar sherd and the CTA2 jar rim.  The CTA2 jar is more likely to belong to the late shelly group than the early one typologically and was found in contexts 1220 and 1206. The sherds were small and abraded.  If they are not intrusive the form is one most common in the third century.  This would mean all the other pottery is residual although the material from layer 1220 included large and relatively unabraded sherds (nos 123, 124, 126 and 127).  It is perhaps more likely that this sherd is intrusive.

Layer 1271 had a smaller but similar group.  Most of the group was late first to early second century but Hadrianic-early Antonine types were also present  a ring necked flagon with pronounced upper ring, a GRB1 campanulate bowl and a BB1 lid (as nos 31 and 122).  The pottery suggested accumulation in the late first or early second century with some additions in the Hadrianic/early Antonine period. Similarly the very small group from layer 1284 included bodysherds from a ring and dot beaker,  an OAA1 everted-rim jar and a Gauloise 4 amphora, all dating to the late first to early second century, and a samian sherd dated AD 120-60.

1203

Small group including bodysherds of CTA1, FLA1, FLb3, GRA1, GRA2, GRB1, GRB2 and OAB1.  No BB1 was present and a Trajanic date is possible.  Forms comprised a GRA2 lid and a bead rim bowl of unknown body form.

1237 buried soil layer north of track

120. SV2 narrow necked jar with everted rim with zone of oblique lines defined by horizontal grooves on upper body.  Webster 1976 no. mid first to second lasting into third century. Base body and rims sherds of this vessel were all present. 653g. Re 22%
121. GRA2 jar bodysherd with zone of linear rustication between horizontal grooves, and between two plain zones with no rustication. Probably from a rusticated girth beaker of pre-Flavian or early Flavian type 54g.

Seven large Dressel 20 sherds were also present.  The SV2 form and rusticated jar suggest a date in the late first to early second century.

Buried soil 1220, sealed by 1206

122. FLA2 flagon with pronounced rim, probably a splayed ring-necked flagon.  9g Re 30%
123. GRB1 flat-rim bowl.  108g Re 30%
124. GRA2 reeded-rim bowl with double groove outside upper body and coming in to rounded carination.  63g Re 29%
125. GRA2 neckless everted rim jar with shoulder groove.  Three further jars of this type were present.  14g Re 10%
126. GRB8 hemispherical bowl as samian form 37.  The upper zone is deeper than no. 4 but otherwise identical.  Probably first half of second century.  22g. Re 6%.
127. MVER much of flanged mortarium.  Late first – early second century.  6516g 25%.
128. MVER flange from second mortarium.  Late first to early second century  117g Re 8%

Much of an OAB1 roughcast beaker was present with a rim from no.109, two GRB2 lids, parts of FLA2 and FLB1 flagons, a G5 large jar, a barbotine dot beaker bodysherd and one BB1 bodysherd with acute lattice burnish dating to AD 120-200.  The group is predominantly Flavian-Trajanic apart from one BB1 jar sherd and the CTA2 jar rim.  The CTA2 jar is more likely to belong to the late shelly group than the early one typologically and was found in contexts 1220 and 1206. The sherds were small and abraded.  If they are not intrusive the form is one most common in the third century.  This would mean all the other pottery is residual although the material from layer 1220 included large and relatively unabraded sherds (nos 123, 124, 126 and 127).  It is perhaps more likely that this sherd is intrusive.

Phase 8

1214 also contained later post-Mediaeval pottery sherds.  Other sherds comprised FLA and FLB1 bodysherds.

Phase 9

Layer 1217

A large group of some 678 sherds of pottery was recovered from this layer.  Medieval pottery was present and the Roman pottery included late first to early second century types, early-mid second century BB1 and a splayed BB1 rim probably third century in date, a BB2 jar dated AD 140-220 (129), Hadrianic-Antonine flagon types and mid- to late second century wide-mouthed jars copying Severn Valley types.  The samian included sherds dating from AD 70-90 to the latest piece dated AD160-200. The sherds include several groups of sherds from the same vessel which give near complete or complete profiles such as that of the BB2 jar.  The other vessels with significant sections of the pot present were BB1 flat-rim bowls and dishes, plain-rim bowls and dishes with acute lattice burnish, of early-mid-second century date.  Large Dressel 20 oil amphora sherds were also present. This appears to be a rubbish deposit of some kind, perhaps deposited in the mid- to late second century, when the character of the activity in this area of the settlement changed, with some low level accumulation thereafter. 

Phase 12

1218 cleaning layer

This deposit included a rather abraded collection of pottery with types of the early-mid second century such as BB1 jars with acute lattice burnish and flat-rim bowls/dishes, roughcast beakers, GRB1 everted-rim jars but also later forms such as a BB1 splayed rim, of third or fourth century date, a third century bifid-rim jar (as no. 12) and two NV1 sherds, one from an indented beaker dating to the late second- third century or later.  Four possible Mediaeval/post-Mediaeval sherds were identified.  A very small sherd from cleaning layer 1212 came from a black-slipped beaker from Trier, Germany.  These vessels became very popular in the third century and some had mottos painted on them exhorting their users to drink up (http://www.eng-.gov.uk/archrev/rev94_5/eastcem.htm).

Several sherds of intrinsic interest were recovered from cleaning and unstratified layers.  Another Rhaetian mortarium came from 1204.  This fragment was from the Wilderspool kilns and was a type Cii (Hartley forthcoming) dating to the Hadrianic-Antonine period. A white ware everted rim jar/beaker from 1213 had faint traces of painted arcs in orange/brown paint.  This vessel is similar to a group of painted jars found at other early military sites in the Midlands such as Margidunum, Nottinghamshire (Oswald 1952 Pl. V no. 3, Oswald 1948 Pl. XVI no. 6), Rocester Northfields (Leary unpublished a, no. 113), Mancetter-Hartshill (Gould 1963, 31) and Derby (unpublished).  Two very interesting sherds came from unstratified levels: a lamp fragment and a carinated beaker with applied decoration.  The lamp was from an open handled lamp, quite probably made locally.  The carinated beaker had a double bead rim beaker with lattice burnish outside body and an applied motif on this zone.  The motif comprises a horizontal ending in a vertical strip of clay with a small knob of clay in the centre of the vertical strip, opposing the horizontal strip.  This resembled the end of a hammer such as that accompanying Vulcan, the Smith God on beakers with applied decoration such as this.  Its presence on the site may be linked to the evidence for iron working at Middlewich (Strickland 2001, 58 and Williams and Reid forthcoming)

Other vessels

129. BB2 everted-rim jar with acute lattice burnish, Gillam 1970 no. 132, AD140-220. 294g Re 100%. 1217.
130. MRS Rhaetian mortarium.  64g RE 5%. 1204 cleaning layer
131. FLA1 everted rim jar with traces of painted arcs on upper body. 1213 cleaning layer
132. MH1  rim, spout and base of early Mancetter-Hartshill flanged mortarium, AD100-130. Worn base.  1217.
133. MOWS2 Wilderspool flanged mortarium, early second century.  Burnt outside flange.  1217.
134. MOWS1, probably Wilderspool flanged mortarium.  Optimum date range in early second century. 1218 cleaning layer
135. MOWS1 Rhaetian type mortarium. No slip present.  Trench 2 unstratified.
136. MOWS9 incomplete rim and body of flanged mortarium.  There is concentric grooving on the body and flange.  Thick white slip with all quartz and feldspar trituration grits. The source is unknown but possibly from a kiln on the Cheshire Plain or at Wroxeter.  The style is more like imported early mortaria.  Flavian-Trajanic.  Similar to mortaria from Wroxeter (Bushe-Fox nos 26-30) in form.

Unstratified

137. OAB1 fragment of open handled lamp Trench 4
138. OAA4, but colour orange like OAA1, double bead rim beaker with lattice burnish outside body and an applied motif on this zone.  The motif comprises a horizontal ending in a vertical strip of clay with a small knob of clay in the centre of the vertical strip, opposing the horizontal strip.  This could well be a hammer such as that accompanying Vulcan, the Smith God on beakers with applied decoration (Webster 1989).

Stamped mortaria

139. MH1  Fabric: fine-textured, cream fabric with thin pink core and perhaps with self-coloured slip; slightly powdery surface.  Inclusions: moderate to fairly frequent, tiny to small, mostly transparent quartz with some opaque, orange-brown and a little black material; rare larger quartz and orange-brown sandstone fragments.
Trituration grit: includes well-mixed, medium-small-sized, quartz, orange-brown sandstone and black rock.
Condition: some wear.
The left-facing stamp is almost complete and reads ICOTASGI retrograde; it is from one of at least nine dies used by the potter Icotasgus who worked in the Mancetter-Hartshill potteries within the period AD120-150, his optimum date being perhaps AD130-150.  For details of his activity see Ferris, Bevan and Cuttler 2000, 33, no.4.  AD 120-150.  413g. re 23%. 1216 Mortarium no. 65

140. MH incomplete rim sherd with small part of unidentifiable stamp.  3.9g. Context 805. Mortarium no. 921.

141. MWROX Fabric: Hard, fine-textured, cream fabric with a slightly pinkish tinge and with a drab cream core.
Inclusions: moderate to fairly frequent, ill-sorted, tiny to small, quartz, black and ochre brown.
Trituration grit: few grits survive, probably mostly quartz.
Condition: some slight singeing.
The broken, left-facing stamp has parts of the letters [..]CI followed by a dot.  When complete this stamp reads DOCI, probably an abbreviation for DOCILIS.  Distribution of stamps from the same die shows that this potter was working in a pottery which supplied Wroxeter in the first half of the second century; stamps from other dies which can be presumed to be his suggest he was already at work during the late first century.  The workshop has not been located, but the distribution suggests that it must be in the vicinity of Wroxeter, despite the lack of known suitable clay there.  This sherd is a straightforward product of his West Midland workshop and probably second-century, but he was involved, though probably not personally, in workshops at Fisher St, Carlisle (see Hartley forthcoming, for some discussion of the links), Wilderspool and Walton-le-Dale (in prep).
135g. RE 12%. Layer 1217.  Mortarium No. 133.

142. MH1 flanged mortarium
Fabric: Hard, fine-textured, white fabric; self-coloured.
Inclusions: moderate, tiny to small-sized, mostly quartz with rare black material.
Trituration grit: hard, black material with a single quartz fragment.
Condition: burnt and worn.
The incompletely impressed, left-facing stamp reads NANII[…], for the potter Nanieco, two verticals representing the letter E.  Mortaria of Nanieco have been recorded from Carlisle; Donington, Lincs; Leicester (2); the kiln-site at Manduessedum, and Wilderspool (2) in England and from Birrens and Newstead in Scotland.  While these relatively small numbers do not indicate a potter of great importance, he is of special interest.  All but his Wilderspool mortaria are typical products of the Mancetter-Hartshill potteries in Warwickshire, but his mortaria at Wilderspool are in the local fabric and have the local Raetian-type red-brown slip on the flange (Hartley and Webster 1973, fig. 8, G; p. 93 and fig. 10, nos. 86-87).  This leaves no doubt that he was active there at one time and the relative paucity of his products might suggest that he probably moved there rather than opening a second workshop.  He is the only Mancetter-Hartshill potter linked with Wilderspool in this way and the use of the Raetian-type slip on a mortarium with the stamp of a known potter is highly unusual.  His Warwickshire mortaria are typically Antonine in form and fabric. AD135-165
265g  21% Layer 1217.  Mortarium no. 145.

143. MOSW8 variant, incomplete rim of flanged mortarium 27g. Herringbone stamp. 
Fabric: fine-textured, orange-brown with red-brown core enclosing an inner dark grey core; cream slip. 
Inclusions: very moderate, quartz with a little black and red-brown material.
Trituration grit: mostly tiny, some small, mostly quartz with some quartz sandstone, black and red-brown material.
Condition: some cracking underneath the flange.  While this is worth noting, it is not in itself sufficient to indicate that the mortarium was a waster. 
This fabric is likely to be from a source in the north of England and there is no reason in the fabric or gritting to associate it with Wilderspool.  Cheshire Plain or Wilderspool.  Only a fraction of the right-facing stamp survives including a small T; whilst it cannot at the moment be identified, both the stamp and the mortarium are sufficiently unusual to hope that it will be identified when other stamps of the same potter are found.  More likely to be second-century than earlier. 27g. Phase 8 ditch 1221 fill 1223 Mortarium no. 42.

Mortarium no. 134 from layer 1217 from no. 143 or from a similar mortarium from the same workshop.

144. MOSW8 Wilderspool  incomplete rim of flanged mortarium
The fabric is generally similar to no. 42, but the gritting style is totally different, with small to largish well-mixed quartz, quartz sandstone grit. A small corner of a potter’s stamp survives; this is either a herringbone type stamp or part of a border of diagonal bars.  The workshop at Wilderspool is not an impossible source, but there were probably many minor workshops on the Cheshire Plain.  It is again more likely to be second century than earlier.
61g. Phase 8 ditch 1221 fill 1223 Mortarium no. 68.