Medieval Louvred Ridge Tile

Contributed by Nottingham City Museums and Galleries

Medieval Louvred Ridge Tile

This Medieval louvered ridge tile was excavated from a midden, or rubbish tip, at Goosegate, Nottingham, in 1961, by the Thoroton Society. Having been reconstructed by conservation staff at the Institute of Archaeology in London, this stunning, unique and most elaborate of all contemporary roof fittings, was donation to the Nottingham Museum Service by the society. Made of earthenware with green glaze on the outer surface, it would have been used to provide ventilation or to allow smoke to escape from a fireplace below. Following the principals of the chimney pot, which were introduced in the early 13th century, before the louver, the multiple and variously shaped apertures enabled it to create draughts in any direction. Substantially made to support the 3 tiered louver with projecting canopies and a series of open apertures, it is topped with a 3 pillared support for a terminal spike. Louvers are divided into 2 types, dependent upon how they were fitted to the roof. Type 1 fitted into a circular hole, while the Goosegate example is type 2 and is attached to the top and sides of a ridge tile. Fitted on to a roof, this rare near complete example would have had a striking appearance.

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