Berkshire

Medieval artefacts found under Reading housing development

Tile kilns Image copyright TVASS
Image caption The tiles kilns were unearthed at what is thought to have been a medieval tile production site

A string of medieval artefacts found beneath a housing development suggest it used to be a tile production site, experts have said.

Two tile kilns similar to the terracotta ones on the floor of Reading Abbey were among the artefacts found at the site on Silver Street in Reading.

Thames Valley Archaeological Services (TVASS) also found a nearby pit where it is believed clay was extracted for the tile factory.

It described the discovery as "rare".

Project co-ordinator Tim Dawson said the tile kilns, estimated to be from AD1250-1500, were the "stars of the site" as they indicated there used to be a tile manufacturing site linked to Reading Abbey.

One of the two tile kilns found at the development went under the foundations of the second site being examined by the team.

Mr Dawson said it was "rare in archaeology to be able to follow features that you found on a previous site on to the next one".

He said the nearby pit lacked domestic waste which corroborated the idea of the Silver Street site, where wells and a post-medieval oven were also dug up, being a former tile production site.

Mr Dawson hailed the discovery as "significant", saying it helped "find out more of Reading's past and the details and specifics of where people worked and lived".

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