Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Late medieval kiln site east of Park Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Westfield, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8899 / 50°53'23"N

Longitude: 0.5846 / 0°35'4"E

OS Eastings: 581879.809386

OS Northings: 113232.954799

OS Grid: TQ818132

Mapcode National: GBR PWY.4MC

Mapcode Global: FRA D63R.9LD

Entry Name: Late medieval kiln site E of Park Wood

Scheduled Date: 9 February 1979

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002210

English Heritage Legacy ID: ES 472

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Westfield

Built-Up Area: Hastings

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Ore St Helen

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


16th century pottery kiln, 210m west of Hurstwood Farm.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 24 February 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a 16th century stone built pottery kiln and kiln debris surviving as earthworks and buried archaeological remains. It is situated on a north-facing slope, east of Park Wood near Hastings.

The kiln is rectangular in plan, measuring approximately 4.5m by 2.5m. The site has since been part back-filled. Nearby is an extensive mound made up of kiln debris and probably overlying the working area. A further mound, to the south, orientated north-west to south-east is thought to represent a second kiln and associated debris.

The site was partially excavated between 1977 and 1978 revealing the kiln in the northern part of the site Pottery recovered from the site has included a piece bearing the date 1583.

Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity of this monument, such as the course of a Roman road, but are not included because they have not been formally accessed.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Pottery kilns contain and control heat in order to fire pottery. This requires an effective structure which both retains heat but which also keeps it away from direct contact with the unfired contents. Small scale purpose-built pottery kilns for the firing of domestic pottery have been recorded across England from at least the Roman period with examples known in south east England from the late prehistoric period. The best known type of kiln is the circular updraft kiln which was popular throughout the medieval and the early post-medieval periods and later. Such kilns were heated by one, two, or sometimes multiple, fire-boxes, the resultant heat being channelled beneath the stacked wares waiting to be fired. Apertures placed in the side walls of the kiln allowed the inside temperature to be monitored and adjusted by means of shutters. Venting, usually through a chimney in the centre of the roof, allowed the smoke and any unwanted heat to disperse. Kilns are usually found alongside pottery waster heaps and where production was on a large scale, featuring multiple kilns there may also be workshops, drying sheds, storage buildings, yards and hardstanding, clay pits and drains.

The 16th century pottery kiln, 210m west of Hurstwood Farm has been shown by partial excavation to survive well. The recovery of waste sherds of pottery from the site gives a clear indication of the type of wares being produced. As it has only been partially excavated there is a high degree of potential for further archaeological investigation, particularly with regard to other mounds on the site. The kiln is a significant testament to the way in which domestic pottery was made available locally, in the centuries prior to the Industrial Revolution and the advent of mass produced pottery.

Source: Historic England


East Sussex HER MES2569. NMR TQ81SW21, TQ81SW18. PastScape 417475, 417472.

Source: Historic England

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