A range of oxidised and reduced coarse ware vessel types were produced at Brampton, but only the white mortaria are currently known to have had a more than local distribution.
In colour BRM WH is typically cream with a distinct greenish tinge (2.5Y 8/2, 5Y 8/2–7/2), sometimes tending towards buff (10YR 8/3) or brown (10YR 6/4). It is adversely affected by soil conditions, leaving it soft and powdery. An irregular fracture is usual.
The fabric is dominated by abundant well-sorted fine quartz (0.1–0.2mm), sometimes rounded and occasionally up to 1.0mm, in a sparsely micaceous (fine silver and gold) matrix. Although the groundmass is well sorted, the remaining inclusions give an overall impression of ill sorting. Red and black iron-rich grains are usually present, as are multi-coloured clay pellets (matrix coloured, pale yellow, orange or red-brown). These inclusions are typically sparse but may vary to common: iron-rich grains are generally fine (<0.3mm), although ranging up to 0.7mm, while clay pellets fall between 0.5–2.5mm. Sparse grey rock fragments, possibly quartz sandstone (0.5–1.2mm), are sometimes present. Common or, less frequently, abundant ill-sorted trituration grits (1.5–0.7mm) typically measure 2.0–3.0mm. White, grey and black flint is dominant with sparse quartz and rounded fine-grained red or darker rock fragments.
This sample has an isotropic clay matrix containing common quartz inclusions, generally measuring 0.05–0.25mm but with examples up to 0.5mm. Also present in this size range are rare feldspar, quartzite, polycrystalline quartz, ferromagnesian minerals and opaques. Larger inclusions comprise quartz-rich opaques, ferruginous pellets and voids (<1.3mm), matrixcoloured quartz-free clay pellets (<2.5mm) and fine-grained sandstone (<1.0mm). Mica is present, but not considered diagnostic of the fabric. As in the hand specimen, the overall appearance is of messy, ill sorted inclusions. Trituration grits include common flint, monocrystalline and polycrystalline quartz and sparse quartz-free ferruginous pellets measuring c 1.0–4.0mm. Rock fragments described macroscopically may belong to either ferruginous pellets or sandstone identified in the clay matrix.
Just over 140 kilns are known in the area of Brampton (Green 1977, 95).
Norfolk Museums Service
Norwich Castle Museum
Green, C, 1977 Excavations in the Roman kiln field at Brampton, 1973–4, East Anglian Archaeol 5, 31–95
Hartley, K F, 1995a The mortaria, in The Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Spong Hill, North Elmham, part 7: the Iron Age, Roman and early Saxon settlement (R Rickett), East Anglian Archaeol 73, 97–9 and microfiche 3–4
Knowles, A K, 1977 The Roman settlement at Brampton, Norfolk: interim report, Britannia 8, 209–22