Cripplegate Pipe Kiln
In the photo S.W.A.G are shown doing the initial geophysical survey of the Russell Pipe kiln's location in Cripplegate Park. For over 50 years this bottlekiln had produced claysmoking pipes for local people (both men and women) to fill with tobacco. The manufacturer's name was even stamped on it. This site was well known, being positioned according old map close to other associated buildings as well as workers living quarters.
The team receive a briefing
A team of volunteers, mostly from Northwag, were brought in to help out for a whole week by opening and excavting the three necessarytrenches. On the basis that the subterranean remains of the bottle kiln had been accurately located, after a quick briefing from Site Director Roger Moore, two targetted trenches were then dug to find the circular edge. Most of the first layers of each trench were filled with general building material, which was not surprising since the area had been flattened back in the 1960s. In the 1800s John Russell is believed to have built a row of 20 houses there (Russell Terrace) where many of the kiln’s workers lived. Even so, among these were found numerous pieces of pipe and other finds that according to our expert on hand, Malcolm, hinted at the definite presence of a former kiln.
Roger Moore pointing to photo of similar kiln at Broseley Pipeworks in Shropshire
By Wednesday the work was only halfway through, so hopefully there will be an update about this exciting dig by our next newsletter.