1995-Sookholm Kiln

Roman Tile Kiln

Sookholm

David Burton

1961 - Combs Farm

Type - Iron Age/Romano-British

Location - Farnsfield. SK631552

Project Leader - Brian Simmonds

 

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Large quantities of Roman tile fragments have been noted on several

occasions in the field to the south of the pond known locally as the Roman Bath.

Adrian Oswald in the 1930's also recorded the presence of a stack of waster tiles in a uniform heap running east-west along the boundary of the field. In 1979 Chris Brookes attempted to pinpoint the presumed site of the kiln by resistivity survey. Although his results showed anomalies beneath the field his work was not conclusive.

 

In 1995 a mineral extraction application was submitted to Mansfield District Council and it was likely that the site was in immediate danger. The Society began the work of assessing the Brooks resistivity anomalies and investigating more closely the so-called tile stack.

 

After two seasons work no kiln structures were found. From the random nature of the heap of tile wasters it was concluded that the

most likely explanation for their presence was that of a systematic field clearance probably in the C19th.

The scope for further searches is by no means exhausted but the overgrown nature of the pond margins and the water itself pose much difficulty. In the archive of Major Hayman Rooke there exists a most convincing drawing of ‘the Roman bath at Sookholm’. From his sketches the best guess is that the structure he observed lies beneath the existing pond.

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The excavation report, drawings and tile samples can be studied in Mansfield Museum’s Archaeology store room subject to the Curator's permission.