Castle Street ceramics help shed light on Commercial Wharf finds

Castle Street ceramics help shed light on Commercial Wharf finds

27 February 2024

At the beginning of 2022 Plymouth Archaeology Society noticed that 17th century ceramics were being uncovered during repairs to a harbour wall at Commercial Wharf. Their investigation revealed evidence about the sequence of building at the site and was featured in an episode of the BBC's ‘Digging for Britain’.

Since then, Society members have been working hard to identify the finds they recovered. In particular, the ceramics are being examined to find out where they were originally made and at what date.

The Box holds large collections of locally excavated pottery from archaeological sites including Castle Street. This excavation (1959-1969) surprised and surpassed expectations, exposing over a ton of pottery from a historic communal refuse tip. It's recognised nationally as having one of the most important collections of imported post-medieval ceramics.

Three members

Examples from the Castle Street excavations are now being used to help with the identification of the Commercial Wharf pottery sherds. Sessions at The Box are enabling Society members to examine and compare the many different types. As with the pottery from Castle Street, Commercial Wharf is confirming that ceramics were arriving in Plymouth from many parts of Britain as well as Continental Europe.


Find out more about our Archaeology collections.

Find out more about Plymouth Archaeology Society, which is always happy to welcome new members.