Pottery Gallery

Back to Museum Lobby

All the pottery shown in this gallery was found in Martham unless otherwise stated.


Roman greyware
Rim pieces of greyware
Pot base

The Roman greyware shown here verifies Romano-British occupation of the village before the Saxon era. Greyware started to be mass produced c.AD70 and became the dominant common use domestic pottery from the 1st to early 4th century following the introduction of new technologies like the kick wheel and
kiln firing that dramatically increased pottery production in Roman Britain.
Contributor Jean.

Greyware rim pieces.
Contributor PD.

Roman Greyware.
Contributor PD.

Greyware pots.
Examples only – not from Martham

Bowl base
Fancy rim design

Samian ware is basically fancy Roman tableware. It is the most commonly used high quality pottery to be found in Roman Britain but was mainly made in the southern, central and eastern areas of Gaul. It may have been imported locally via the Roman port at Caister-on-Sea or from Caistor by Norwich.
Contributor Jean.

A fine pottery sherd from a Roman Samian ware bowl.
Samian ware is the name given to red-gloss pottery that was mass-produced from the 1st to the 3rd century AD.
This fine dining ware was produced mainly in northern Italy but some small-scale production took place at Colchester in Roman Britain.
Contributor A.

Decorated Samian ware rim. Form 38, made in East Gaul. Late 2nd, early 3rd century. Contributor PD.

Samian wear bowl.
Example only – not from Martham


Generally speaking Pagan Saxon pottery was brittle and does not survive very well in plough soil; it is therefore hard to find.
In 1978 a small shard from a Saxon burial urn dating to c500-600AD was found in the village thus supporting its Saxon origins. The actual piece is now in the hands of the Norfolk Museum Service but is indicated by the drawing below and a sample photo of the type of urn it would have come from. Contributor PD.

Example of a complete Saxon burial urn – not found in Martham


As we would expect the relatively high local population during the medieval period gives rise to a wide variety of medieval pottery finds across the village and samples are shown below. Contributor PD.

16th century glazed ware
16th/17th Thetford ware
16th/17th century earthenware
Late 15th century medieval shards
17th century rim shards

Back to Museum Lobby