Pottery and 'wasters' from a Neronian kiln found at Sugar Loaf Court, Garlick Hill (SLO82), may have been operated by an immigrant potter using local clays. The range of forms are Continental types and nearly all the forms can be paralleled in Gaul or the Rhineland. Particular elements have close parallels with examples from the Augst region in Switzerland and indicate that the potter probably originated from Western Switzerland.
One amphora fragment in the same fabric, found at Ironmonger Lane, is stamped C ALBVCI on the neck. The name is associated with the Celtic regions of Europe and most come from northern Italy and it is likely that Caius Albucius was the immigrant potter.
Deposits of large numbers of coarseware wasters (vessels that did not fire properly and so were thrown away) found at 20-28 Moorgate in 1936 suggested kilns in the Moorgate area, while the actual evidence for circular kilns was uncovered nearby at Northgate House (MRG95) in 1999 and 2000, contemporary with glass furnaces, both presumably making use of the water from the adjacent Walbrook stream.
Dating to the first half of the 2nd century, these kilns are by far the best preserved to have been discovered within the town. In the first phase of pottery production, the remains of three kilns were found. They were circular with floors pierced by a series of holes which would allow hot air to rise from beneath. The remains of three bottle-shaped kilns were recorded in the second phase.
In addition, there was a structure thought to be the potters’ workshop with a stock of unused Gaulish samian, suggesting that the pottery may have been sold in a shop attached to the production centre.
The industry produced highly Romanised wares including specialist products such as mortaria (mixing bowls). In addition, the potters appear to have been making a wide range of unusual vessels, including lamps, small amphorae, lids, bowls and dishes; many of these were produced in a special clay, making the objects sparkle. Known as mica-dusted pottery, a mica slurry, a mineral wash, was applied to the vessels with a cloth or brush before firing in order to imitate metal vessels.
Here potters, including Lucius, Valentinus and Maximus, were making a wide range of mainly mica-dusted vessels in the early 2nd century. These kilns were also producing Verulamium region white ware, linking the city kilns to the St Albans region industry.
See more about Roman pottery in the Museum of London's Ceramics and Glass website.