Medieval glazed ware
The introduction of glazing represents a highly significant advance in the production of pottery in the London area in the Middle Ages. Until the end of the 11th century, pottery made and used in London and south-east England was entirely without glaze and handmade by coil-building. Glazed wares were known in London, but only through trade with the Continent and, in England, with the potters of the Stamford area in Lincolnshire. Then, around 1080, as shown by archaeological evidence from the Thames waterfront, local potters began to experiment with applying glaze to their wares. The new technology spread rapidly throughout the region and by the end of the 12th century, most ceramic industries in the London area included at least some glazed pots in their repertoire. The advantages of glazing are considerable. The application of a glassy, protective coating to certain areas of a pot improves its performance by countering porosity, and at the same time greatly enhances its appearance by allowing different colours to be used in a decorative fashion and by heightening the colour of the body and any slips used. Once the basic technology had been learned, by which lead glazes were prepared from crushed galena or other minerals, it had become the norm for pots such as jugs to be glazed within 50 years of its introduction. Cooking pots and other kitchen wares were usually glazed on the inside only, while jugs were glazed outside to make the most of the decorative effects of the glaze. By adding copper filings to the basic lead glaze, probably in suspension, a distinct green colour could be obtained and is often seen as a major characteristic of medieval pottery in the London area and beyond.
The term 'medieval glazed wares' is used of pottery that was made in industries situated in south-east England and the London region in which glazing was a principal feature of their wares, although some of their products may be only sparsely glazed or completely unglazed.
|London-type ware (1080 - 1350)|
|Surrey whitewares (1240 - 1500)|
|Mill Green ware (1270 - 1350)|
|Late Hertfordshire glazed ware (1350 - 1450)|