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The National Roman Fabric Reference Collection: a Handbook

Hand specimen picture panel
Thin section picture panel


Appendix 1: Keywords and Definitions
Appendix 2: Physical Layout of Sherds Housed in the NRFRC


Wiggonholt White ware (WIG WH)

Three samples

General appearance

This is a hard, yellow-cream (10YR 8/4) or pink-cream (5YR 8/4) fabric, of variable texture and therefore ranging in break from smooth to hackly. Typically the fabric is soft, sometimes with a powdery surface.

Hand specimen

In texture the examples in the collection represent two extremes in a continuum, rather than discrete variants. The matrix is silty, with sparse fine black and red iron-rich grains (0.1–0.2mm) and fine silver mica. The finer variant (Plate 156) has few additional inclusions apart from sparse quartz and iron-rich grains (0.3–0.6mm). In the coarser example, the larger quartz fraction is abundant and well sorted, averaging 0.2–0.4mm. The coarse end of the spectrum is not dissimilar to Verulamium Region White ware and Hampshire White ware, the fine to Colchester White ware, North Gaulish White ware 4 and others produced in Norfolk, although the trituration grits are distinct. Trituration grits on our samples are virtually absent and therefore no photograph exists of them. Those visible are sparse and consistently measure c 1.0mm, with quartz, angular feldspar, red and black iron-rich grains, red-brown rock fragments and flint present.

Thin section

The sample analysed here belongs to the finer range of fabric variants. It has ill-sorted inclusions, primarily silt-sized quartz, with occasional quartz and rare feldspar to 0.6mm. Also present are rare polycrystalline quartz and ferromagnesian minerals. Opaques (<0.4mm) and quartz-rich clay pellets (0.4–0.1.0mm) are regularly present. Rare threads of mica occur, but are not considered diagnostic. No trituration grits are visible in thin section.


A kiln at Parham, north-east of Wiggonholt, produced flagons in a fabric similar to these mortaria (Evans 1974).


Museum of London; Worthing Museum and Art Gallery


Worthing Museum and Art Gallery


Cooper, Rev T S, 1984 The Roman villa at Whitebeech, Chiddingfold: excavations in 1888 and subsequently, Sussex Archaeol Coll 75, 57–83 and microfiche 16–19

Evans, K J, 1974 Excavations on a Romano-British site, Wiggonholt, 1964, Sussex Archaeol Coll 112, 97–151

Hanworth, R, 1968 The Roman villa at Rapsley, Ewhurst, Surrey Archaeol Coll 65, 1–70

Hartley, K F, 1968 The pottery mural crown, in The Roman villa at Rapsley, Ewhurst (R Hanworth), Surrey Archaeol Coll 65, 38–9

Plate 156: Fresh sherd break of WIG WH (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 156: Fresh sherd break of WIG WH (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 156.1: Photomicrograph of WIG WH (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 156.1: Photomicrograph of WIG WH (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)

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