SGRP Conference 2022: Leicester

Pottery from the Castle Street ‘delicatessen’ cesspit (c) Nick Cooper

This year’s Study Group for Roman Pottery conference will be held in Leicester on Saturday 18th June 9.30-4.30 at College Court Conference Centre, Knighton Rd, Leicester LE2 3UF

The conference is ‘hybrid’, with in-person and online options available. The cost to members for in-person attendance on the day is £35, including lunch and teas/coffees. The non-member rate is £45, and there is a student rate of £5. If attending in person, please complete the booking form and return with your fee by 31st May at the latest.

Click the link below to download the booking form:

To attend on-line via Zoom, the charge to members will be £10. The non-member rate is £15 and the student rate is £5. Online attendance will be booked through Eventbrite. Click here to book.

For those wishing to stay over at the conference centre on the Friday and/or Saturday night the preferential (association) rates for B&B per person per night are Standard room £45.00 + VAT and for an Executive room £60.00 + VAT. If you would like to book accommodation, then please contact the conference centre directly quoting the event number 73344.

Conference programme:

9.00 Registration (tea/coffee)
9.30 Welcome from president Rob Perrin
9.35 Recent Work in Roman Leicester(shire) Nick Cooper
10.00 Recent work on Leicester Forest kilns and supply to Leicester Liz Johnson/Nick Cooper TBC
10.25 How Nene was my Valley? Excavations of a late Roman colour-coated ware kiln site beside the River Witham at Lincoln in 2009 Ian Rowlandson and Hugh Fiske
10.50 Tea/Coffee Break
11.10 A Long Wave Goodbye: Pottery big data and economic cycles Jerry Evans and Phil Mills
11.35 Structured deposition in an early Roman well at Ewell, Surrey Eniko Hudak
12.00 AGM
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Pottery Viewing; Cadeby kiln group, Early Roman Leicester Groups etc (Roving reports with phone camera for on-line)
14.30 An update on Romano-British infant feeding cups: the military connection Kayt Hawkins
14.50 ‘Kaleidoscope: getting to grips with the late Iron Age/Roman transition in south-eastern Britain’ Isobel Thompson
15.10 ‘Wine Coolers and other RB ceramic strainer types: a functional analysis’ Scott Martin
15.30 Tea/Coffee
15.50 The Arch-I-Scan Project Pim Alison, University of Leicester
16.10 Exploring vessel morphologies in Late Iron Age and Early Roman funerary contexts using shape data from digital scans Alasdair Gilmour
16.30 Conference Ends

Volunteers wanted to scan Roman pottery

The AHRC-funded Arch-I-Scan Project (School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester) is in the process of developing a state-of-the-art image-recognition and machine-learning service which can identify Roman pottery vessels and sherds. The service will ‘learn’ from photos of ceramics in collections around England, including those from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology).

The project is inviting volunteers aged 18 and over to assist with its Roman pottery scanning programme at Museum of London Archaeology this autumn. Volunteers will be handling and photographing pottery sherds from the MOLA collection, utilising camera phones provided by Arch-I-Scan.

For more information, click here.

Or download an application form here: Arch-I-Scan volunteer application form

SGRP50 – Roman pottery conference booking now open

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Study Group for Roman Pottery and
we are celebrating with a two-day conference. It will be the very first virtual SGRP
conference via Zoom hosted by Newcastle University on the 2nd-3rd July 2021.

The conference is FREE and open to both members and non-members. Your
booking will give you access to both days of the programme and the Zoom joining
details will be emailed to you the day before the event. We welcome and
encourage you to attend the whole event, but you can dip in and out of
sessions as you wish. Due to the nature of the conference, all timings are
approximate (BST – GMT+1 time) and subject to change.

Click here to view the conference programme

You can book your place at Eventbrite (see link below), where you can also make
a donation to and/or join the SGRP. The annual membership fee is only £15
(£20 for EU and International) and it gives you a free copy of the Journal of Roman Pottery Studies, and if you join us here you will also get a free copy of the
Research Strategy and Updated Agenda for the Study of Roman Pottery in
Britain! We would like to raise money to create online training and information
videos to help our members and young professionals.

CLICK TO BOOK NOW: Study Group for Roman Pottery 50th Anniversary Conference Tickets, Fri 2 Jul 2021 at 09:30 | Eventbrite
or search #SGRP50 at Eventbrite

Fiftieth anniversary pottery conference set for July 2021

This year’s annual pottery conference will be a special two-day event to celebrate 50 years of the Study Group for Roman Pottery. And for the first time, the annual conference will held online.

The conference, organised in collaboration with Newcastle University, will be held on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd July. The packed programme will celebrate 50 years of the group, showcase new research and collaborative projects, and, looking to the future, will hear from early career pottery researchers about their work.

Details of how to book will be released soon, so watch this space. In the meantime, click the link to download the programme.


As a consequence of the current pandemic, we have not been able to hold an AGM for this year (2020). As a substitute, the following AGM-related documents can be downloaded:

The Trustees’ Report for 2019 is also available to be downloaded:

New pottery type series website launched

Some fabric samples from the Gloucester pottery type series

A new website focused on the Gloucester City Roman and medieval type fabric series has been launched.

The fabric series, originally largely the brainchild of the late Alan Vince, was initially developed during the 1970s and used in many of the earlier published reports for Gloucester and Kingsholm.

While some of the Roman fabrics are now superseded by the National Roman Fabric Reference Collection, there are a range of local and regional wares more specific to the city and surrounding area.

There has been no further substantial work on the medieval and post-medieval wares which remain one of the best documented sequences for the area.

The website can be accessed here.

Fun and fabrics at the Roman pottery conference

In July, members of the Study Group for Roman pottery, students, researchers and others interested in Roman Britain and its ceramics came together for the study group’s annual conference, which this year was held at the Red Lion Hotel in Atherstone in Warwickshire. The location was a special one, as the neighbouring village of Mancetter was the site of a major pottery industry, whose products were distributed widely in the Roman province.

The three-day conference began with scene-setting talks about the archaeology of Mancetter and the wider region. Delegates then heard about pottery assemblages from recently excavated sites in Warwickshire and Leicestershire. These were followed by a pottery-viewing session, which gave attendees an opportunity to examine pottery from Mancetter, the Lunt cemetery and elsewhere.

Roman pottery laid out for viewing

The day ended with a wine reception. In the convivial surroundings of the Red Lion Hotel, Rob Perrin, President of the Study Group, welcomed the guest of honour to the conference, Mayor of Atherstone Carl Gurney, who in turn welcomed delegates to the town.

Mayor of Atherstone, Carl Gurney, speaking to conference attendees

On the second day, delegates learnt more about the Mancetter pottery industry. Renowned mortarium expert Kay Hartley spoke in detail about the Mancetter industry, its products and potters. This was a masterclass and everyone was busy taking notes! Attendees also heard about glass production at Mancetter, as well as a project to update the significant archive relating to past excavations in and around village and make it more accessible. The talks were followed by papers on the pottery of Roman Leicester, scientific analysis of mortaria from Castleford, and excavations at Roman Wall, the last being a useful introduction to the site ahead of the afternoon’s tour.

The conference location is in an area full of Roman archaeology, and consquently delegates had a packed afternoon seeing the sights. After a very welcome and enjoyable lunch at the Heritage Cafe in Mancetter church, we began inevitably with a visit to the site of the Mancetter kilns. Today there is nothing to see on the ground, but our guide, Mike Hodder, brought the past brilliantly to life. We then reboarded the coach and headed to Wall for a tour of the Roman town, parts of which are still standing. The small museum in the village was well worth a visit, too, and we were also treated to a cream tea in the village hall, as well as a talk on lids and ceramic plates.

A tour of Roman Wall, led by Mike Hodder

On the third and final day of the conference, delegates had an update on a project to digitise and catalogue thousands of mortarium stamps. They also heard about pottery production in the City of London and in the London Borough of Havering. There was also a paper about organic residue analysis of pottery from Lincolnshire (it turns out that so-called cheese-presses may not have been cheese-presses after all), and the conference closed with a personal view about current and future samian studies, which gave everyone pause for thought.

This was a fantastic, well-organised conference, with hugely interesting papers, a really enjoyable tour and a wonderful location and venue. Next year – Leicester. See you there!

SGRP annual conference 2019: programme and booking details

Roman pottery kiln Hartshill
A kiln at Hartshill under excavation (photo: Paul Booth)

This year’s SGRP conference will take place at Atherstone, Warwickshire, on the weekend of 5th-7th July, starting on Friday afternoon and finishing at lunchtime on Sunday.

Atherstone is situated on Watling Street, near to the pottery kiln sites at Mancetter and Hartshill. This pottery industry forms the main focus of the weekend, but other papers will look at the wider regional context and pottery production elsewhere.

The conference venue, accommodation and meals will all be at the Red Lion Hotel, an independently owned coaching inn dating back to the early 1500s.

Click the link below for more details about the conference programme and how to book.

SGRP Annual Conference 2019

Grey ware jars from the Mancetter kilns

This year’s SGRP conference will take place on the weekend of July 5th-7th, from Friday lunchtime to Sunday lunchtime. It is being held at the Red Lion Inn in Atherstone in Warwickshire, near to Mancetter and Hartshill, on Watling Street.

The conference will draw a number of themes together: there will be a focus on Mancetter-Hartshill (the excavations, archive, pottery and glass production) and other production sites; other sites along Watling street (in particular Wall) and other regional assemblages. The Saturday afternoon trip will start at the site of the Mancetter kilns and then move up Watling Street to Wall.

Offers of papers are welcomed, and need not be tied to the conference theme. Please send them to the SGRP Secretary. Details about booking and prices will be posted here in due course.