Revealing Cosmeston's medieval past

Jul 06, 2011
Revealing Cosmeston's medieval past
A fragment of the Aquamanile

A pottery vessel dating back to the 13th Century has been found by University archaeologists at Cosmeston, shedding new light on medieval life in the area.

The aquamanile was found in many fragments at the Manor House site at Cosmeston, near Penarth, and the pieces were spread over a wide area. Aquamanile were designed to hold water with which the most distinguished diners at a table could wash their hands.

The reveals the refined nature of life in the manor house and importantly, the , from the University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion have identified the pottery as "Vale Ware". This is also the first time such an elegant piece has been found that has been produced by local craftsmen for the local elite.

Professor John Hines, School of History, Archaeology and Religion who is leading the dig said: "It became regular practice to shape these aquamanile in the form of animals. The one we have found represents a ram. Examples were made in the major medieval potteries at Scarborough, and we have a reproduction of one of those.

"It is probably to be dated to the later 13th century. This is also important, because this was a period when the local lords of the manor, the de Costentin family, were still holding and resident at the manor. From the mid-1310s they were displaced, and Cosmeston was run directly for greater, ambitious barons, who held large numbers of individual manors at the same time."

On Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July, families and members of the public can join archaeologists on the excavation and help piece the aquamanile and other finds back together.

The Getting Medieval event will also give visitors the chance to handle medieval objects and get close to the crafts of the past. No booking is necessary and the free event runs from 10am – 4pm both days. Visitors to Penarth Carnival are welcome to join over the weekend.

For the duration of the excavation at Cosmeston, University archaeology students and staff will explain their latest discoveries on free public tours of the site daily at 10.30am and 2.30pm (except Fridays) until 18 July. All are welcome and no booking is required.

Explore further: Remains of French ship being reassembled in Texas

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Archaeologists find key to Devon's Medieval past

Jul 23, 2007

University of Exeter archaeologists may have found the key to Stokenham’s Medieval manor house. Along with local schools and members of the community, the team has been digging a site in the South Hams village throughout ...

Archaeologists discover Roman fort

Jan 31, 2008

University of Exeter archaeologists have discovered a Roman fort in South East Cornwall. Dating back to the first century AD, this is only the third Roman fort ever to have been found in the county. The team believes its ...

Young archaeologists dig up a mystery

Jul 05, 2007

A group of teenagers taking part in a Cambridge University archaeological dig have unexpectedly unearthed the mysterious remains of a woman who could be more than 1,000 years old.

UK archaeologists discover Roman armor

Sep 15, 2010

Cardiff University archaeologists excavating at the Roman Fortress in Caerleon, South Wales have discovered what they believe is a complete suit of Roman armour.

Recommended for you

Remains of French ship being reassembled in Texas

Oct 24, 2014

A frigate carrying French colonists to the New World that sank in a storm off the Texas coast more than 300 years ago is being reassembled into a display that archeologists hope will let people walk over ...

User comments : 0