|NEW DISCOVERIES OF 'VECTIS WARE' POTTERY
The Briddlesford find occurred along the Somerton to Knights Cross pipeline. This find comprises the lower portion of a bowl or jar. It contains a carbonised residue which could be the remains of an ancient meal. Other finds of Vectis Ware have been at Somerton, Yaverland and Havenstreet.
Vectis Ware was exclusive to the Island, running from Iron Age through Roman times. Pipeline excavations have uncovered a number of examples, the most recent being at Briddlesford.
This brown burnished pottery was industrially produced, coming from one or more centres. It was given the name 'Vectis Ware' by the ex. Island County Archaeologist, David Tomalin. It appeared first in the Late Iron Age and continued through to the early 4th century. The various pottery forms copied those of the popular Black Burnished Ware from Poole. Vectis Ware is not as well made and served only local needs. Its production sites have not been positively identified but Brading and Combley villas, as the largest sources of Vectis Ware, could well have been the manufacturing centres. In the past there have also been substantial finds at Redcliffe, St Catherine's Point, Grange Chine, Bowcombe and Mersley, although no villas have been discovered at these locations. A discovery in 1994 during the construction of a classroom at Brading Primary School has recently been donated to the County Archaeology Centre. This lower half of a vessel is particularly interesting as it contains a cremation, possibly that of a child.
These recent finds along the routes of the Southern Water and Transco pipelines were made by archaeologists carrying out watching briefs on such routes. Watching briefs on the route of pipelines are negotiated between the Utilities and the County Archaeology and Historic Environment Service prior to the commencement of the work and are funded by the Utilities. These arrangements ensure that archaeological sites and finds are identified and recorded during the operations of stripping and pipe laying along the line of the easements.