Archaeological Finds Under Reading’s Friar Street


Archaeological finds unearthed during emergency road repairs in Friar Street in February have now been analysed by local archaeological experts.

They include 13 sherds of 13th to 14th century pottery, 70 pieces of animal bone, 22 pieces of roof tile and 68 pieces of leather – mainly shoe soles.

The items were discovered in February as work started to repair the road surface of Friar Street between Greyfriars Road and Station Road. Work was halted and the Council’s archaeologist advisor arranged for Thames Valley Archaeological Services to investigate and record the finds.

The pottery sherds were Surrey Whiteware and of a ‘Coarse Border Ware’ type, which is common in the town.

Of the animal bones, analysis shows evidence of a minimum of seven animals including cattle, sheep, goat and deer. Another small unidentifiable animal was also found. It’s believed these came from a butchers.

Twenty two fragments of brick and tile were recovered and the uneven form and finish of the pieces suggests they date to the Medieval period.

A total of 68 pieces of leather were recovered and this suggests the presence of shoemaking and leather working on or near the site. The finds include soles, partial shoes and thin straps. Some of the shoes found are similar to those identified from excavations in York and the form of the shoe is though to have been popular throughout Europe in the late 14th and early 15th century.

April 18, 2013 |

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