Post-medieval pottery kiln, 80m NNW of the church of St Francis Assissi.
Reasons for Designation
Pottery kilns contain and control heat in order to fire pottery. This requires an effective structure which both retains heat but which also keeps it away from direct contact with the unfired contents. Small scale purpose-built pottery kilns for the firing of domestic pottery have been recorded across England from at least the Roman period with examples known in south east England from the late prehistoric period. The best known type of kiln is the circular updraft kiln which was popular throughout the medieval and the early post-medieval periods and later. Such kilns were heated by one, two, or sometimes multiple, fire-boxes, the resultant heat being channelled beneath the stacked wares waiting to be fired. Apertures placed in the side walls of the kiln allowed the inside temperature to be monitored and adjusted by means of shutters. Venting, usually through a chimney in the centre of the roof, allowed the smoke and any unwanted heat to disperse.
The post-medieval pottery kiln at Avondale Park survives well, displaying many original features of a 19th century updraught kiln. It is a good example of its type, which has been sensitively restored. The substructure and below-ground remains of the kiln will retain archaeological information relating to how the structure operated as well as waste sherds of pottery indicating the type of wares produced.
This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records. This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 25 March 2015.
The monument includes a part-restored 19th century updraught kiln, a type often referred to as a ‘bottle kiln’ for the shape of its roof, which was used in the production of pottery. It is situated on Walmer Road, east of Avondale Park and just north of the street known as ‘Pottery Lane’.
The kiln is a conical structure about 7.5m high and 6m in diameter at the base. It is constructed of red brick, although a small part of the base, facing Walmer Road, is now faced in concrete. The top courses of brick at the apex of the kiln, which originally formed an opening for the venting of smoke, have been rebuilt and capped with a glass cover. There is a door in the east side of the kiln and a window opening to the west. The interior has been partly refaced during the late 20th century and includes a ground floor and basement level. In the basement the original bracing arch is visible together with a flue and stoke hole. Three of the original flues were recorded prior to late 20th century restoration work and, except for that which is visible, the other two are preserved behind modern walling.
The pottery kiln is the sole surviving kiln relating to ‘The Potteries’ established during the 1830s between Clarendon Road and Latimer Road. Avondale Park is thought to be located on the site of the 19th century clay pits associated with the works. The kiln was rebuilt in 1879 by Charles Adams. It was restored and partially altered in the late 20th century.
The upstanding remains are Grade II listed.