Dating clay pipe bowls by angle
There are so many fragments, not just because for more than 300 years they were sold filled and routinely chucked when smoked, but also because the hundreds of pipe-makers working along the foreshore would likely ditch their kiln leftovers or rejects into the Thames.Even today most will be found close to where the numerous ferries used to transport workers either across or along the Thames, because although the Thames currents will move many things around over the course of time the mud will also tend to accept, envelope and preserve many things where they fell.
Oysters have been native to the Thames Estuary since the beginnings of time apparently, and it was only relatively recently that they ceased to be a major food source especially for the poor.on the ‘convex’, I noticed there were surprisingly few.After the stones, the bones and the oyster shells, the next most noticeable without really trying are the fragments of pottery ..Pieces of pipe-stem are easy to pick up in certain areas, complete bowls less so ..
but spend enough time on the first type of mud featured earlier and you may even extract a perfectly preserved bowl with a few inches of stem!
But I’ve chosen not to preview that particular part as an excerpt here, rather this other part. As I said, different spots may offer up more than others if you’re just looking for historical human artefacts but if, like me, you’re just as keen to see interestingly shaped stones, driftwood or unexpected flotsam ..