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It was a family industry, continuing through generations.Clay pits were usually dug quite close to the kiln, on the peasant's croft or common.Multi-flue types were also used later, allowing greater capacity and needing peat or coal as fuel.Methods of stacking vessels in kilns are interpreted from excavated kilns which contain partial loads, but can also be reconstructed from kiln scars on glazed pottery and kiln bars, and from the direction of glaze drips on decorated vessels.In Britain, pottery was made from the Neolithic (New Stone Age) period onwards, although some parts of the British Isles were aceramic (did not produce pottery) at various points in time. This crudeness is related to the function of the vessels, which had to withstand thermal shock when placed on a fire for cooking.
The single flue type was in use from the Late Saxon period to the 13th c., and was superseded by the double flue type.
The latter were often used in cremation cemeteries to hold the ashes of the deceased.
Urban potteries, for example in Thetford, Norwich and Ipswich, flourished in the Mid-Late Saxon period with most declining afterwards.
Stamford is the major exception, continuing into the 13th century.
Middle Saxon pottery in East Anglia and Northumbria was made on a slow wheel, but elsewhere in Britain it was still handmade.
Highly decorated tableware, including fine red and whitewares, were available during the Early Roman period.