Cosmeston medieval village was originally discovered in 1977 by the Gwent and Glamorgan Archeaology Trust. It is an example of the type of settlement planted by the Normans from the late llth century as they strengthened their foothold on South Wales.
The excavation was carried out this year and run as a partnership between Cardiff University and the Vale of Glamorgan Council. The site has revealed evidence of a flourishing pottery industry namely, ‘Vale Ware’ and is mostly utilitarian type. The potters also produced greenglazed Aquamaniles, these vessels were used by guests attending manorial high table for washing their hands. Several fragments of 13th century greenglazed aquamanile were discovered at the Cosmeston Manor house,one being decorated with a rams head.The Aquamanile fragments were mostly scattered in post medieval demolition layers,along with glazed ridge tiles.
Thousands of pieces of the local ‘Vale Ware’ have been found on the site but the aquamanile is of special interest.’Vale Ware’ points to the regions growing self sufficiency in the medieval period,as pottery imported from England began to be replaced by locally produced items. Once thin sectioning on the pottery is carried out,it is hoped that it will reveal the mineral composition of ‘Vale Ware’ pottery to local clays,thus enabling the centre of production to be pinned down in due course.
My repro Aquamanile.Purchased at Cosmeston Medieval Fair.