The latest news from MPRG.

Newsletter deadlines – contributions welcome

If you have any ceramic related information that you think might be of interest to our readers please consider putting it in the newsletter! The newsletter editor would be delighted to receive contributions about:

  • recent discoveries;
  • calls for information / assistance with research;
  • notes on interesting research you might have been
  • calls for papers for ceramic related conferences;
  • notices of forthcoming ceramic related conferences,
    meetings and workshops;
  • details of exhibitions;
  • news and information about new websites relating to
  • anything else that relates to medieval and later

The newsletter is (usually) published three times a year. Copy should be sent to the Assistant Secretary Copy is welcome at any time, but if it is time sensitive (for example, notification of a meeting) it should be received no later than the deadlines given below for each of the issues:

  • 1st April for inclusion in the April newsletter
  • 1st August for inclusion in the August newsletter
  • 1st December for inclusion in the December edition

Content of each article should preferably not exceed about 800 words, though if you require more space it may be possible to accommodate this, please contact the assistant secretary beforehand. Pictures are particularly welcome and the more images of pots (relevant to your article!) that you can include the better!

MPRG activities and Covid-19

Due to the current restrictions MPRG has postponed the 3-day conference, planned to take place at Durham University in June 2020, until 2021.

Our Constitution requires us to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) before the 31st December of each year, MPRG Council is considering holding a one-day conference and the AGM towards the end of this year and further information will be circulated in due course.

The MPRG training course due to be held 4-5 April 2020 in York was also postponed until such a time that it is possible to meet in safety.

Apologies to those of you who have not yet received a copy of Medieval Ceramics 39; the volume is mailed out by volunteers and publications are stored in a building that has been closed. The volumes will be sent out when it is possible to gain access to the building and when volunteers can work safely.

Wherever you may be stay safe and well and we all look forward to being able to meet up and discuss pottery as soon as possible.

MPRG Training Course 4 – 5 April 2020 York

MPRG is running a two-day training course in York on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 April 2020.

The course comprises four sessions spread over two days, with each session being devoted to a specific theme. Starting with an introduction to the pottery of York and Yorkshire delegates will be lead from basic identification of medieval and post-medieval pottery, through to more specific classifications according to fabric and form types, the selection of samples for scientific analysis and finally, reporting on their findings.

The training is open to anyone who would like to develop their knowledge of pottery and its study. We would particularly welcome those who monitor or commission pottery reports or manage pottery specialists, museum archaeologists and others who curate archaeological collections of pottery, students/junior practitioners and members of local societies and community groups.

The Group is grateful to Anne Jenner and York Archaeological Trust for offering to host the course and for making their collections of pottery available for examination.

For more information and booking details please see the attached PDF    View Fullscreen


A Guide to the Classification of Medieval Ceramic Forms digitisation project completed!

The Guide provides a definition and nomenclature for ceramic forms made throughout the post-Roman period until the beginning of intensive industrial pottery production in the 17thcentury, with the aim of enabling practitioners to identify vessel forms, clarify definitions in common usage and standardise the terminology used to describe and record vessel forms in pottery assessments, analyses and reports. As MPRG’s Occasional Paper 1 the Guide has been selling well and is still available to purchase but in order to increase its accessibility as a key research resource (in line with ‘A6 Making key information and resources as widely accessible as possible’ in Irving 2011 A Research Framework for Post-Roman Ceramic Studies in England MPRG Occasional Paper 6) and promote recording standards MPRG approached Historic England for a grant to produce a searchable, interactive PDF. The application was successful and work was completed in autumn 2019.

The PDF is available below.

   View Fullscreen

A Study Day in Memory of the late Kenneth James Barton

A Study Day in Memory of the late Kenneth James Barton

19 October 2019

Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery

Ken Barton lived a full life, committed to the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of our medieval and post-medieval past. He was a specialist in pottery, an excavator of castles and a curator of collections; also the founding Chair of the Society of Museum Archaeologists and a President of the Society for Post-medieval Archaeology. Ken’s funeral was in Normandy in 2018, so this event gives his friends and colleagues in the UK an opportunity to pay tribute and mark his passing.
 His family, friends and colleagues invite anyone interested in the history of archaeology, or the study of pottery, fortification, museums or the post-medieval period to attend a study day to honour his memory.
The day comprises a series of talks on subjects that interested Ken, and by definition will be of interest to many people. Former friends and colleagues will speak on archaeology in museums, medieval pottery, fortifications and the archaeology of post-medieval England.
 Lunch (provided) will be accompanied by a glass or two of wine, a toast to Ken’s memory and a viewing and discussion of pieces from the extensive collection of pottery Ken donated to Somerset County Museums Service now managed by the South West Heritage Trust.
 Places are limited. Admission and lunch are free. For further details and to book a place, contact Duncan Brown at 



MPRG 2019 Conference and AGM

MPRG 2019 Conference and AGM

This year’s conference is being held jointly with the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology on 5 October at  the London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre, Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, London N1 7ED

One Thousand Years of Ceramic Innovation

9.30am  Arrive and registration 

10.00am Welcome and introduction (Jacqui Pearce and Julie Edwards)

10.15am Alexandra van Dongen: Jan van Eyck’s Syrian apothecary jar: the earliest known depiction of Arab ceramics in European art as a marker of global trade

10.45am Gareth Perry, Tom Watson, Caroline Jackson: Purposefully Purple: Understanding the technological transition from late medieval green to purple glazed Humber Wares

11.15am Coffee break and pottery viewing

11.45am Naomi Carver: Ceramic innovation in post-medieval Ulster

12.15pm Tom Wennberg: Faience production in Sweden: a part of 18th-century mercantilism during the Age of Liberty

12.45pm Discussion

1.00pm Lunch and visits to Ceramics and Glass Collection / MPRG AGM

2.15pm Patricia Ferguson: “Printing different Colours on One Plate”: Colour Printing on English Ceramics from 1756

2.45pm John Hudson: Slipware from the ground up

3.15pm Tea break

3.45pm Christopher McHugh: From Stoke to Seto: The adoption of British ceramic manufacturing techniques and styles in twentieth century Japan

4.15pm Julia Rowntree: Clay and hand skills: why do we need them?

4.45pm Discussion (Jacqui Pearce and Julie Edwards)

5.15pm Close

Conference fee: £25.  To book please contact Lorraine Mepham: or see our Facebook page for a booking form

John Hurst Travel Fund – closing date 23 March

This fund was established in 2007 to honour the enormous contribution made by John Hurst to the study of medieval and post-medieval pottery in Britain and Europe. It offers a travel grant of up to £200 each to MPRG members who need financial support to carry out their research. Grants are awarded annually and the closing date for applications is the 23rd March each year. Preference will be given to applicants whose projects help strengthen links between Britain and the rest of Europe and to students or those at the beginning of their careers.

Successful applicants will receive the grant before they travel if required and must provide receipts to cover the amount within one month of their return. They must provide a summary report of no more than 250 words to the Hon Editor within 3 months of the research project being undertaken, and must agree to cite the MPRG John Hurst Travel Fund in any publications resulting from the funded project.
Please see the web page for an application form which should be returned to MPRG President, J Edwards, c/o Grosvenor Museum, Grosvenor St, Chester CH1 2DD

MPRG Annual conference and AGM Saturday 5 October 2019

This year’s one day conference and AGM is being held in October to avoid any overlap with Gothenburg Ceramics 2019.

One Thousand Years of Ceramic Innovation’

Call for Papers
From the introduction of the potter’s wheel, to the spread of factory production during the Industrial Revolution and beyond, the ceramic industries of the UK have been progressively transformed by waves of innovation.  This conference, which is being held jointly with the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology,  will focus on the wide range of technological, stylistic and functional advances introduced into potteries across the country from the 11th century to the present day. These are manifested in innovative developments in methods of manufacture, ceramic fabrics, new and increasingly specialized forms, decorative styles and techniques, and their collective effect on the place and role of ceramics within society.

Proposals for papers of up to 30 minutes in length (including time for questions) with a brief summary (up to 200 words) should be sent by 1 May 2019 to

MPRG conference 2018 Brussels

MPRG conference 2018, 1st–4th June, University of Brussels: ‘Ceramics in Circulation’
A reminder that our annual conference is rapidly approaching; the draft programme and registration form have already been circulated to members. We have two full days of excellent papers, plus a day trip to Brugge, as well as a conference reception and dinner. What could be better for a spring break? There is still time to register, but please do so as soon as possible. For further information please contact: