Archaeologists working on the site of a new learning centre for Nottingham Trent University’s Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies have uncovered what may be the city’s greatest find for the last 15 years. Enclosure ditches, the remains of a brick kiln and square pits cut into the stone containing pottery, glass and roof tiles indicate that pottery production may have taken place close to the Convent Street site in Medieval times.

The significance of the find comes down partly to the location. Medieval Nottingham was enclosed within a ditch which ran along what is now Parliament Street in the City Centre. While there have been similar archaeological discoveries within the historical boundary, this find is the earliest evidence of industry outside of the boundary. 

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Acting Nottingham City Archaeologist Scott Lomax called the finds “the greatest archaeological discovery within Nottingham city centre of the past decade. I can say this is a very significant discovery. It is an area of the city centre which we know little about and this site will greatly enhance our understanding of what was happening immediately outside the mediaeval defences more than 600 years ago.”

Although Nottingham is usually recognised for it’s lace making, long before the town was famous for producing distinctive green glazed pottery that was exported all over Europe. Previous kilns have been found on Goosegate, Broad Street and the site of the New Market pub, but this is the first on the outside of the medieval town border.

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Paul Flintoft, project manager at Trent & Peak Archaeology said "With all the development taking place in the city in the coming years, this could be the first of many such finds which may change our understanding of Nottingham's mediaeval economy."

Several finds have now been removed from the site to be cleaned and studied further, and staff and students from Nottingham Trent University’s humanities and arts department will have the opportunity to visit the site and learn about it’s significance.

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Mark Priete, the project manager for the new development doesn’t expect the exciting finds to cause delays to the project. “We had planned for archaeological investigations and so this is all factored into our schedule and we are working closely with relevant specialists to ensure the artefacts are dealt with properly.”

Work on the creative learning centre is now scheduled to begin in May and should be completed by August 2018.