10.4.3.1 Ceramics

Redware was manufactured from the later Medieval period (see Chapter 9.4) into the 17th century. There are likely to have been manufacturing sites in the inner Moray Firth supplying Inverness, Tarradale and Cromarty, although no kilns have yet been found (Eric Grant pers comm).

Mass-produced ceramics from the central belt of Scotland and England spread throughout the Highlands in 18th and 19th century Scotland, showing commercial contacts over a large area (Modern Panel 3.4, with refs; see also Fleming 1923; McVeigh 1979). At the two most extensively excavated late 18th century settlements, at Rosal, Sutherland (MHG11549, Fairhurst 1968) and Easter Raitts, Badenoch (MHG4411), mass produced ceramics were found showing thriving imports at the time. The ceramics found at Achtriachtan in Glencoe are similar to material turning up on 18th century sites in the lowlands (Derek Alexander pers comm).

This information still remains to be gathered from diverse excavation and fieldwalking reports throughout the Highlands. For example, the ongoing Tarradale Through Time project and fieldwalking is yielding a large amount of Post-Medieval ceramics, and previous fieldwalking by Tain Archaeology Group (finds now mainly in Historylinks and Inverness Museums) and the Caithness Fieldwalking project (finds mainly at Dunbeath Heritage) have barely been looked at. No production evidence survives from the Highlands apart from craft potters from the 20th century and later, although crogan (craggan) pottery, handmade globular vessels, were in Skye and the Western Isles (Cheape 2010), and some may have been manufactured locally.

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