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Wealden Glass fragments

Collection Category
Mid-late medieval period

Until the medieval period, the vast majority of glass in England was imported. Whilst there was evidence of glass workshops making objects with the imported glass it was rare to find glass manufactured in England. In the mid-medieval period there were two known English glass producing regions - Staffordshire, and the Weald of Surrey and Sussex. It is commonly agreed that this was to do with the sandy soils and relative abundance of woodland as fire fuel that these regions were so popular for glass production. As with pottery, regional variations in production style enable archaeologists to identify the origin of glass finds, and these pieces were found in Sussex near Wisborough Green and are identified as 'Wealden glass'. The glass production industry collapsed in the 17th century after the 1615 prohibition on wood to fuel glassmaking (King James I believed that wood fuel should be used for more important purposes) and the industry moved elsewhere for coal fueled furnaces etc.

Unfortunate though the collapse of the industry is, this gives us an idea of the earliest and latest dates these pieces would have been produced.