Early Medieval Glassmaking at Glastonbury and Barking Abbeys

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Early Medieval Glassmaking at Glastonbury and Barking Abbeys

March 26 @ 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm

This event has been postponed. Please see statement from the Society regarding the Coronavirus outbreak here.


Early Medieval Glassmaking at Glastonbury and Barking Abbeys; craft working and the early church in the 7th to 8th centuries AD

Lecture by Dr Hugh Willmott FSA

Between 1955-7 excavations by Raleigh Radford at Glastonbury Abbey revealed the first extensive evidence for pre-Conquest glassmaking in England. Never comprehensively studied, a recent analysis has shown that the remains of five glass furnaces were encountered along with a small but significant assemblage of working waste. Long believed to belong to the tenth century, the glassmaking can now be dated to the 680s, deriving from the rebuilding of the abbey by King Ine, making it contemporaneous to the historically documented presence of glassmakers at Wearmouth and York at this time. This assemblage is now far from unique, a furnace and glassmaking debris of similar date have been excavated at Barking Abbey in Essex, and is currently undergoing study by the author, and these two sites can be compared with a number of smaller assemblages or occasional finds from other 7th– and early 8th-century ecclesiastical sites. Together these point to a clear connection between the reintroduction of the glass industry in England and the founding of new Christian communities. This paper will review the archaeological evidence for early glassmaking and discuss what it can tell us about the control of technology and the establishment of the early Church.



15.30: Ordinary Meeting of Fellows

Formal meeting business including admissions and an introduction on current work at the Society in London (Fellows and guests only).

15.45: Lecture by Dr Hugh Willmott FSA

The lecture will be open to Fellows as well as members of the University of Exeter community as well as the general public.

Refreshments will follow in the Common Room.

Please contact Jola Zdunek ([email protected]) if you wish to be formally admitted to the Society at this meeting.


Meeting will take in University of Exeter, Laver Building, North Park Road, EX4 4QE, 3rd floor, Lecture Theatre 3



March 26
3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
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