Most recently, I was tracking down excavations of pottery kilns in the Derbyshire region. I found the website of the Sharpe's Pottery Museum that included a mention that the kiln had been archaeologically excavated in the 1990s. Philip Heath answered my email inquiry. Mr. Heath is the Heritage Officer for the South Derbyshire District Council. He has put me in touch with the archaeologists involved and also sent me a digital image of one of the interpretive panels at the site. He said that I could post the image on the blog, and more information about the Sharpe's Pottery Museum is on their website at:
Thomas Sharpe established his pottery in 1821. The Sharpe's Pottery operated as a company, making Mocha ware and Rockingham-style ceramics. These pottery types are also known as yellow ware because the stoneware body has a strong to pale yellow colored paste. These ceramics were often decorated with annular banding and the dendritic patterns for which Mocha ware is famous.
The kiln photo above shows one possible configuration with which Thomas may have been familiar. The picture above shows the archaeological excavation inside the standing hovel-- the bottle-shaped chimney that surrounds a kiln in most English traditions. In this case, all the bricks were removed, leaving only the stained soil to mark the structure itself. While a later foundation wall cuts right across the kiln foundation, you can still clearly make out the circular footprint of the kiln and most of the fireboxes that surround it. In the English tradition, the kiln is round and the fireboxes are generally below the floor surface and evenly spaced around the outside edge.
Academic industrial archaeologists used to talk about "ethnic" or "national" technological styles, which was a way of explaining why the English immigrants to Utah built round, up-drafting kilns, while the Danish immigrants built rectangular, cross-drafting kilns. I look forward to talking with the students about this and making more posts about this in the future.