Hulton Abbey was a minor Cistercian monastery in north Staffordshire (England), founded in 1219 and finally dissolved in 1538. This is the final report on the archaeological excavations undertaken there between 1987 and 1994. In particular, the chapter house was uncovered and re-assessed and the eastern part of the church and north aisle were completely excavated, together with the eastern half of the nave. The excavations are described by area and chronological phase with detailed specialist reports including architectural stonework and decorated floor tiles. An extensive programme of sampling and analysis of pollen remains from burials was also completed. The remains of 91 individuals, mainly men but also women and children, are reported on in detail, with sections on abnormalities and pathology as well as medieval burial goods such as a wax chalice and wooden wands. Comparisons with other published monastic sites in the region help to place Hulton into a wider context. An important element of the project was education and community involvement and today the site lies in a small urban park in Stoke-on-Trent.
Table of Contents
List of figures Preface Summary Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 1.1 The Cistercians (by W D Klemperer) 1.2 Monasticism in Staffordshire (by N Boothroyd) 1.3 The history of Hulton Abbey (by W D Klemperer) 1.4 Carmountside Farm to 1884 (by A Nicholls) The abbey site after the Dissolution The first Carmountside Farm The rebuilding of Carmountside Farm 1.5 The re-discovery of the site and excavations after 1884 (by W 0 Klemperer and A Nicholls) 2 The excavations 1987-94 (by W D Klemperer) 2.1 Evaluation of the outer court 2.2 Excavations in the church and chapter house 2.3 The chapter house, bookstore and sacristy (area BH) The bookstore and sacristy The chapter house 2.4 The south transept (area BB) Phase BB2: construction Phase BB3: medieval Phase BB4: post-medieval2.5 The crossing (area BF) Phase BF2: construction Phase BF3: early graves Phase BF4: medieval timber structure Phase BF5: construction of the choir stalls, a screen and further burials Phase BF6: Dissolution 2.6 The north transept (area BG) Phase BG2: construction Phase BG3: medieval floors Phase BG4: medieval graves Phase BG5: demolition or collapse Phase BG6: stone robbing and post-Dissolution soil build up Phase BG7: mid 19th century to modern 2.7 The nave and aisles (area BO) Phase BOI: before the abbey Phase B02: construction and early features Phase BD3: new floor, chapels at the west end and early burials Phase B04: remodelling of the west end Phase B05: a new floor and associated burials Phase B06: pre-Dissolution Phase B07: evidence for the Dissolution Phase B08: post-Dissolution decay of the church Phase B09: post-medieval disturbance Phase BOlO: late 19th century onwards 2.8 The west court and west range (area BC) Phase BC2: construction Phase BC3: medieval Phase BC4: Dissolution debris and destruction Phase BC5: demolition or collapse Phase BC6: modern, including Lynam's excavations of 1884 2.9 The chancel/north transept external angle (area BE) Phase BE2: construction Phase BE3: medieval Phase BE4: Dissolution Phase BE5: post-medieval 3 Structural evidence 3.1 Introduction (by W D Klemperer) 3.2 The architecture and worked stones (by R K Morris) The architectural detail of the church The chapter house and conventual buildings Sculpture and carved ornament Summary 3.3 Bricks (by N Boothroyd) 3.4 Nails (by N Boothroyd) 3.5 Mortar and plaster analysis (by G C Morgan) 3.6 Ceramic floor tiles (by N Boothroyd and G Craddock) Methodology Tile manufacture Fabrics Catalogue of designs Plain tiles Discussion Catalogue of floor tile photographs 3.7 Analysis of selected tiles and clays by lCPS (by M J Hughes) 3.8 Medieval window materials (by N Boothroyd) Glass Came 3.9 Roofing material Stone roof tiles (by C Goodwin) Ceramic roof tiles (by N Boothroyd with W Carter) Roofing lead (by N Boothroyd) 4 The burials 4.1 Human bones (by S Browne) The material The methods Results Analysis of special groups of burials Discussion of the complete sample from Hulton Abbey Family relationships Health status Comparison with samples from other monastic churches 4.2 Discussion of burials (by W D Klemperer and N Boothroyd) Burial areas Grave goods Family relationships 5 Environmental evidence (edited by E Pearson) 5.1 Introduction (by W D Klemperer)5.2 Pollen analysis from sk 50004-50010, south transept and crossing (by F Chambers) Results Discussion 5.3 Pollen and macrofossil remains from sk 50001 and 50002, and from the drain/ditch to the south of the cloister (by B Moffat) The graves The drain/ditch (context 166, trial excavation AG, sample 60050) 5.4 Three further pollen samples (by J Greig) Results Conclusions 5.5 Analysis of charred and waterlogged plant remains from the guIIy fill and drain (by L Moffett) Results 5.6 Overview (by E Pearson) The burials The environment 5.7 Small bones from samples (by U AlbareIIa) 5.8 Large mammal bones and bird bones (by A Outram) Identifications Species present Age and sex of animals Butchery Animal size Pathology Bird bones 6 Finds 6.1 Introduction (by N Boothroyd) 6.2 Medieval finds (by N Boothroyd, with leather by Q Mold) Religious artefacts Dress and personal items Items associated with writing, weighing and counting Tools and household items Miscellaneous objects Manufacturing waste Structural fittings6.3 Medieval pottery (by 0 Klemperer) Introduction The nature of the deposits and the problems of dating Methodology and quantification Discussion Discussion and comparison with other published monastic assemblages from the Midlands Illustrated medieval pottery 6.4 Post-medieval finds (by N Boothroyd, with leather by Q Mold) Dress and personal items Tobacco pipes Items associated with writing, weighing and counting Tools and utensils Miscellaneous objects Manufacturing waste Structural fittings 6.5 Post-medieval pottery (by J Goodwin) 6.6 Prehistoric flint tools (by A Ford) 6.7 Analysis of the wax chalice and seal (by D Morgan, H Morris, N Oldham and W D Klemperer) 7 Discussion (by W D Klemperer and N Boothroyd 7.1 Cistercians in north Staffordshire7.2 Landscape 7.3 Layout and use of the abbey church7.4 Architectural mouldings 7.5 Material culture 7.6 Settlement hierarchy 7.7 Patrons and prosperity7.8 Conclusion 7.9 The post-medieval period Bibliography Index