Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery

Aldgate-Pulborough terra sigillata

Terra sigillata manufactured at Pulborough (Sussex/GB), and perhaps also at London (GB) during early-mid 2nd century AD, with limited distribution in south-east England.

Fabric and technology

Somewhat variable, but generally deep orange-red dense fabric with darker core, a tendancy to slight blistering and pimply at the surface, with a dull flaking slip.


Decorated bowls (Drag. 30, 37) and plain wares (Drag. 18 or 18/31, 33, 35, 36, Curle 11 and others).


Two name stamps, G. Se.- Verian(us) and Acapa, on plain wares.


The elements employed on the decorated bowls are ‘borrowed’ from vessels made by potters working at Les Martres-de-Veyre and Lezoux (Central Gaul), probably by copying from finished bowls (/ The dating of these ‘source’ vessels suggest activity in the period c. AD 120-150.


Discovery of mould fragments at Pulborough (Sussex) suggests production in that area. The ‘waster’ from Aldgate may suggest a further workshop in London.


Limited; most findspots are in Sussex and lower Thames valley, with outliers to west (Sea Mills, Avon) and north (Hockwold-cum-Wilton, Norfolk).



The Aldgate waster: Walters 1908, 291-2, M 1546; basic discussion: Simpson 1952; production sites: RCHM gazetteer F485, F632; distribution: Webster 1975; Bennett 1978; Williams 1979; Dickinson in Gurney 1986, 74; Dickinson in O’Connell and Bird 1994, 137


Bennett 1978. Bennett, J., ‘A Further Vessel by the Aldgate-Pulborough Potter’, Britannia, 9, (1978), pp. 393-4.

Gurney 1986. Gurney, D., ‘Settlement, religion and industry on the Fen-edge; Three Romano-british sites in Norfolk’, EAA, 31, (1986).

O’Connell and Bird 1994. O’Connell, M. G. and Bird, J., ‘The Roman temple at Wanborough, excavation 1985-1986’, SurreY Arch Colln, 82, (1994), pp. 1-168.

Simpson 1952. Simpson, G., ‘The Aldgate potter: a maker of Romano-British samian ware’, JRS, 42, (1952), pp. 68-71.

Walters 1908. Walters, H. B., Catalogue of the Roman pottery in the Department of Antiquities, British Museum, British Museum, London, (1908).

Webster 1975. Webster, P. V., ‘More British Samian Ware by the Aldgate-Pulborough Potter’, Britannia, 6, (1975), pp. 163-70.

Williams 1979. Williams, D. F., ‘Petrological analysis’, Transactions of the London Middlesex Archaeological Society, 30, (1979), pp. 186-7.

Distribution of Aldgate-Pulborough terra sigillata in Britain
Terra sigillata forms and kiln sites
  • Database of the principal terra sigillata forms.
  • Map of the principal terra sigillata kiln sites
National Roman Fabric Reference Collection
(Dore & Tomber 1998, Museum of London Archaeology Service Monograph 2)
  • Fabric code: PUL SA (Pulborough samian, p.186).
Thumbnail images
The pottery kilns of Roman Britain (Swan 1984)
Kilns producing this ware are located at:
  • London (Middx)
  • Pulborough (Sussex)
Further details of these sites are available through the link above, and are summarized and mapped here.
URL: http://potsherd.net/atlas/Ware/APTS • © Text 1996, 2014: Layout 2012, 2014. Some images may be linked to other web sites.