Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery

Oxfordshire parchment ware

Bowls and jars in pale granular wares, often with darker painted decoration, produced in the Oxfordshire potteries (Oxon/GB) and distributed across southern England during the 3rd and 4th centuries AD.

Fabric and technology

Hard, sandy fabric with smoothed surface; sparse red and black inclusions; generally white with pink core (occasionally pink or orange-pink throughout); decorated with red-brown paint, sometimes fired dark grey. Wheel-thrown.


Young illustrates a range of flagons, jars, bowls and beakers in the ware (P1-P40). Most have only local significance and principal type with wide distribution is P24 – a wide-mouthed carinated bowl, decorated with horizontal painted bands on the exterior and more complex motifs (crosses, swags, circles) on the interior.


AD 240-400.


The Oxfordshire industry.


Across central England.


Bath fabric 7.1. Caister-on-sea fabric OXPA-7. Chelmsford fabric 30. Colchester fabric MQ. Gloucester fabric TF1A. JRPS bibliography fabric oxp. Lullingstone fabric 34. Milton Keynes fabric 5. Kent fine fabric 16c. Towcester fabric 43.


Young 1977, 80-92.


Young 1977. Young, C. J., The Roman pottery industry of the Oxford region, British archaeological reports, 43, Oxford, (1977).

Distribution of Oxfordshire parchment ware in Britain
Thumbnail images (click for higher resolution):
National Roman Fabric Reference Collection
(Dore & Tomber 1998, Museum of London Archaeology Service Monograph 2)
  • Fabric code: OXF PA (Oxford Parchment ware, p.174).
Thumbnail images
Worcestershire ceramics online database
(Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service)
  • Fabric no. 40 (Oxfordshire parchment ware)
Thumbnail images (click for higher resolution):
The pottery kilns of Roman Britain (Swan 1984)
Kilns producing this ware are located at:
  • Oxford (Oxon)
Further details of these sites are available through the link above, and are summarized and mapped here.
Oxfordshire parchment ware
URL: http://potsherd.net/atlas/Ware/OXPA • © Text 1996, 2014: Layout 2012, 2014. Some images may be linked to other web sites.