by Elizabeth S. PaynterCART Lab Director

“The blending of two clays of different colors…was not always done for ornamental purposes; it could also serve to make a poor clay more workable. This technique was characteristic of potters of the Buckley district of North Wales, where vast quantities of coarse earthenware cream-pans, storage jars, and pitchers were made and shipped to the colonies.” (Hume 1969: 132-133)

Buckley is a coarse earthenware that is known for its red clay mixed with yellow or whitish clays and for having a thick dark brown to black glaze. The vessels themselves were most often thick walled. In the cross section of the vessel walls, striations of yellow or white are usually visible in the bright red to purplish paste. Buckley commonly has exterior “ribbing” around the vessel. The “ribs” are actually throwing marks that occurred during production.

While the ware was being produced in both Wales and England by 1690 and was manufactured until around the early nineteenth century, it is rare to find Buckley in this area before 1720 or after the American Revolution. While Buckley tablewares did occur, the utilitarian Buckley ceramics predominate in our region.



Hume, Ivor Noel. 1969. A Guide to Artifacts of Colonial America. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia. Originally Published 1969

MAC Lab. 2015. Diagnostic Artifacts in Maryland. Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab (MAC Lab). Originally Published 2002. Electronic. http://www.jefpat.org/diagnostic/index.htm accessed September 6, 2018.


About cartarchaeology

We are the County Archaeological Research Team, part of the Archaeology and Collections Branch, Resource Management Division, Fairfax County Park Authority. We are tasked with understanding and managing the cultural resources on Park land throughout Fairfax County.
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