publications...

news of our research reports, monographs and other publications
 

new publication release - summer 2022...


Textile Manufacture, Taxation and Trade in Late- and Post-Medieval Durham City.

We are excited to announce the forthcoming release of our first publication based on objects recovered from submerged riverbed, positioned just downstream of the twelfth century Elvet Bridge in Durham City. This circa.330 page colour hardback book, published as an Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland Research Report, in association with Durham City Freemen, represents a cultural, scientific and technical study of 330 lead cloth seals recovered from the River Wear between 2008 and 2022. These small, enigmatic objects represent the largest assemblage of such material available for analysis outside of London and, as such, are of crucial significance for understanding the cloth trade during the period to which they have been ascribed.

Given the limited edition print run is scheduled for a late-summer/early autumn 2022, we are now inviting pre-orders from prospective buyers. In order to secure a copy of the book (signed if you wish), simply email: admin@diveintohistory.uk for further details, including how to pay a deposit.
 
 

book summary...


This book represents an integrated and interdisciplinary study of 330 lead cloth seals dated from the mid-fourteenth to the early-nineteenth centuries. These recently discovered objects, recovered from a single submerged river-bed site located in the North-East of England, were once linked to the trade, industrial regulation, and taxation of commercially produced cloth. They are presented here, catalogued, and illustrated. These objects represent the largest assemblage of such material outside London and are of crucial significance for understanding the cloth trade in the late- and post-medieval period. Due to the unusual deposition conditions from which the objects were recovered, rare scraps of textiles have survived in many of the cloth seals. A range of scientific and analytical analyses was undertaken on three cloth seals containing textiles revealing important information. For the first time in the UK, ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (performed at The Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History, Glasgow University) was successfully used to extract colourants related to dyes from textile fragments preserved in lead cloth seals. This significant new information gives new insights into textile availability, trade and the consumption of cloth, mordants and dyestuffs in the late-sixteenth to early-nineteenth century.

Evidence from the cloth seals is combined with other documentary, cartographic and archaeological sources of evidence to produce a synthesis giving a new understanding of the cloth trade in Durham in the late- and post-medieval periods. The research generated by this study has showed not just the scale and extent of textile production in the City of Durham but has also revealed evidence of hitherto unknown English and European trade routes.