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PILMEYS GLASSHOUSE

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  SILKSTONE GLASSWORKS
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Remains of a 17th century glassworks and 18th century pottery, now underlying a garden centre. The rectangular site was formerly occupied by a late 18th century stone building, thought to have been associated with the pottery, which was demolished in 2003. Glassmaking began at Silkstone in the 1650s. An inventory of 1698 recorded two glasshouses on the site; a 'green house' for making window and lower quality glass and a 'white house' for the production of flint or lead crystal glass. The 'green house' was being used as a kitchen by 1707 and the glassworks had ceased production completely by 1748. By 1754, however, the site was in use as a pottery. An early 19th century illustration depicts the clay preparation area, the workshop and a kiln with at least three flues. An investigation was carried out in 2002, involving the excavation of two trenches; one within the 18th century building and one outside it. The trench dug within the building revealed significant quantities of debris from the pottery, with the remains of a glass working floor beneath. Two further layers, associated with the glassworks and including building rubble, lay below. The second trench uncovered similar deposits and the upper part of a stone wall. These findings suggest at least two phases of glass working on the site, separated by a period of demolition. North and west of the pottery building lies the site of another building, demolished in the 1930s. This structure is believed to have had 17th century origins and to have been associated with the glassworks as workshops, stores or for domestic use.

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