Bere Regis Village Website

Bere Regis History Society

September 2021

The total number of pottery sherds founds near the known Villa sites around Bere is now at a total of 7,050 pieces ranging in size from less than a centimetre to much larger pieces, some over ten centimetres.
They are of all eras during the previous two thousand years, although the Anglo-Saxon/Viking period (418 to 1066) amounts to only 3.2% of the finds because from the 6th century they mostly used wooden bowls, which of course, no longer exist in our soil especially.
Whilst  sorting  and  boxing-up  our  extensive collection  it  was  decided  to  measure  the diameters  of  suitable  rim-pieces  from  each era  to  find  out  what  sizes  were  the  most popular   by   the   kiln   operators   and   the customers  themselves. 
Human  nature  seems to remain much the same and it was found that  for  the  whole  2,000  years  the  sizes available  were   in   two   inch   increments between 4 inches and 18 inches in diameter.
During  the  Romano-British  era  bowls  of  12 inches diameter were the most common, then the  next  reasonable  sample,  the  Mediaeval (or 11th to 16th century) again shows that 12 inch diameter bowls were the most common too.
The  other  sizes were represented in the finds, with the smaller being soup-type bowlsand the larger being cooking or heating vessels.
The final era shown in our finds was the Early-Modern (1700-1900) and here there was a slight change, with 14 inch bowls being the most numerous.
This probably reflects the increasing use of metal containers for cooking, although the larger sizes still show in our finds.
This might be the first time that this sort of analysis has been made, especially for finds at Bere Regis.
It is somewhat reassuring that the sizes of our pots, pans and bowls show a consistency that might still be seen in our own kitchens.

John Pitfield, Project Secretary

Flint arrow head Bere Regis
March 2021

The very kind donation of this flint arrow-head to the BRHS in 2019 is a most valuable addition to our collection.
The Neolithic in the South of England ended in about 2000 BC when the Bronze Age took over.
Of course there wasn't a day when people woke up and thought "Ah, this is the Bronze Age" but over a space of time, the metal alloy became the tool-metal of choice if you had the money to buy it.
We have all seen photos of similar flint arrow heads before, but it is quite different to handle one and appreciate the skill and delicacy of these things.
The idea of gluing and tying it to an arrow and shooting it into a rabbit or deer is the conventional thinking for such arrow-heads, but after staring at this incredible item for a while, and even a while longer, I can appreciate the time spent making this item.
A simple, sharp flint on the tip of an arrow would do the job just as well, so I want to convey my own thoughts on this, after a life of making things and knowing how much effort is involved in something this beautiful.
These particular items could not have been simply expended in a shooting event.
I'm prepared to be challenged on this, but I think that these items were dowry gifts to fathers of girls from boys to prove that they were worthy of marrying their daughters.
It might explain why so many have survived undamaged when they would certainly have been broken by use and impact.

We held our February meeting on the 26th, and despite a very cold evening we had a good gathering of members at the Village Hall.

Since the previous meeting the Archaeology Section had found another 647 items in our winter searches.

These included over twenty pieces from the actual Roman Villa found on the surface in early February, most with cement-mortar attached to the flint pieces from the original walls.

We had a "live" sorting of more fieldwalking finds to show how these are separated and their ages determined of about 400 items ranging in ages from the 1960s to way back to the third or fourth Century.

Additional finds and material donations dating to the Second World War were shown, and we concluded with a slide show of photographs taken in 1970 of buildings around the village, most not before seen by many members.


All are welcome to our meetings, on the fourth Wednesday of the month, in fact two new people came along this time with one becoming a member straight away.

The attendance fee for a single visit is just £2, but there is a discount for subscribing to twelve attendances of £15 per year.