Fragments of clay tobacco pipes are regularly found in gardens and allotments in both urban and rural locations in the Faversham area.
Such a common and fragile artefact has become an important dating aid for archaeologists working on sites from the late 16th to 19th centuries.
Research into the development of pipe design, based on examples datable by other means, has identified changes in form which suggest a chronological progression.
The bowls of earlier pipes were of a form which has become known as ‘heart shaped’ – the mouth/rim of the bowl being narrower than the maximum diameter (Fig 1).
The pipe fragment consists of a damaged bowl, spur and incomplete stem. The bowl is similar to an Oswald type 16 (Oswald, 1975, 37), which typically dates from c. The pipe consists of the bowl, and a small part of the stem.
Around the circumference of the bowl is a repeating pattern comprising a narrow vertical rib followed by a broad rib… The clay tobacco pipe has been moulded from a white pipeclay. A line of rouletting is present close to the rim of the bowl.By 1800 this diameter had decreased to 4/64 of an inch.This change in diameter may have occurred because pipe stems became longer through time, requiring a smaller bore.According to William Harrison (1573) "In these daies the taking-in of the smoke of the Indian herbe called 'Tobaco' by an instrument formed like a little ladell, whereby it passeth from the mouth into the head and stomach, is gretlie taken-up and used in England" (Harrison as cited in Oswald 1975:3).It is not known for certain whether these early smoking instruments were made of clay, but by the 1590s, there is specific reference to the use of clay pipes fashioned for tobacco smoking (Oswald 1975:5).