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The Nailsea Glassworks, Nailsea, North Somerset

A Study of the History, Archaeology, Technology and the Human Story

Andrew F. Smith, 2004


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The Nailsea Glassworks, in its time regarded as one of the most significant glassworks in the UK, was established in 1788 and operated until 1873, when it ceased production. The site then went through a long period of dereliction and piecemeal redevelopment.

Informal archaeology started in 1975, and then became serious from 1983 onwards in response to various further development proposals. Ultimately the one that came to fruition was that by Tesco Stores, Limited, who have generously sponsored this Study by Avon Archaeological Unit. Andrew Young, head of the Unit asked the present writer to undertake the project.

The Study is in five principal parts: Introduction, Desk-top study, the Archaeological Interventions, Technology, and the Human Story (Social and Economic). It is intended that while making up a cohesive whole each may be considered in its own right. The intention from the outset has been that this whole study would be made freely available on the world-wide web. It is hoped that it will have achieved its purpose to illuminate as much as possible what has been done in, by and to the Nailsea Glassworks.

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