Nonsuch Palace: The Material Culture of a Noble Restoration Household [eBook (PDF)]

Martin Biddle(Author)

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ISBN: 9781789254396 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2005 | Language: English 544p, 229 b/w illus, 81 tbs

Nonsuch Palace



Nonsuch in Surrey was Henry VIII's last and most fantastic palace. Begun in 1538, at the start of the 30th year of Henry's reign, the palace was intended as a triumphal celebration of the power and the grandeur of Henry VIII and the Tudor dynasty. The site was chosen for its fine countryside and hunting potential. Although the layout was fairly typical for a house of this period, arranged around two main courtyards, there its 'ordinariness' ends. The palace was ornately decorated with intricate Renaissance designs in carved and gilded slate and plasterwork, with two great octagonal towers, five storeys high at either end. The king wanted people to be astonished at his new palace, and to say that they had never seen such a fine palace before, hence its name - 'Nonsuch.' Excavations in 1959-60 uncovered a large amount of material from all periods, from occupation to demolition (1538-1684). The finds fall into two categories: architectural and domestic. This volume, the second in the series, publishes the domestic finds, including a large amount of complete or reconstructible glass, ceramics (such as tin-glazed wares, stoneware and earthenware), coins and tokens, clay pipes, pewter vessels, objects of iron, bone, ivory and leather, and a wooden pocket sundial.

Table of Contents

General introduction (Martin Biddle)
Methods of recording and study (Martin Biddle)
The excavation of Cuddington (Martin Biddle)
The finds from Cuddington (Jacqui Pearce et al)
The Domestic Material from the Occupation of the Palace and Banqueting House in the Later Seventeenth Century
The groups of finds and their dating (Martin Biddle)
The analytical database (Jane Webster)
Tin-glazed ware (Michael Archer)
Stoneware (Robin J C Hildyard)
Fine vessel glass (Robert J Charleston)
Green glass bottles (Marton Biddle and Jane Webster)
Wine-bottle seals (Martin Biddle)
Coins, jettons and tokens (Hugh Pagan and Robert H Thompson)
Clay pipes (D R Atkinson)
Pewter vessels (Rosemary Weinstein, with Roger Brownsword)
Lead objects (Geoff Egan)
Window lead (Geoff Egan)
Copper-alloy objects (Alison Goodall, with Catherine Mortimer)
Iron objects (Ian H Goodall)
Spurs (Blanche M A Ellis)
Wooden pocket sundial (Francis R Maddison and Penelope Gouk)
Worked bone and ivory (Arthur MacGregor)
Leather (J H Thornton)
Miscellaneous objects (Martin Biddle)
Animal bone (Alison Locker)
Mollusca (June Chatfield)
The archaeology of a Berkeley household (Martin Biddle)

Reviews & Quotes

"essentially a conventional finds report. And a fine thing it is too, with high scholarship, wonderful production standards...'"
Paul Stamper
British Archaeology (2005)

"extremely thorough'"
Geoff Egan
Current Archaeology (2006)

"[a] very well produced volume [which] relates to a single site, it will serve a much wider purpose as a valuable reference work for material, however slight, from the Tudor period.'"
Peter A Clayton
Minerva (2006)

"Nonsuch was a large operation carried out with great skill and it is now lavishly published; it is a work of inestimable value to all students. The considerable costs have been justified and the reviewer would certainly commend it to the readers of Antiquity.'"
Michael Thompson
Antiquity (2006)

"fascinating and detailed'"
Tom Beaumont James
Southern History (2006)

"unquestionably the most important contribution to 17th-century archaeology on either side of the Atlantic'"
Ivor Noël Hume

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