Floor Tiles from Thornton

A box of 14 medieval encaustic tiles was salvaged from the grotto by Bryan Egan.

Type 1

There are 13 tiles of this type. 1

06 x 108 x 24-25mm thick, the edges knife cut at slight angle, and are without any keying on the back. The top face is printed with slip with a 4-part design, consisting of a ring of standing 'oak' leaves, set in a wide outer ring, divided from a corner feature which assembles as a green-pronged 'fylfot' pattern set in a concave sided lozenge, which may or may not have had an unglazed centre. At the centre of the four-tile rings, there is another uncertain pattern which are four flying birds.

The tiles have a clear glaze giving a brownish tint over a red clay, and a pale yellow over the slip.

The patterns are very roughly cut, and the shallow stamp is just enough to hold the slip. They are reminiscent of the Little Brickhill products, but the pattern is not recorded there, although the bulk of their output was of 4-tile patterns. This type of tile is generally accepted as a late medieval manufacture, and may well have been made at Penn in Buckinghamshire.