The glass workers of Roman London


John Shepherd, Angela Wardle


Recycling may be a topical subject today, but it is an ancient practice. Glass was regularly recycled to make new vessels during the Roman period and important new evidence for glass working in London came from 35 Basinghall Street, with the discovery, in 2005, of over 70kg of broken glass and production waste, a valuable commodity which would normally have been remelted in a furnace and used to create new vessels. Study of this material, which may mark the demise of a glass workshop nearby, is giving us a fresh picture of the glass industry, its products and the techniques of its craftsmen, in 2nd-century AD London.

Popular books

MOLA 2009. ISBN 978-1-901992-84-7. Pb 65pp. Many col ills.


"…this most attractive, short book is a ‘must have’ for anybody interested in the still emerging story of glass making in Roman Britain and a fascinating period of London’s industrial past."
Edward Walker in Surrey Archaeology Society Bulletin 2010

"The book itself is small, slim, nicely presented and affordable paperback….The pictures together with the clear concise language make the book an ideal introduction for readers with little prior knowledge of glass working. The book is also likely to be valuable for specialists working with archaeological glass, however, largely due to the excellent pictures of the Roman material together with the summarised interpretation of experts John Shepherd and Angela Wardle."
Victoria Lucas and Sarah Paynter in Glass News 2010

"Guidebook with style."
Mike Pitts in British Archaeology 2010

"This small but perfectly formed book makes a welcome edition to our growing knowledge of glass working in Roman London. … this is really a great little book, packed with fantastic images that clearly identify both the various stages and processes involved in glass working and also some of the beautiful end products. It also supplies a good, concise summary of what we know of Roman London’s glassworkers, their production sites and products."
Jackie Kiely in Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Newsletter 2011

"The little London book, is beautifully illustrated, provides useful interim information and whets our appetite for the results of the ongoing analysis. The site developers who sponsored it are to be thanked."
Hilary Cool in Britannia 2011