As members will be aware all our group activities and talks have had to be postponed until such time as the current guidance on social distancing is changed.
However this does not preclude individuals from taking part in their own research on the history of Dilton Marsh.
An example of just how you might well add to our knowledge on commercial activities undertaken in Dilton Marsh has been shown by one of our members finding Clay Pipe Stems while preparing ground for future crops/flowers.


As some will know, Dilton Marsh village had a successful clay smoking pipe maker by the name of William Spender from 1640 to 1703. William Spender’s will and activities are recorded ‘ however the location of his his work place in the village has not as yet been determined.
One sign of his works location would in all probability be given by the finding of large numbers of broken “waster” pipes , that is those that were not successfully fired.
William Spender does not seem to have stamped on his pipes any distinguishing marks, which most makers did, although there has been one find which could indicate his mark.
One of our support archaeologists, Marek Lewcun , has agreed to help with the identification of any such clay pipe stems or bowls found, providing a photograph or better still the actual find is made available. You will probably only find small broken pieces.
If you do find any examples of pipe then please keep them and we will be happy to look at them as and when convenient.

Graham Noble


  1. Hi we have been finding good examples of clay pipes in Dilton Marsh and my son is writing a project about them while he is off school.
    We would really like to show you photos of the pipes and find out more about them.
    Can we email them to you?
    Many thanks

  2. G’day Ruth,
    Good to hear your son has an interest in clay pipes and i feel sure we can help him with his research. If photos could be emailed to me I will see that they are reviewed by one of our support archaeologists who is one of the countries leading authorities.
    Apologies for delay in responding but look forward to your photos.
    All the best