News & Updates

Guided Walk in the Wood 22nd July 2023

Wednesday 2 August 2023

We were delighted to welcome 30 walkers to the Wood on the morning of Saturday

22nd July and even more delighted when the weather stayed kind

for our visit to the Roman kiln site. Jacquie Richardson who lives locally was

among the walkers and remembered visiting the excavations. Nick Peacey, who led the walk, contacted Jacquie later to

ask for any recollections.

She wrote, 'Dear Nick, I hugely enjoyed your fascinating talk yesterday. 

We used to visit the dig fairly regularly from 1972 onwards. 

On one occasion Spike Milligan was one of the spectators. He didn’t speak to anyone just quietly observed the proceedings. 

I love Highgate Woods and am looking forward to the next phase of the kiln project. Kind regards, Jacquie Richardson.'

Thank you Jacquie for the kind words and for the image of a silent observing Spike....   


11am Saturday 22nd July: Roman kiln guided walk

Thursday 13 July 2023

We have had to postpone our Roman Kiln guided walk planned for this Saturday 15th

in Highgate Wood.

The Woodkeepers have advised  that high winds are likely

to mean the Wood will have to be  closed for the whole day. 

The new date: Saturday 22nd July.

Nick Peacey, our Secretary will lead the walk which will last an hour.

We will meet by the Information Hut at 11am.

We hope you can  join us.

Please email Nick at friendsofhighgateromankiln@gmail.com to reserve a place.

The walk is free but a £5 donation in cash or to our JustGiving account would be much appreciated.


'Roman' kiln firing at Vindolanda 20.5.23

Monday 10 July 2023
Graham and Sarah of Potted History with the klin firing team at Vindolanda
Graham and Sarah of Potted History with the team at Vindolanda

Graham Taylor and Sarah, his daughter, who will soon take over their firm, Potted History, have for some years been

responsible for the upkeep and regular firing of a replica Roman kiln that they built at the wonderful site of Vindolanda, by Hadrians Wall.

The kiln is smaller but otherwise very similar to the Highgate Roman Kiln.

Nick Peacey, our Secretary, was fortunate to observe this year's first firing. 

He learned how Graham and Sarah heat the kiln slowly to begin with to minimise damage to the pots inside. Then, once 250 degrees C has been achieved, they provide a steady supply of fuel with careful stoking that brings the kiln to a temperature of 1000 degrees C.

We are most grateful to Graham and Sarah for their generosity with their time and advice and to everyone there for the excellent company.


Guided walk in the Wood: 11am 22nd July 2023

Sunday 26 March 2023

Nick Peacey, Secretary of FOHRK, will be leading a walk to the Roman pottery manufacturing site in Highgate Wood  at 11am on Saturday 22nd July 2023. This walk has had to be postponed from 15th July.

We shall meet at the Information Hut near the cafe.

We will:
- discuss  recent thinking about the Roman pottery manufacturing site in the Wood
- look at some of the finds, including the section of Roman kiln displayed in the Hut
- go up the hill at the north of the Wood to visit the site
- hear more about the excavations and the way in which experimenters have made and fired reconstructions of the kilns
- discuss plans for Firing London's Imagination, our community heritage and learning programme for returning the Highgate kiln to the Wood

The walk will take about an hour. The walk is free, but donations of £5 pp in cash or to our Just Giving account would be appreciated.

Please email friendsofhighgateromankiln@gmail.com if you plan to come.


National Lottery Heritage Funds to Bring the Kiln Home

Friday 24 February 2023

Great news for all supporters of the Highgate Roman Kiln campaign! Thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, we are now able to implement our plans for bringing the Roman kiln back to Highgate Wood, along with offering a community learning programme and the appointment of a dedicated Engagement Officer.

We will now work with Bruce Castle Museum and the City Corporation to conserve the kiln, restore it to public view, and allow everyone to learn about an important aspect of London’s Roman heritage. Before the kiln is on display, Londoners of all ages will be able to take part in community and educational activities, including a visiting schools programme, Roman kiln reconstruction and firing, and the creation of a community mosaic in the Wood.

Commenting on the award, FoHRK Chair Catherine West MP said: “This is fantastic news and a huge step forward in bringing this precious Roman kiln back to Highgate Wood where it belongs.  I want it to be on display in the Wood, inspiring community learning, crafts and heritage. Thanks to The National Lottery Heritage Fund this dream can become a reality”  

FOHRK’s patron, Hugh Dennis said, “This is excellent news. Nearly 2000 years ago the Highgate Roman kiln was used by a thriving community of potters to serve the needs of London. Now, thanks to the support and efforts of a thriving modern community it is coming back to Highgate Wood!”

A huge thank you to all our supporters, and watch this space for more exciting information!


The Highgate Kilns: Talk by Harvey Sheldon to LAMAS

Tuesday 24 January 2023

With kind permission, we can share the recording of Harvey Sheldon giving a talk to the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society about the finds in Highgate Wood. 

View the video here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6E1ViTi8xs


New exhibition on the Roman pottery in Highgate Wood

Monday 26 December 2022

If you go down to the Wood today, tomorrow or any time soon, be sure to look out for the handsome new posters explaining the presence of the piece of Roman kiln in the information centre in Highgate Wood. (19 more pieces of the kiln are in store under Bruce Castle Museum, where, sadly, you can't see them).

Stephany Ungless designed the posters for FOHRK, with help from Widgit Symbol Software. We are grateful to the Muswell Hlll and Fortis Green Association for financial help with their production.


Birkbeck students visit the Woods

Tuesday 29 November 2022

Students explore the Woods

Birkbeck students in Woods cafe
At the cafe

On Sunday, 26th November we were pleased to welcome 12 members of Birkbeck College Archaeology Society to Highgate Wood for a visit to the exhibition and Roman kiln section in the Information Centre and a walk to the Roman pottery-making site.

The weather was kind and Nick Peacey, FOHRK secretary, who led the walk was grateful for the enthusiasm of the group. Later all sorts of future collaborations were discussed over a tea at the Pavilion Cafe.

Photo: Katie Sloan


This Sunday 4th September in Highgate Wood: updates, pot-making, guided walk

Thursday 1 September 2022

Please come and say hello at our stand on Highgate Wood playing field from 11am-3pm
next Sunday, 4th September, Highgate Wood's Heritage Day

11am: as well as presenting the latest news on our campaign, we'll be running our popular 'pot and chat' sessions which allow children of all ages to try their hand at making a Roman pot.   

12 noon: Nick Peacey, Secretary of FOHRK, will guide a one hour walk and talk on the Roman kiln and pottery factory. We  start  at 12 from the information Hut (on the edge of the playing field) for a look at the pots, geology and section of  kiln on show, then walk up to the kiln site to talk about the excavations and the archaeological experiments that have taken place there over the years. No need to book, but if you plan to come along I'd be glad of a quick email  to have an idea of possible numbers.  The walk is free, but a £5 donation would be  much appreciated. 

We greatly look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday.

Further information: FriendsofHighgateRomanKiln@gmail.com

Walk and talk Highgate Wood 18th July 2022

Sunday 21 August 2022
Peter Marsden inspecting Kiln 2
Credit: Caroline Simpson

Nick Peacey, FOHRK Secretary, led a one hour guided walk in Highgate Wood on 18th July.

After a brief introduction, the 28 participants explored the exhibitions in the Wood's Information Hut, including the one lonely piece of Highgate  kiln on show there (14 pieces can't be seen by the public), and then walked up to the kiln site to hear about the excavations, the pottery and archaeological experiments based on evidence from the finding of the kiln.   

We were pleased to welcome Cllr Julie Davies, LB Haringey Cabinet member for culture, (the kiln and Bruce Castle Museum are in her portfolio),  three students from Duncan Hooson’s ceramics courses at Central St Martins, and  Caroline Simpson, Susan Bennett and Mr and Mrs Pashley. all of whom had dug at the site between 1966 and 1978.

Caroline Simpson sent us two photographs from her time on the site in the 1960s, one of which shows the distinguished archaelogist Peter Marsden inspecting Kiln 2 soon after its discovery (see right).