Group A is pottery made from clay found in Herefordshire, Shropshire and parts of Gloucestershire. The main clay source is the Devonian, Old Red Sandstone. These clays contain angular quartz, which is poorly sorted and less than 0.7mm across. White mica is also very common and is often larger than the quartz. Other larger and often rounded inclusions are found, mainly rounded quartz and fragments of various sedimentary rocks, principally greywackes and a few coarser-grained sandstones.
Archaeologists have been looking for manufacturing sites for these pottery types for decades, and relatively recent work suggests that production of pottery in some of these fabrics was carried out in and around Hereford City itself, although other sites may have been manufacturing an identical, or near-identical, product.
Wasters of A2, A3 and A4 were found at the King's Fee site in Hereford, suggesting a nearby kiln making these fabrics. Finding all three materials (i.e. A2, A3 and A4) together, as wasters, does throw doubt on the distinction between these fabrics. If the wasters were found together, it suggests they were made by the same potters and of broadly the same materials, and so to all intents and purposes, they are the same thing. We are waiting for further clarification from pottery experts on this issue.
Significant quantities of A7b production waste were found at the excavation at the Asda supermarket site in the south of Hereford indicating that a kiln nearby was making this material (Dale Rouse, pers comm).
This group originally included oxidised Severn Valley ware as fabric A1, but excluded the Gloucester 110 fabric.