Day 19 of the NWAG Advent Calendar!

It’s getting close to Christmas, and we’re feeling the cold here in Worcestershire!

Ceramic hot water bottle from Furnace Farm, Shelsley Walsh (© North Worcestershire Archaeology Group)

These potsherds were found during our 2017 test pit excavations at Furnace Farm in Shelsley Walsh. Dating to the early 20th century, they’re part of a stoneware hot water bottle – a once familiar sight in the Edwardian bedroom. The large sherd on the left has the remains of the original nozzle, which would allow the boiling water to be poured in before being sealed shut with a rubber stopper. Their size and shape meant that they could be stood upright on their small end, turning the sheets and blankets into a kind of tent that would heat the entire bed. A smart move in the days before central heating!

A complete ceramic hot water bottle, similar to the find from Furnace Farm (©Oxyman via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

We published a report of our excavations at Furnace Farm in the Autumn 2022 edition of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society’s biannual publication, the Worcestershire Recorder. It’s available in libraries across the county, so why not check it out?