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Pipes discovered in 1994 to feature in Diss Museum display on reopening

Diss Museum
Diss Museum

Pipes discovered more than 20 years ago in Roydon will be among the displays when Diss Museum reopens for the Christmas lights switch-on in the town on November 26.

It was July 1994 when Geoff Woollard was walking his dog near Roydon Fen when he noticed a white clay pipe sticking out of the soil of a newly furrowed field.

After permission from the landowner the field was searched — leading to the discovery of more than 5,000 items of historical interest.

Most were clay pipes or parts of them, but there were also buckles, buttons, belts, thimbles. keys , rings, lead weights, tokens, coins and pottery. The coins dated from 1500 to 1700.

One of the pipes is a rare Jonas Pipe, probably dating from the mid seventeenth century from Holland. The bowl is in the form of a man’s head being swallowed by a snake like monster. This and other pipes were on display last season in Diss Museum and can be seen once more

A spokesperson for the museum said: “So important is the find that many have been transferred to the National Pipe Archive in Liverpool University.

“Dr Peter Davey, the Chair of the Trustees there, has been overseeing research and will shortly report further to Diss Museum.

It is not known why there are so many clay pipes in this one location but it is hoped that the research may explain more of their origin.”

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