Three 'Morgan' stamped pipes excavated at Calderstones Park
In spring 2015 the Museum of Liverpool archaeologists ran some excavations at Calderstones Park, in partnership with the Reader Organisation. While analysing the finds from Caldersones Park I noticed some interesting parallels between the clay tobacco pipes found there and at the Manchester Dock, the site under the Museum of Liverpool.
Some of the most interesting finds made at the Calderstones Park excavation were fragments of clay tobacco pipe. There were 43 pieces recovered. By far the majority were recovered from Trench III, in the north of the park, a trench which seems to have revealed evidence of 18th century agricultural use of the land with fragmentary pottery spread across the trench, possibly as part of fertilisation with waste from Liverpool.
A few of the fragments of pipe are very late 18th or 19th century stamped and decorative moulded pieces, these were from Trenches I and IV near the mansion house. Three stems were moulded with relief stamps of the makers name on the stem. These included T Morgan Liverpool (MOL.2015.56.179), W Morgan Liverpool (MOL.2015.56.201), and Morgan (MOL.2015.56.186) with the intial lost in the break.
Street directories record several pipe-makers named Morgan working in Liverpool at the close of the 18th century
These pipes are likely to have been made in central Liverpool. There are several Morgans listed as pipemakers in Gore’s Liverpool trade directory of 1790 and 1796, including Thomas at 33 John Street, and William Morgan at 40 Harrington Street. In 1796 Thomas is listed at 9 Cook Street and William at 6 Gradwell Street, Hanover Street. William Morgan is also listed as having a pipe manufactory on Parliament Street. Neither are listed in the 1821 directory, although Eliza Morgan, pipemaker, is listed at the pipe manufactory at 6 Gradwell Street.
Large quantities of pipe from both Thomas and William Morgan were excavated from behind the walls of the Manchester Dock in Liverpool during 2007 prior to the development of the Museum of Liverpool. Amongst them are at least three separate stamps for the two Morgan pipemakers, some of them complete. There are two basic stamps, W Morgan Liverpool and T Morgan Liverpool. A second variety of the T Morgan stamp records the presence of a second pipe factory for Thomas Morgan known as ‘Liverpool 1’. A factory working two hundred years before the Liverpool ONE shopping centre was completed!
Examples of 'Morgan' stamped pipes excavated at Manchester Dock, the site underneath the Museum of Liverpool
By the end of the 18th century moulded decoration on pipe bowls had become extremely common and a wide variety of regional patterns and designs were produced including a range of masonic emblems. Masonic designs were very common, and made by numerous factories. The excavations at Calderstones Park and Manchester Dock both revealed very similar masonic designs, but not from exactly the same mould.
Finds from the Manchester Dock excavation are on display in the History Detectives gallery in the Museum of Liverpool.