Roman glass


Canterbury Roman Museum has many beautiful and unusual examples of Roman glassware. The collection is exceptional for a regional museum. Excavations in Canterbury and East Kent have produced a very wide range of Romano-British glass vessels and fragments, dating from the mid-first century AD to at least the end of the fourth century.

Roman glass was hand-blown not cast. Sand (silica) was melted at high temperature and the molten glass picked up on a long metal tube through which air was blown, inflating the glass like a balloon. The glass could be blown into a mould or shaped and decorated while soft.

There are several large greenish-blue glass vessels from the first century AD re-used as cinerary urns to contain cremated remains in a burial. Smaller jugs, bowls and cups, of greenish-blue and brown glass, were included among burial goods and survived almost intact until discovery in the 19th century. Some have ribbed or applied decoration. A pair of unusual glass bangles were found by workmen digging for brick earth at Milton Regis church, Sittingbourne, in the late 19th century.


Roman glass bottle on display at Canterbury Roman Museum

Roman glass bottle.

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Opening Times 

Monday to Sunday 10am to 5pm. Christmas eve and New Years eve closing at 4pm. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.


How to find us

Canterbury Roman Museum
Butchery Lane, CT1 2JR

The impressive pillared entrance is in Butchery Lane and very close to the cathedral. Access to the Roman level via lift, then level access throughout museum.

Phone: 01227 785575



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