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What is pewter?

Pewter is an attractive metal which has been used for the production of household and other items in Britain since Roman times. It is an alloy consisting mostly of tin which has been mixed with small amounts of other metals such as copper, lead or antimony to harden it and make it more durable.

Once the Romans had left in the 5th century little pewter was made here until the craft was reintroduced in the 12th century, probably by Cistercian monks. They used the metal to make chalices, patens and spoons for ceremonial use but the versatility of pewter was soon recognised by the wider community.

During the 17th and 18th centuries pewter would have been found in every household. Jugs, plates, buttons, pilgrim badges, tankards, wine cups, inkwells, candlesticks and spoons are just some of the many items for which it was used.

Pewter wears are still being made today.