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Kent Archaeological Review extract

Withyham and Moat Farm, Leigh.
by J H Money.
(Tunbridge Wells and District Archaeological Group.)

Members of the Group have taken part in two excavations this summer.

A final season was carried out under my direction at the early iron-working site near Withyham. Four new furnaces were discovered, three for roasting iron ore and the fourth for smelting it. Dumps of ore (both in its natural state and roasted), charcoal and slag heaps were identified and explored. The rectangular structure discovered last year which surrounds this workshop-cum-depot is now known to have had a timber superstructure on rough sandstone footings. No pottery whatever came to light and the only means of obtaining a date of these various workings will be by Carbon 14 determination. Fortunately all the furnaces and other principal features of the site are represented by firmly stratified deposits of charcoal.

Excavation of a moated site at Moat Farm, Leigh, near Tonbridge has been begun under the supervision of Mr P J Tester, who kindly agreed to conduct the dig for the Group. The site, of just under half an acre, which is listed in the Victoria County History as a moated homestead, has been unoccupied for several centuries. Excavations have revealed sandstone walling and considerable amounts of pottery, including cooking pots, dishes and glazed ware of typical 13th Century type, together with animal bones, teeth and tusks. Work on this site, which ought to add significantly to our knowledge of the types and distribution of mediaeval pottery in West Kent, will be continued in 1967 under the direction of Mr J Parfitt.

Note: As from the 1st January 1967 the Tunbridge Wells and District Archaeological Group will be renamed the Tonbridge Historical Society Archaeological Group. Mr J H Money, MA, FSA, will continue to be the leader and the new secretary will be Mrs J H W Wrightson, 34 Woodland Way, Bidborough Tunbridge Wells.

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