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Kent Archaeological Review extract

Fawkham Medieval Manor --
Second Interim Report.
by R M Walsh.
(Fawkham Historical Society Archaeological Group.)

The Group has now completed the third season's excavations at the above site (NGR 5975 6805). It is certain that the main complex has been established and the area has now been back-filled and levelled.

The site plan conveys the general layout, but it should be pointed out that with regard to the main hall that this, together with building V, may represent the undercroft and it must remain hypothetical whether there was an upper storey to building V.

As the evidence points to a rather limited occupation, the various stages of construction have been referred to as Phases, rather than Periods. At present it appears that occupation of the Manor commenced at middle to late 13th century and terminated at the middle of the 14th century.

Certainly the sparse amount of finds, provisionally dated, supports this assumption.

DRAWING: Fawkham Manor.

Plan of Fawkham Manor.
The Big Picture (71k).

Two new features have been discovered in building 'A', the first being an 11-inch thick cross wall to divide the building. The wall is constructed of flints in lime mortar, but it is of inferior workmanship to the main walls and in the few remaining courses no evidence of bonding to existing walls was discernible. The second feature consists of a mortar apron 21 inches wide and about 1 inch thick. It is assumed that this formed the bedding to a slab of masonry, possibly a threshold.

The majority of work during the past year has been confined to the area of building 'C'. Including the flint in clay wall at least three separate phases of construction are evident. Within the confines of the walls was a layer of finely powdered ragstone which may indicate that this area was used to rework stone robbed from the main hall. Under this complex of walls was found the first definite rubbish pit to be located since excavations started. Finds from the pit include numerous oyster shells, a few small bones, fragments of coarse pottery and several sherds of green glazed ware.

The following features are at present receiving further investigation:

Wall I.
16 inches thick, flint in clay, running North-East from building 'C'. This wall is of late construction, flat topped, presumably to accept a timber superstructure. It is badly damaged at North-East end and peters out. Efforts to trace have been unsuccessful to date.
Wall II.
15 inches thick, flint in clay, running North-East to South-West and 8 feet to South of building 'C'. Badly robbed, at present of indeterminate length. Phase unknown, presumed late.
Wall III.
24 inches thick, flint in lime mortar. Discovered by recording sections as new graves were dug in adjacent graveyard. Apparently running North-West to South-East. This wall is flanked on the Western side by a ditch about 4 feet wide and of U section, the invert level of which is some 18 inches below the foundations. The ditch was filled with dry, clean flints, which were probably deposited there when the field was being used for agriculture. It now seems clear that what had previously been assumed to be a dry flint foundation of an outbuilding (see penultimate paragraph in previous report) was most probably this ditch on a new alignment. It is possible that the boundary between the church and the Manorhouse was marked by this feature. The wall now discovered may be another outbuilding, although it cannot be ruled out that it could have been a boundary wall on the Manor side of the ditch. In view of the proximity of the graveyard, further investigations in this area will be difficult, but a soil resistivity test may be employed to seek further evidence.

It would be appreciated if any readers could write and advise the writer of similar medieval layouts, especially those incorporating a structure such as building 'A'.

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