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Kent Archaeological Review extract

News from the Groups.
by Various Contributors.



During the Autumn three small investigations were undertaken by the group and a brief summary is as follows.

'The Danes,' Boughton Court Farm (TR 0365 4840). This field is the find area of the bronze mask portrayed on the November Newsletter cover and systematic trenching was carried out over a portion of the area where early iron age sherds are to be found on the surface and where there were indications of small pits on aerial photograph (R.A.F./AP/106G/UK/ 1443/4179). Neither pits nor evidence of a habitation site were found, but sherds dating from Bronze Age to Belgic were found to a depth of 4 feet until the upper, post-glacial deposit was reached. One trench was deepened below this mixture of mud-chalk rubble and a single flint flake with slight patination found between that and the next post-glacial deposit.

Bonnington (TR 0577 3521). A rapidly disappearing mound 80 feet in diameter with traces of a surrounding ditch was found on Pinn Farm at the top of the 50-foot ridge overlooking Romney Marsh. Permission was granted for a limited excavation to take place and the southern portion selected. A well defined ditch was revealed on the south and south-east with a causeway at the west. The ditch at the east had been cut through stratified layers of sandstone and charcoal to a depth of 4 feet 9 inches. All sections of the ditch contained a layer of 13th and 14th century sherds only a few inches above the floor but on no part of the area excavated was there any trace of a building or habitation site. In the absence of evidence to the contrary it is more likely to have been a beacon site than a post-mill mound, although the limited area of excavation may have missed post- holes that might have established it as being the latter. Whichever it may have been the ditch remains a mystery.

'The Mount' Aldington (TR05553719). This prominent barrow next to the Roman road from Lyminge to Maidstone (Margary Route II) had been dug into from the top by a person without archaeological experience and heedless of the danger of working alone in a mound composed mainly of sand. The owner permitted an examination to be carried out and the shaft deepened to determine structure and composition. The sand was not of local origin and contained Mesolithic flakes, blades and a scraper scattered to a depth of 5 feet 5 inches where an old turf-line with charcoal covered an earlier mound of greenish clay-sand mixture. At a depth of 7 feet this became a hard packed floor, channelled, with a large amount of charcoal. No evidence was found that indicated the origin of either the lower or super-imposed portion during the limited time available before the shaft collapsed, but a trial trench 65 feet east, cut to find the original floor level yielded hundreds of 15th century sherds.

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The Group was formed in October 1966 to cover an area within a three mile radius of Faversham. The Group's archaeological research policy is based on the policy adopted by the West Kent Border Archaeological Group. Emphasis will be on,

  1. Location and identification of new sites and vague, existing sites,
  2. Emergency work, and
  3. Surveillance of development plots, agricultural operations etc.
The Group has observed the following sites during 1966:
  1. Judd's Hill (NGR 5995 1611). Soil removal from the south side of the main road exposed Romano-British occupation debris. The potsherds recovered, date mainly from the 1st to 3rd centuries AD. A small unstratified coin proved to be a barbarous copy of the "Fel Temp Reparatio" coinage, which was contemporary with its prototypes during the third quarter of the fourth century AD. Several Medieval sherds were also found.
  2. Ploughing of an adjacent field (NGR 59940 16115) exposed a pit containing Romano-British domestic rubbish. A trench along a radius of the pit revealed potsherds of 1st and 2nd centuries AD. A simple, one-piece, bronze brooch, which appears to be a late 1st century AD type, was also found.
  3. A scatter of Medieval potsherds has been noted on a building site in Faversham (NGR 6011 1615). An investigation is to be made of the area.
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The group undertook its seventh season's work on Hayes Common during 1966 and completed its programme of work there on the extensive series of earthworks. Absolute dating of these features was not possible, but useful relative dates were established. During the course of the work a previously unknown farmstead of Middle or Late Bronze Age date was discovered. More small pits and another post-hole were examined during 1966.

In June the group was notified by the CBA of a proposal to demolish Chesil House, Chislehurst, a late-18th century house with a fine Palladian facade. Protests were immediately made to Bromley Council and the GLC, which were supported by a detailed report on the building kindly prepared by Mr K Gravett (see Newsletter Number 2). Happily, in September, both Bromley Council and GLC recommended Building Preservation Orders for this house and planning permission to demolish was refused. At last it seems the local Authority is becoming aware of its obligations to its own traditions and history, but not before Ravenscroft had been destroyed.

The group is undertaking emergency excavations at Croydon ahead of proposed building schemes. This work is being carried out by members of the group living in Surrey under the supervision of Mr J K Horne. In addition a new regional-survey scheme will be launched in 1967. The group's meetings continue to be well attended and speakers from within the group or from outside give regular lectures. Of the very large amount of work undertaken during 1966 Mr A J Appleby and Mr G Clewley are particularly to be congratulated on their excellent work.

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