Kent Archaeological Review extract

Further Excavations at Lullingstone.
by G K Horner.
(Crayford Archaeological Research Group.)

The Crayford Research Group continued its excavations in Lullingstone Park during the late autumn of 1966. The golf course now covers the site at Summer House, Knoll, and the group therefore began excavating a site, known informally as 'the Pimple', some half a mile north of Summer House, Knoll. Surface pottery of the first century AD had been found here some eighteen years ago. No surface indications exist except one or two scraps of pottery. The first exploratory trench revealed the position of the site, indeed each trench or area cleared revealed one or more features and the limits of the site have not been reached in any direction. The site is complex and will require more investigation before confident interpretation can be made. The main discoveries can however be summarised.

Two sides of a presumed enclosure not less than sixty feet square are marked by a small, shallow gulley. The sides are at right angles and joined by a shallow curve. The gulley on one side shows a break, presumably an entrance, some ten feet wide. Immediately inside the gulley are a series of 'post-pits' roughly eighteen inches square and the same deep. These once held posts of six to eight inches diameter. Few have been located as yet but they probably supported an enclosure fence or stockade. One of these 'post-pits', deeper than the others, was located just off centre in the presumed entrance and was perhaps part of a gateway.

Part of the main enclosure, including the entrance, was cut off from the remainder by an internal fence revealed as another series of 'post-pits', eight feet apart and similar to those of the perimeter fence. Inside this division was a small annular gulley interpreted as a drainage or drip gulley for a small hut. No postholes were positively identified as belonging to the hut. Outside the hut were a few postholes and small pits. Beyond the internal fence and still within the main enclosure was a series of well over a hundred postholes, all in a small area and bearing no obvious relationship to each other. These are tentatively interpreted as the remains of a number of simple, superimposed granaries. A small hollow nearby may have served as a threshing hollow. This part of the site was bounded by the perimeter fence, the internal fence, a second internal fence and a second short, straight length of shallow gulley.

On the opposite side of the second gulley were five or six small pits. Several other small pits and individual postholes were discovered elsewhere on the site including a group of six postholes just outside the main enclosure.

It will be noted that the site is compartmentalised one area being prolific in postholes and separated from another prolific in pits which is again separated from the hut area. This raises the hope that it may be possible to identify and explore the different parts of a farming site individually, thus classifying and interpreting with greater precision than is possible when all are superimposed or disturbed.

Little pottery has been recovered. It presents some difficulty in precise dating but would be well covered by the bracket 50 BC-AD 50. Greater precision may be anticipated from more detailed study. Small finds include a fine iron adze, a fragment of an iron brooch and a small cylinder of chalk with an inscribed line encircling it.

Finally, mention must be made of a series of later, perhaps Georgian, pits on the site. These are circular, three feet in diameter, six to nine inches deep, perfectly flat bottomed and filled with sterile clay. Those discovered fall at the corners of an octagon. The purpose of these pits is difficult to determine but it is possible they represent part of the foundations of a summer house that is rumoured to have stood here.

By kind permission of a generous and helpful farmer, Mr Banfield, further work is planned for September and October after the harvest is complete.

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