This article appeared in the Autumn 1967 (Issue #9) edition of the Kent Archaeological Review.
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The Springhead Exhibition.
At the end of April a comprehensive exhibition of material recovered from the excavations on the site of the Romano-British town of VAGNIACAE (Springhead) was staged by the Gravesend Historical Society. The exhibition, held in the Town Hall, Gravesend, attracted nearly 3,000 members of the general public and many archaeologists from different parts of Kent. Its aim, to launch a new programme of excavation, was amply fulfilled.
The display included a life-sized reconstruction of the inside of one of the Roman temples complete with altar and burning incense; scaled models of the entire temple complex and silver and gold coins from the Treasure Hoard. In addition there were many of the finds from the temples; infant-burials, quernstones and various building-materials. A wide range of photographs showed various stages of the excavations and an electrolitic-tank showed how coins and metal finds were treated. The final touch was a recorded commentary on the excavation, given at intervals, in a Neo-classical accent with matching music.
This was no mere display of lifeless finds, but an exhibition which brought to life the story of Roman Springhead in a way which few permanent museums have ever done. In every respect Mr Penn and his team are to be congratulated on a very fine effort and the exhibition must rate as the best of its kind ever held in Kent. Its single failing was that it lasted for only one day.
N.B. The Gravesend Society has now published a small booklet on the excavations and discoveries at Springhead. It contains 22 pages and several photographs. It is obtainable, priced 1 shilling and 6 pence (2 shillings by post) from:
Mr E W Tilley (Secretary)
210 Old Road West