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Kent Archaeological Review extract

The Otford Exhibition.
by A T Rufinus.

Early in August the Otford Historical Society presented a three-day exhibition in aid of the Village Hall Improvement Fund. No effort was spared in its presentation and the resulting public response was large and expressive and nearly 2,000 people were admitted.

The archaeological section of the Society, under Cliff Ward and Tony Young, displayed material from the recently excavated Romano-British cemetery at Otford (KAR Number 6, page 8) and the Saxon cemetery at Polhill (KAR Number 9, page 2). In addition other archaeological material from Maidstone museum, mainly from the local area, together with maps, photographs and plans were also displayed. The clever touches were reconstructed graves showing a complete inhumation-burial and a cremation group. The ultimate was a life-sized reconstruction of a room in a Roman villa though a recorded commentary, a feature of the Springhead exhibition, was missing.

The historical displays included excellent panels dealing with the parish church, the Palace and the later development of the village. These too were amply illustrated with maps, documents and drawings.

The Otford Historical Society must be congratulated on a very fine effort which will be hard to match. The Springhead and Otford exhibitions are pioneer efforts which have proved an enormous stimulant to local interest in matters archaeological and historical.

NB. An 8-page booklet entitled An Outline History of Otford has been prepared by Mr R D Clarke, M A, and this is available from the Secretary: Mrs Z M Pateman, 115 Evelyn Road, Otford, Kent.

Priced 1 shilling each (postage extra).

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