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Kent Archaeological Review extract

Discoveries in Herne Bay.
by H E Gough.

Sewer-trenching in 1923-5 on the line of a new road, Dence Park, Herne Bay (TR 1878 6816), produced a quantity of pottery and other material, giving evidence of long occupation of the site. The late Dr T A Bowes FSA, his son and others watched the operation and collected the finds. An unrecorded amount was thrown away as "rubbish" by the Irish maidservant of one of the team, but the rest passed from Dr Bowes to the Herne Bay Museum.

This material includes sherds of Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age pottery, a small Belgic pot (found on a six-foot long patch of burnt material, and thus probably part of a cremation), a Samian Form 24 (the two pieces of which were recovered from the spoil fifty yards apart, and make an almost perfect specimen), and a conical bottle described as Jutish. There were also numerous bones and antler pieces, as well as flints among the finds.

The immediate vicinity has also produced at least three mid-4th century Roman coins as well as (slightly further afield) a cut-down Roman coin of the type associated with Saxon scale-and-weight sets. The Tithe Map name of one of the fields now overlaid by Dence Park is "Beacon Field", its position on the brow of Beltinge Hill, with an aspect between South-West and North-West agreeing with the location and sightlines of the "Hern Beacon -- shown on the "Carde of the Beacons" in the second edition of Lambarde's Perambulation of Kent.

Fresh interest in this site has now been aroused by recent finds on a nearby property, "The Hut", Hillborough Road. This house looks straight along Dence Park, and is only about 100 yards from the original find-spot. Two random holes dug in the garden have produced a number of sherds of black and dark brown pottery, loaded with white flint grit, and provisionally identified as late bronze age to early iron age, circa 500 BC. The sherds are derived from a clearly stratified occupation layer at a depth of 27 inches.

Finally, two medieval sherds were recovered from the second of these holes, completing a spectrum of occupation over a period of about 2,500 years on a small patch of head gravel over London Clay.

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