This article appeared in the Spring 1970 (Issue #19) edition of the Kent Archaeological Review.
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Open day at the Keston Roman Villa.
The 1969 excavation programme at the Roman Villa site, Lower Warbank, Keston, finished at Christmas. More interesting discoveries and finds, including Iron Age features and pottery, were found during the closing stages of the dig. The culmination of the work at Warbank was in late September, when two "Open Weekends" were held on both this site and the nearby Roman cemetery.
The open days proved very successful and showed clearly the interest of the public in archaeology. Nearly 4,000 people visited the site: no mean figure when all had to park their cars about one mile away and then walk the distance and negotiate a steep and twisting drive-way.
All visitors were given guided tours by several enterprising members of the Group, who included many unlikely stories in their repertoires. The guides did their job with great enthusiasm and contributed much to the success of the venture. No less important was the guard on the horse and donkeys who occupy the fields. Other members mounted an interesting exhibition of photographs and finds, including the latest discoveries from the Lower Warbank site. The centre-piece of the exhibition was the three foot high pot found in a 1st century rubbish pit last year (see REVIEW Number 14, page 8). Other members carried on digging and this proved a very popular attraction. The publicity stand was well patronised and in 4 days nearly 600 Reviews were sold.
The advantages of an open-day are many and these make all the extra preparatory work worthwhile.
- The work of the Group is publicised.
- Public interest in archaeology is promoted.
- Chance discoveries are likely to be reported.
- New members are obtained for the Group.
- Funds can be obtained for further work.
- Publicity can be given to the CKA and the Review.
The Group would like to thank Mr Lockley-Cooke for permission to open Lower Warbank to the public and to Mr Saker for his kind co-operation.