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Kent Archaeological Review extract

The Iron Age Hillfort at Squerryes Park, Westerham.
by Brian Philp.

At the invitation of the Ministry of Public Building and Works the West Kent Border Group undertook excavations inside the Iron Age Hillfort at Westerham in March and April of this year. A bulldozer working in the area several years ago caused considerable damage to the ramparts of this scheduled site. The Group was asked to carry out salvage excavation in the area damaged by the bulldozer. The support of Major J B Warde and the Forestry Commission is gratefully acknowledged.

Two major sections through the ramparts, about 40 feet and 80 feet in length respectively, were recorded. These showed the rampart to be constructed of yellow sandy loam containing sandstone rubble of varying sizes. The rampart survived to a height of between 3 and 4 feet and appeared to be 20-30 feet wide at the base. Its original height was probably greater than 6-10 feet and it seems likely that it had a stone-revetment. The ditch fronting the rampart was 10 feet deep and nearly 30 feet wide and there were clear traces of a counter-scarp bank. Quarry ditches were found at the tail of the rampart.

Pits under and behind the rampart produced domestic rubbish. This included important groups of pottery and a very fine paste bead. This material is being studied and a detailed report will be published in due course.

In addition to the salvage work where the bulldozer had cut the rampart, the Group also back-filled the deep trench dug by Mrs P Fox on behalf of the Kent Archaeological Society in 1961. This deep trench has been a dangerous hazard to visitors for many years. The task of replacing by hand more than 60 tons of soil from overgrown spoil-heaps, took Group-members two days to complete, including the whole of Easter Monday.

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