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Kent Archaeological Review extract

Stop Press --
New Roman Villa at Horton Kirby Saved from Destruction.

At the time of going to press news has just come in of the exciting discovery and preservation of a new Roman villa at Horton Kirby, about four miles from Lullingstone. This was discovered by the CIB rescue team working frantically on the Darent Valley Rescue Operation on behalf of the Department of the Environment. Immediate representations by the Department, the CKA, CIB and Rescue resulted in an eleventh-hour change of plans by the West Kent Sewerage Board and the diversion of the sewer by about 100 yards. The extra cost of this work was 1,300 which had to be raised at once. An immediate appeal launched by the CKA was met with tremendous response and the appeal was closed in seven days, as follows :

  1. Department of the Environment -- 500
  2. Jacob White Ltd. -- 100
  3. Horton Kirby Primary School -- 50
  4. Rescue -- 50
  5. Sutton-at-Hone Primary School -- 30
  6. CKA -- 25
  7. Dartford College of Education -- 20
  8. London Schools -- 20

The response from private individuals and from the general public was good and the balance of 500 has been sought from Dartford Rural District Council. To archaeologists all over the country the immediate response by so many people not directly involved in archaeology has been most heartening. Particularly, the great help and interest of young school children from London and local schools who made collections and gave up their pocket money. Two seven-year-old girls raised 1.33 by going round local houses in the rain with a "Guess the doll's name competion". Archaeology and the environment are, it seems, important to everyone!

The resulting excavation on the site attracted well over 100 volunteers from Kent, Essex and Sussex, all of whom rushed to the site to offer their help. It was not even necessary to call out any of the Kent groups, though several travelled long distances to offer help with was gladly accepted. It is hoped that a report on this new discovery will be printed in the next issue of the KAR.

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