Kent Archaeological Review extract

Searching for Another Giant's Grave.
by Don Smith.

Whilst examining a map in Folkestone Library showing the position of a Giant's Grave at Hythe I had the opportunity to observe how the librarian in charge of the Reference Section, Mr C P Davies, deduced the position of another Giant's Grave entirely from historical data in the library.

The first clue was contained in a Register of Pupils attending Mill Day Sunday School in 1835 where the address of four scholars is given as "Giant's Graves." The next came from the Tithe Map of 1842 and the accompanying schedule of apportionments of tithe charges. These show that Thomas Bennett owned and occupied parcel Number 212 of pasture land which was situated on the west side of Black Bull Road between Foord and Canterbury Road and which had the very distinctive name of Giant's Grave. Here one supposes that the field was named in antiquity and preserved the name of a prominent feature such as a barrow.

The next stage was to see if Mr W H Elgar, the local historian of Folkestone, had anything to say on the subject. Part of an article of his in the "Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate and Cheriton Herald" of 7th November, 1925, says "Another old map at the Manor Office shows a Giant's Grave at the bend of the road opposite the Imperial Hotel in what is now Black Bull Road, Folkestone. The Peden Memorial stands on the site." This memorial no longer exists but Mr. Davies recalled from his own memory that it formerly stood on the east side of Black Bull Road opposite the land which he had already proved was formerly called Giant's Grave. A visit to the site showed that it had been completely built over many years ago and there is now no trace of a barrow.

One marvels at the filing and retrieval system which produced from the mass of data in the library that which was relevant to this particular research. We shall all come to need such systems as more and more facts are recorded and we face the twin problem of rejecting all that is irrelevant but finding all that is already known about sites in which we are interested. To read everything "in case it helps" would be a daunting task for any researcher.

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