Kent Archaeological Review extract

News from the Groups.
by Various Contributors.


DOVER By Doug Crellin.

Our inspection of the pipe trench of the Tilmanstone Mine-water pipeline has been completed with no further features to report.

Inspection of the foundation trenches on a building site in Lower Road, River, showed river gravel at a depth of about one metre over the whole site and extending more than 25 metres to the east of the present river bed.

Several of our members are currently helping John Villette in a rescue dig on a building site at Kingsgate, Thanet, and others have continued their research at St Radigund's Abbey and on old St James' Church. One member has prepared an archaeological map of East Kent.

Most of our time has been spent working on the model which we are preparing for the next meeting of the CKA. After a slow start the model is now beginning to take shape and we are optimistic about finishing it in time.

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The programme of lectures during the winter has been outstandingly successful, with an average attendance well over one hundred. The archaeological subjects ranged from the Medway megaliths to the Roman Forts at Dover taking in also the latest operations at Springhead, excavations in the Rochester area and the Darenth Valley rescue operation.

Outdoor activities have not been entirely suspended and much work has been carried out in preparation for the new season's activities which should be well under way by Easter. Our continuous digging fortnight will this year start on Saturday, July 21st until Sunday, August 5th and assistance during this period will be very welcome.

The site will again be open for inspection by visitors during the late Summer Bank Holiday -- August 26th and 27th, with guided tours and an exhibition of current finds.

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OTFORD By John Pyke.

Several projects have kept the Group busy during the winter months.

The road widening works at Crown Point near Igtham are being kept under regular surveillance, situated close to Oldbury Hill Fort has meant a constant check on the large quantities of earth being moved. Very little has been found to date except a flint core and several pieces of 18th century pottery from the land adjoining the Crown Point Inn.

Work on field surveys on the M25 route is well under way and it is hoped to acquire the help of local schools in the further surveillance of the route. A small exhibition was included in the AGM of the Otford Historical Society in December. The theme was M25 field surveys and included photographs and plans of the route. The exhibition consisted of possible finds and how to identify material during surveys. This created a good deal of interest among the two hundred local people present and produced several offers of help.

The Group has recently acquired larger premises in Church House, Sevenoaks High Street, opposite St Nicholas' Church, above the old ground floor premises. It anyone living in the Sevenoaks area would like to help in archaeology they would be most welcome any Friday evening from 8.30 pm onwards.

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Sittingbourne and Swale Archaeological Research Group are continuing their training dig at the Roman site of Radfield near Sittingbourne where we hope to investigate the large Belgic ditches discovered cutting through the site two years ago on a previous excavation. A coin has been found which is of pre-Roman date, together with brooches and pins plus plenty of coarse black pottery and several pieces of nicely decorated samian ware.

The group has been busy preparing the Court Hall Museum for an open day during Sittingbourne's Festival Week and the openings on the second and fourth Saturdays in the Summer. New displays have been arranged to include recent finds. Assistance has also been given to Ralph Mills in preparing the report on Castle Rough, the alleged Danish Fort.

The winter series of lectures proved interesting and varied but not very well supported.

Sheppey Historical Society contacted the Group via Brian Philp about a skeleton found on a building site near Minster Abbey on the Isle of Sheppey. When the Group investigated, the evidence had been buried, but it shows the value of contact with other local groups of similar interests. The Sheppey Society have agreed to watch the development of the site and keep in touch.


The main work in the first four months of 1973 has been the mammoth task of preparing the pottery, small finds, sections and plans from the Dover 'dig' for publication. The initial work on the wall plaster from the 'Painted House' has also begun and this has proved to be both interesting and rewarding. Six full-time members of the team have been engaged on this work in the splendid Centre in Dover Castle, kindly provided by the Department of the Environment. The team has been ably assisted by other members of the Group: Mrs T Clithero, Mrs J Goffee, Mrs J Nelson and Mr A Goffee, who are all warmly thanked for their enthusiastic help and hard work.

Outdoor work has not been neglected, of course. Surveillance work all over the county where and when the need arises has continued and during the first two months of the year more than 80 site inspections were carried out in conjunction with responsible local groups. Survey work, both on the ground and in the air, in readiness for motorway construction is still being carried out.

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From January to April the Group undertook an interesting and varied programme of field work in the West Kent area. This mainly concerned sites soon to be published in the Group's forthcoming Report on excavations in West Kent.

At Fox Hill, West Wickham a contour survey was made of the prehistoric and Romano-British sites. Similar surveys were undertaken at the Roman bath-building, Baston Manor, Hayes and at the Bronze Age site on Hayes Common. Further exploratory test-holes were dug on the Fox Hill and Baston Manor sites. Further excavation work was also carried out on the medieval tile kiln at Holwood, Keston.

An aerial survey, undertaken over West Kent in February, revealed a circular crop-mark in the Jackass Lane area, Keston. The owner of the land, Miss L Groom, kindly allowed excavation to be carried out before the crops were planted. A large circular pit, filled with chalk rubble, was found, but its exact size, date and function was not positively determined.

Surveillance of various construction works in our area continued and by the end of February 40 sites had been inspected. Surveys, both aerial and on the ground, of our sections of M20 and M25 continue as a final check, although field surveys were completed in 1971.

The public lectures ended in March and all the speakers are to be warmly congratulated for their interesting lectures.

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