This article appeared in the Winter 1973 (Issue #34) edition of the Kent Archaeological Review.
Permission should be sought from the Honorary editor (in writing) to reproduce or quote from articles in the K A R.
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News from the Groups.
The Group's excavation on the major site at Lower Warbank, Keston has continued during the late Summer and Autumn with the usual number of interesting discoveries. Although the training-school finished in June, many of the students stayed on until the end including a four week spell under the watchful eye of Mr E Tayler, whilst many members were engaged in the rescue-excavation at Dover.
The finds on the site include two substantial metalled areas, one associated with very early Roman pottery including samian, a stamped mortarium and a stamped amphora and the other associated with third and fourth century material. The latter, at least, is certainly a wide metalled road on the surface of which were found two fine bronze coins. A new dimension to the site is given by an extensive area of first century material which should provide an important group for study. The large enclosure ditch crosses the site and is presumed to be one side of a second four-sided enclosure. Numerous pits and post-holes of Roman or Iron Age date were also found.
Another major task has been the final stages of the West Kent Report. This has been going through the press during June, July and August and has meant a considerable amount of extra work. This has been greatly assisted by Mr D N Broadfoot and Miss A Button who have undertaken most of the proof-reading. Work has already started on a second volume.
The Group gratefully acknowledges a handsome contribution of £50 from Halligan Advertising Ltd of Bromley towards a travelling display, mainly of photographs of the various Group excavations. This is being prepared by John Halligan and Richard Garnett.Back to Top.
The summer months of 1973 have seen a great increase in the number of CIB activities on a variety of fronts. Two highly popular training excavations were undertaken at Horton Kirby and Farningham and an important rescue excavation carried out nearby at Dartford.
Air surveys ahead of motorway construction, on behalf of the DOE, have proved rewarding and several routes have been flown over as much as 20 or 30 times.
The major rescue excavation has been at Dover on the forthcoming town centre plan where massive new buildings of Roman and medieval date have been found. These add whole new areas to the plan of Roman Dover in particular where buildings now extend from Snargate Street to at least New Street. Several other rescue-excavations were also carried out in different parts of the County.
The main public facility was provided on the Market Street site at Dover where about 7,000 people paid for guided tours and another 20,000 looked over the fence for free. The proceeds from these Open Days is to be shared between the Painted House Appeal Fund and the CIB fund for plant and equipment. The Group gratefully acknowledges the support of so many splendid people and of Dover Corporation for its help and facilities.Back to Top.
In the past quarter members of the Group have been primarily involved in the main CIB Dover dig directed by Brian Philp. Other work has, however, been undertaken as opportunity offered.
The survey of the Thanet Water Board's pipeline from Poison Cross to Mongeham was commenced and to date the following features have been recorded:
Near Broad Lane, Betteshanger, a shallow ditch and associated medieval potsherds.
A little further on, a shallow pit containing a child's skull of unknown date.
The road near Marley Lane, Finglesham, shown as "Saxon" on the OS map was inspected and the dimensions recorded where the pipeline crossed it.
Between the Betteshanger/Ham and Ham/Eastry roads three U-shaped ditches from which medieval sherds were recovered with a possible Iron Age sherd in the eastermost ditch.
Survey of a short water pipeline near St Nicholas-at-Wade revealed no archaeological feaures.
With the kind permission of Dover Corporation two adjacent trenches were excavated, under the direction of John Gaunt, on the site of the proposed Sports Centre. One excavation was taken to a maximum depth of 20 feet without reaching "natural". At that point it was considered prudent to backfill the excavation. Features included a massive wall 4 feet 6 inches wide constructed of chalk blocks, flint and caen stone, running roughly north/south and, from a point 5 feet below the present surface, extending downwards for 9 feet.
Finds including three coins, a token and 150 assorted sherds ranging from 14th century brown-glazed ware to Victorian pottery bearing the name "Payn's York Hotel". The second trench is still proceeding and will be reported later.
Among the many members who took part in the Sports Centre excavation special mention should be made of Keith Parfitt who made a major contribution to the work of excavation and the archaeology of the site and of Doug Welby who undertook the work of recording and drawing.
The Sandwich Local History Society hold meetings once a month at St Peter's Hall, High Street, Sandwich. The programme for 1974 is varied and interesting and anyone who wishes to have details should write to Mrs Joan B Roome, Hon. Secretary, Wayside, 12a Upper Strant Street, Sandwich. Visitors are welcome (15p a meeting) and annual subscriptions are 50p single or 75p for husband and wife, while students and pensioners pay the very nominal sum of 35p.Back to Top.
Once again the Summer opening of the Court Hall Museum, for two Saturdays a month, by the Sittingbourne and Swale Archaeological Research Group has proved successful. New displays arranged by Ian Bethune and Paul Fosbraey have helped to keep the interest of the visitors. It has also provided useful publicity for the Group.
The dig at the Roman site of Radfield near Sittingbourne is now nearing completion. A ditch 1 metre deep and 1½ metres wide has been uncovered, from which a large quantity of animal bones was removed. A second feature, a pit, about 1.2 metres deep has yielded prolific quantities of Roman and native type pottery, oyster shells and several bronze brooches. Fragments of roof tile indicate a building nearby but the site is so large that it will take the Group many years to uncover its full extent.
An interesting evening was spent when the Faversham Group came to the Court Hall Museum at Sittingbourne for a 'slide and chat' evening on Radfield. Slides of other local sites were also shown and finds displayed.
The coming winter months will be spent compiling a report on Radfield and drawing the pottery.Back to Top.