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Kent Archaeological Review extract

Book Reviews.
by Jim Williams and Malcolm King.

FRAMED BUILDINGS OF ENGLAND. Published by Coach Publishing House Ltd., Price 3) by R T Mason, FSA. Reviewed by Jim Williams.

During a tour of Faversham, at a recent CKA half-yearly meeting of constituent groups, the party were invited into a magnificent timber framed building used by the local Sea Scouts as their headquarters. As we stood admiring the structure of the roof with its massive supporting trusses there were murmurs of confession from among the 'dirt' archaeologist present to the effect of: "Don't know the difference between a kingpost and crownpost -- they all look alike to me ... "

Now, here comes a lavishly illustrated, companion volume to Framed Buildings of the Weald, by the same author, that will fill those confessors' minds to overflowing with information and knowledge. Although, in his introduction, Mr Mason stresses that this is not a book for 'beginners' but rather a guide to deeper study and that for the 'lay' reader there is the problem of the unavoidable technical terms. I think that with the aid of the all-important glossary of terms at the back of the book he has written a very readable book for the not-so-expert and expert alike.

It starts with an excellent chapter on the historical background and then goes on to deal with plans and design, development, structural details and techniques, then a long chapter on special types of framed buildings. There are 33 plates showing complete structures and interior detail, numerous line drawings of plans, elevations and construction detail while scattered throughout the book are the delightful sketches of John Warren.

A book to be highly recommended to all whose interest has been aroused by the sight of these attractive buildings that are living documents of architectural and social history.

A postscript to those devotees who were at Faversham on that rainy July day: a kingpost is a vertical post extending to ridge level, while a crownpost is a vertical post that does not.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERIES IN BROADSTAIRS & ST. PETER'S UP TO 1972. (Published by the Broadstairs & St Peter's Archaeological Society, 1973, price 40p). Reviewed by Malcolm King.

This booklet was recently brought to my attention and, I feel, certainly deserves to be brought to the attention of everyone interested in the history of the area. It would appear that archaeology began in Broadstairs with the observations of one of the local inhabitants, the late Mr Howard Hurd, Engineer and Surveyor to the Broadstairs and St Peter's Urban District Council from 1896-1933 when he retired. It was as a result of Mr. Hurd's discoveries soon after the turn of the century that the Broadstairs and St Peter's Archaeological Society was formed in 1911.

One of the main purposes of this booklet is to provide a brief record of the archaeological discoveries in the area as known to the Society. It was felt that much important information relating to the archaeology of the area, including records of earlier work by Mr Hurd, were in danger of being lost unless an effort was made to put as much information as possible into one pamphlet.

Chapters 2-4 are devoted to a summary of Mr. Hurd's work, while 5-9 contain information relating to later research. The booklet itself is well produced and very read- able with the facts clearly set out and furnishes a good picture of the numerous finds made in the town area. The archaeology of the town can be traced from Stone Age sites right up to the 11th century and there is a plan in the back of the booklet showing the positions of the various sites. There is also a list of important items in the Society's collection which are awaiting public display in a long hoped for Broadstairs & St Peter's Museum. Also included in the booklet are some photographs of a few of the finds. I do feel it is rather a shame that it was not possible to include even more photographs, sections, plans and drawings although I am sure that this would have made the production cost prohibitive. If only more of our towns and villages in Kent and, indeed throughout Britain, could produce such accounts of local archaeology, far more local interest would be aroused.

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