Kent Archaeological Review extract

News from the Groups.
by Various Authors.



The small winter training excavation at Radfield is complete, and has revealed that the 1st/2nd Century ditch extends at least 30 metres to the west of section discovered in 1972. One of the more interesting finds is part of a high tin-content-bronze (Potin) coin found by Ian Watts, one of our junior members. The fragment was at a depth of 38 centimetres below the present ground surface and slightly above the north rim of the ditch. It bears the typical stylised bull and head of Apollo and (subject to expert opinion) appears to belong to Allen's Class (I, type 0,2 classification (Allen, D.F. British Potin Coins: A Review in Tie Iron Age and its Hill Forts, Hill and Jesson, editors, Millbrook Press, Southampton, 1971). Coins of this Class were in native circulation from the early 1st. century to beyond the Claudian Conquest, and the find helps to emphasise the dating of tile site. Specimens of Potin types L, M and 0 have been found at Radfield on a previous occasion (1969). The Group is indebted to Mr D Kelly of the Maidstone Museum for assistance in identifying the coin.

With the agreement of the Swale District Council, the Group plans, once again, to operate the Court Hall, Milton Regis, as a museum of local history and archaeology. The museum will be open on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month throughout the Summer (see separate notice). KAR readers and friends are cordially invited to visit us on these open afternoons. Admission is free; children are welcome.

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The Group has continued its many activities during the winter and spring months. The winter lectures came to a close in March and all the speakers are warmly thanked for their varied and interesting talks. The evening class students completed their course with a week's practical work and it is hoped that some will be able to continue with the Group.

The Group has also been able to assist the Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit, in particular at the town-centre excavations at Dover, the M 20 operations, in Dartford town centre and with its patrol work in West Kent.

One interesting project was recording the ice house, Sundridge Park, Bromley with the kind co-operation of Sundridge Park Management Centre and with the help of Mr G Locke of Bristol. The structure, in private grounds, is a substantial and fine example of an early 19th century ice house.

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The full time programme of rescue work has continued in various parts of Kent despite the very wet weather conditions. Continued support from the DOE, KCC, CKA, many responsible local groups and individuals is gratefully acknowledged.

  1. Dover Town Centre.

    The major town-centre excavation in Dover started on January 1st and for once the team did not have to worry about the weather! The excavation took place in comfort inside Barwick's Warehouse, Market Street. This building was due for demolition in January, but the developers, Maybrook Properties Ltd,kindly agreed that the excavation could preceed demolition. Several CKA groups have helped with the work and in particular the Dover, Gravesend, Sittingbourne and West Kent Groups must be thanked for their hard and enthusiastic work.

    The site is situated in a critical position outside the north gate of the second century CLBR fort. A substantial Roman building as yet unidentified, has been located together with a further length of the west wall of the Saxon Shore fort. The east end of this Roman building had been terraced away in late Roman times. Important deposits relating to the Saxon settlement in Dover were also excavated and added substantially to our knowledge.

  2. Dartford Town Centre.

    The process of excavation and recording continues on the four-acre site in the heart of historic Dartford under the supervision of Derek Garrod.

  3. M 20 Motorway.

    By late-March an intensive programme of field surveys and trial excavations by hand have been largely completed on the Farningham to West Kingsdown length. The Unit acknowledges the help and hard work of the West Kent Archaeological Group.

  4. Folkestone Town Centre.

    The archaeological implications survey, started in 1974 KAR Number 39. (1975) page 255., threw up a number of interesting threats to sites in Kent. Thanks to our local officer, Peter Keller, a threat to a site in the Bayle, close to the heart of ancient Folkestone, was noted at an early stage. Working partly in conjunction with the Dover town-centre team it was possible to excavate part of the site and to locate two major buildings, one medieval and the other later. More is planned.

  5. Wilmington Manor, Boughton Aulph.

    In December, thanks to a timely alert by Mr J Bradshaw, the Unit carried out a rapid survey of a fine fortified medieval manor-house at Boughton Aulph. About half of this scheduled site had been destroyed by bulldozer operations without prior notice. The work recorded the extent of the wet moat, four structures, a curtain wall, a bridge abutment and the overall extent of the damage.

  6. Patrols.

    The patrol system, developed over the past three years, has allowed the Unit's Patrol Officers to inspect the larger development sites all over the County. In this way unknown sites can be located and recorded before destruction. It is estimated that 90% of archaeological sites are as yet unknown. In this way major sites at Dartford, Meopham, Northbourne and Margate as well as many lesser sites have been located before destruction. Help has come from local authorities for this important aspect of the work.

  7. Publication.

    From January to April, 1975 work has been concentrated on publication, both of the main Dover excavations and lesser sites elsewhere. This work is now well advanced with many plans, sections and drawings ready for publication. The work was carried out in the Dover Castle Centre kindly provided by the DOE.

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