This article appeared in the Summer 1977 (Issue #48) edition of the Kent Archaeological Review.
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Opening the Darenth Villa to the Public -- 1896!.
A fine little illustrated booklet, by Walker Miles and dated 1896, has come into the hands
of Miss Hughes of Bromley. It contains rambles and prints along the Darent Valley and
many delightful comments on the times. It starts:
'The discovery of a Roman villa
in West Kent having attracted so great a number of visitors from far and wide to the banks of
the Darent during the past year and there being a prospect of its still remaining a
permanent attraction for holiday-makers and others. . . On page 52 it adds
public was well supplied with details of the excavations, not only in the
antiquarian publications, but also in the leading daily papers, several of the latter having at
intervals printed long and interesting accounts of the progress of the work'. Visitors were
charged a shilling admission and another shilling for an illustrated quarto
From all this it does seem that archaeology in the field was getting good support and one wonders how much of the total population could afford the two shillings.