This article appeared in the Summer 1978 (Issue #52) edition of the Kent Archaeological Review.
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Excavations at Church Field, Milton Regis.
This report gives the results of a second phase of work in an attempt to deter- mine if traces of Roman building foundations lie beneath the surface of a field adjoining the graveyard of Holy Trinity Church, Milton Regis, near Sittingbourne. The reasons for suspecting the presence of Roman building, and the results of the digging of a line of exploratory trenches along the long (approximately North-South) axis of the field, were given in an earlier report. (KAR 49, 206, 1977).
The second phase of work consisted of the excavation of a line of (2 by 1 metre) trenches across the centre of the field (approximately East-West), and, in addition, the excavation of one trench in each 'quarter'. The trenches dug were in positions A3, A6, C2, C3, C5 and E3 (KAR 49, 206, 1977, Figure 1).
No Roman building foundations were detected. The only feature discovered (in E3) was an insubstantial linear arrangement of flints, of Medieval or recent date, probably representing the packing of a field-drain. Roman-period material continued to be found, however, and this included fragments of tegulae in A3, C5 and E3. Some Romano-British coarse pottery was found, including a fragment of grey-ware dish (Figure 1a) from C2 and a grey-brown sandy-ware vessel with everted rim (Figure 1b) from E3. The latter was similar to sherds found with first/ second century material at Radfield, Sittingbourne (report in preparation). Pieces of daub were found in C2, C3 and E3. There seemed to be little pattern to the distribution of these finds, and thus there remained no clue to the locality of foundations, if any exist in the field.
Signs of Mesolithic occupation were plentiful, and flint finds included several worked hand-tools and 'scrapers'. Heat-crazed flints ("potboilers") were abundant.
Medieval glazed pottery fragments were found (C2), as well as abundant peg- tiles, daub and recent pottery and glass in the topsoil layer. A single (bronze) coin was found, on the soil surface. It was a French coin of Napoleon III dated 1855. These coins are apparently common in this area and were used as currency in England in the mid-nineteenth Century, when domestic coinage was in short supply.
Note. On a separate occasion several pieces of Roman roof tile (tegulae) were recovered from a trench for a services main which had been dug close to the N of 'Green Porch' Children's Home. The finds were at a depth of 50 centimetres and were 4 metres West of trench G4.
The continued cooperation of Royco Homes Limited, and Mr E Epsley, is gratefully acknowledged as is the active support and advice of Messrs B Philp and G Smith. In all, fourteen members of the Sittingbourne and Swale Archaeological Research Group took part in this excavation and particular thanks is due to C Armstrong, A Crane, P Crowder, P Ditchfield, R Devlin, C Gallagher and E Grisdale.