Kent Archaeological Review extract

The Roman Villa at Folkestone.

A special excavation started in July 1989 on the site of the large Roman villa at East Cliff, Folkestone. This was a joint venture between the Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit and Shepway District Council, with the support of the Kent Archaeological Trust and with the consent of the Secretary of State for the Environment. The aims of this special operation were:

  1. To locate parts of Blocks B and C.
  2. To determine how much of Block C has fallen over the cliff since 1924.
  3. To check on the condition of the surviving Roman masonry.
  4. To see what structural and stratigraphic evidence still survives.
  5. To provide Folkestone residents and visitors with an opportunity to see part of the villa for the first time in 40 years.

The site, discovered and excavated by S E Winbolt in 1924, is that of a major Roman villa, comprising at least three large masonry buildings and with some 60 rooms. The site, occupying a spectacular location with broad coastal views, including the French (then Gaul) coast, was open to the public for many years, but was damaged during the war and was infilled in 1957 by the then Corporation of Folkestone.

The excavation continued through August and September, when Friends of CKA were invited to attend a special guided tour. A report on progress will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Kent Archaeological Review.