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Kent Archaeological Review extract

Excavations at Temple Farm, Temple Ewell.
by A C Hogarth.

Excavations were carried out by the Duke of York's RM School Archaeological Society at a mediaeval site at Temple Farm, Temple Ewell, near Dover (NGR TR 284 455). The excavation revealed parts of walls of a substantial building, constructed in flint with stone reinforcement at the corners, and with chalk masonry in the internal corners. The interior surfaces were plastered, and window mouldings, with lead window-lights, were also found, though the bulk of workable stone had been robbed.

Wall 1 was about 30 inches wide, with flint and mortar construction as above, standing to about 3 feet above floor level. Wall 2 was abutted on to Wall 1, and may be of a later period; it enclosed an area open at the west end. Not so solidly built as Wall 1, it had neither external reinforcement nor internal chalk squaring. Wall 2 was at right angles to and bonded with Wall 2. At the west end, it was very irregular in plan, with very shallow foundations, probably supporting a timber wall. As there were no post-holes, this was evidently a sleeper-cill wall. At its east end, it is exactly like Wall 2.

Pottery dates the site from the late 12th to the 14th century. Small finds include the normal mediaeval tiles, iron objects of unknown purpose, etc., and one 10¼-inch beam scale arm.

Documentary evidence records this site as that of a Knights Templars' Preceptory in the Templars possession in 1185. This may be the establishment where King John signed the deed of submission to Pandulph in 1213, as this was dated "at the House of the Templars near Dover." It was dissolved in the general ruin of this Order in 1312 and handed over to the Hospitallers, who retained it until the Dissolution. This site was known till its destruction between 1735 and 1740, and is recorded in Hasted.

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