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Kent Archaeological Review extract

A Medieval Site near Meopham.
by John E L Caiger.

The excavation of a fortified medieval dwelling site near Meopham which was started in 1964 is to be continued this season on Saturdays between May and September. The site covers an area of approximately one and a half acres and consists of a square enclosure and an oval bailey on the west side. A scattering of flints covers the whole site, a particularly heavy concentration being in the southwest corner where it is assumed the main living quarters were situated. To date the work which has been completed is as follows:

The winter months of 1964 were spent in obtaining a detailed survey of the site and taking levels over the enclosed areas. The bank and ditch was then sectioned in two places and a section was dug through a 5-foot high, flint-strewn mound in the north corner of the enclosure. From the silting of the first ditch cutting two fine cooking pots of mid-12th century date were recovered and many interesting sherds came from the other trenches. This completed our first year's digging. Work was resumed on the mound in 1965, this being systematically stripped down from the top and sides. It almost certainly supported a wooden look-out tower but as this was burnt down sometime in the mid-13th century no evidence regarding its original size or design was gathered. Simultaneously, the ditch at this corner was being excavated and the ditch was then emptied for a distance of 28 feet. A very large amount of pottery was recovered from this cutting, ranging from vessels of the late 12th century to those of the late 13th century.

As there was still some time left in the season for further investigations a trial trench was set out across a scatter of flints and a small 1½-foot high mound in the field outside the enclosure. This proved to be a far greater task than had first been anticipated. As yet the oddly shaped flint foundations which were uncovered have not been identified as the winter months prevented any further digging. We are restricted by the landowner to a maximum of six diggers but anyone living in the area who might be interested in helping should contact me.

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