and Arcadius have been picked up by the gardeners.
Although no Roman structures have been recorded within the area, there can
be little doubt that the inclosure, whatever its purpose—whether a
fortified village or a large posting-station—dates from Roman times.
But the most ample evidences of Roman occupation in this
vicinity have been recovered in recent years. Since 1913 nine sites in the
neighbourhood of Ospringe and Judd’s Hill have yielded more or less
extensive Roman remains. These sites are marked A to K on the map, Fig.17.
In 1913, in a gravel pit at site A, about 700 yds. west of Syndale Camp,
six Roman cremation-burials with pottery dating from about 70 to 110 A.D.
were found and carefully preserved.81 At site B,
about 120 yds. north-west of the front door of Syndale House, a
1st-century Samian plate of form 15 was found on the edge of the
embankment of the earthwork; whilst C indicates the spot where the
alteration of the line of the road in the 19th century led to the
discovery of Roman remains. At D, about 700 yds. east of the earthwork and
about 8 yds. east-north-east from the 46th milestone (from London) on the
main road, a further group of more than twenty cremation-burials was found
within a space of about 20 ft. by 30 ft., and the pottery with them seems
to have dated from the 2nd and early 3rd centuries (P1. XIV, No. 2; see
also XIII, No.1).82
In the following year, about 285 yds. west of this spot (E on
plan), further burials of about the same date were located 83
and in 1922—3 excavations were carried out at the spot marked F, where
several cremation and two or three inhumation burials were found. In the
following year considerably more than 172 cremation burials and 74
inhumation burials were carefully unearthed by the Society of Antiquaries,
and these with many of the previous finds are now preserved in the Maison
Dieu at Ospringe. A long trench was also dug within the park at G, and two
others at H, where a rubbish heap containing potsherds of the 1st to 3rd
centuries A.D., pieces of burnt wattle— and-daub, a coin of Commodus,
and many animal bones were found. Lastly, in the vicinity of the Saxon and
medieval chapel of Stone, to the north-west of Syndale House, a hearth and
chalk walling, found by Colonel Hawley in 1926, seem to represent Roman
cottages alongside the Watling Street.
Regarded as a whole, these various relics obviously represent
a considerable, if straggling, population, centring, perhaps, on the
earthwork at Syndale House, but extending far both to the east and the
west of this spot. The backbone of the settlement must have been the
Watling Street, alongside of which lay extensive cemeteries for a distance
of half a mile or more to the west of Ospringe. The chronological limits
of the occupation are not very clearly defined, but there is sufficient
evidence to show that it was already fairly extensive in the Flavian
period and lasted to the end of the 4th century.84 The
presence of a great Jutish cemetery associated with Roman remains in
Kingsfield, immediately to the east of Ospringe,85 may be
thought to indicate something of a continuity of occupation in early
post-Roman times, such as has been suspected at Frilford in Berkshire and
on three or four other Roman and Saxon sites.
81 Arch Cant. xxxi, 284;
82 Ibid. xxxv, 1 ; 65. 83 Ibid.
84 The rather scanty coin-lists begin with
one of Claudius and end with two of Arcadius. See especially Arch.
Cant. ix, lxxii, and xli, 197.
85 Reliquary, iii, 141; Arch.
Cant. i, 42 ; ii, 22. C. R. Smith, Anglo-Saxon and other
Antiquities found at Faversham and bequeathed to the S. Kensington Museum