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Archaeologia Cantiana - Vol. 127   2007 page 440

Book Reviews

understand the layout of the east claustral range and the much-weathered Latin inscription above the day-stair tympanum (confusingly, mis-labelled as the Night Stair at the site) will find John McNeill’s survey particularly helpful. The twelfth-century nave and west doorway are worthy of study in their own right, and the studies of the early Gothic east end and west transept by Peter Draper and Jennifer Alexander are certain to fuel discussion for many years to come. Overall, questions of date, style and patronage naturally remain uppermost, although the contributors have taken care to place their findings within a wider cultural context. Each of the sections, arranged in a loose chronological sequence, is lucidly written, generously illustrated and fully referenced, making the volume suitable for the armchair reader, student and expert alike. The volume, a handy size for study, is presented in an attractive softback cover in blue with a neat eighteenth-century prospect.
   Overall, there is little one could criticise. The reviewer would have preferred the ground-plans to have been printed in colour, to make them easier to follow (as indeed St John Hope did in 1900); however, one is left with the clear impression that many of the photographs and diagrams have been specially commissioned to sit alongside the cutting-edge research which they accompany. This very readable book is recommended wholeheartedly, particularly to students: it will surely be essential reading for those interested in local history, and it deserves a place on the shelf of anyone interested in medieval art and architecture.


Townwall Street, Dover, Excavations 1996. By Keith Parfitt, Barry Corke and John Cotter. 460 pp. 240 figs. The Archaeology of Canterbury, New Series, vol. III, 2006. Hardback. £25. From Heritage Marketing and Publications Limited, Hill Farm, Unit F, Castle Acre Road, Great Dunham, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE32 2LP. ISBN 978-1-870-54505-1. (A full review will appear in the next volume.)

In 1996 Canterbury Archaeological Trust excavated a large site off Townwall Street at Dover, funded by BP Oils UK Ltd. The site lay outside the main centre of the historic town, below Dover Castle, about 150m inland from the present seashore. A complex sequence of medieval and post-medieval buildings was recorded. Detailed study of the site has provided much important new information, which greatly enhances our understanding of the medieval town. The report outlines the history of medieval Dover and then describes the evolution of the site from initial colonisation, up to the twentieth century. It focuses on the main period of activity, c.AD 1175-1300, when simple timber buildings were crowded on to an open beach ridge adjacent to the seashore.

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