Bronze Age with ceramic evidence for a
subsequent Roman and Post-Medieval presence. The author is to be
congratulated on making best use of what he candidly admits to
be the problematic archive he inherited.
The Historical Development of the Port of
Faversham 1580-1780. By Paul Wilkinson. B/w illustrations
and tables throughout. BAR 413, 2006. Paperback, £37.00. ISBN
Copiously illustrated with over 100 figures in b/w the book
contains the following parts – (1) The historical and
topographical context of Faversham; (2) Ships and Seamen of the
town; (3) Administration of the Port; (4) The cargoes that were
carried. Each of these subject areas is broken down into
chapters, of which there are 39 in all. There are also 84 tables
scattered throughout the book.
Having had access to Wilkinson’s doctoral thesis
written in 1999, when writing Faversham Oyster Fishery
through eleven centuries (2002), the present production in
two columns with integrated illustrations is a much more
splendid work. It is perhaps unfortunate that in the intervening
years no effort appears to have been made to update some of the
information. For instance in relation to chapter 27 the
inclusion of Allen, Cotterill and Pike, ‘The Kentish Copperas
Industry’ Archaeologia Cantiana CXXII (2002), pp.
319-334, would have been very useful.
The reviewer was particularly interested to read on
the illustrations on page 119 that over 4,000 posts were
surveyed in 1995 and that initial mapping suggests some thirty
five separate fish weirs. Fish weirs dated probably from
prehistoric and certainly from Saxon times. Our own researches
suggested that such fish weirs were mentioned in a Seasalter
document as early as 786 and were probably in existence many
years before. In the 1330s they were badly damaged by storms and
later accounts show that payment was often remitted on account
of their decay.
Nonetheless there is certainly much here to assist
the researcher looking into the history of the town and the
port. The bibliography of both manuscript and printed sources
will provide further information for those that wish to
England’s Landscape: The South East. By
Brian Short. 256 pp. 121 colour and b/w illustrations and maps.
Harper Collins for English Heritage, London, 2006. Hardback.
£35.00. ISBN 0 00 715570 0.
English Heritage has produced eight well illustrated volumes