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     Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 47  1935  page 199

Excavations on the site of the Leper Hospital, New Romney. 

   By Miss K. M. E. Murray

presence of buildings. It is said that in a dry season the lines of walls show in the burnt grass, and it is hoped to obtain an air photograph at a suitable time of year.
   The Magdalen map made "not only by the assistance of the Minister of New Romney, and many other auntient men of the several parishes nere adjoiyning, well skilled in these parts, but alsoe by the direction of all and singuler the said College Evidences ", shows a large building standing in the middle of the field. It has a gable facing the road, a tower in the centre, and beyond a two storied wing with three gables. The tower and the gables at either extremity are surmounted by crosses. On the side furthest from the main road is a smaller field labelled "the Spitle Garden ". In spite of the fact that the map is called "a true and exacte description" it is much to be doubted whether a building of this size was still standing in 1614, one hundred and thirty years after it was supposed to be beyond repair. A map of 1683 in the Town Hall at Romney marks only three stones in the field, and although Hasted in 1790 reported that ruins were still

standing, the statement may be questioned in view of the fact that he describes them on the east instead of the west of the town.
   Excavations were begun therefore without much prospect of finding any very extensive remains, but in the hope that some traces of the foundations might be uncovered by which the plan of the old building could be reconstructed and the accuracy of the 1614 map tested. Only six days were available for excavation, but the results were fairly encouraging.
   A trench dug through a bank parallel with Spitalfield lane in the south-west corner of the field proved barren: the bank did not, as was hoped, conceal a line of masonry, but was only of clay, designed perhaps as a protection against flooding, or as the margin of a pond, which surface indications suggest lay there at one time. Several pieces of fifteenth century pottery east of the bank in the top soil gave evidence of medieval occupation.

Page 199

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