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     Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 47  1935  page 200

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

   By Miss K. M. E. Murray

   A second series of trenches dug in the higher ground in the south-east corner of the field at once revealed masses of building debris and broken roof tiles, and traces of floor levels were found in many places at a depth of about 18 inches below the surface. The most important discovery was the foundations of the north-east angle of a building with walls about 2 feet thick (Plate I, 1). A few large stones and a cement footing indicated the line of the north wall for about 50 feet to the west, where a number of large boulders bedded in mortar marked perhaps a corner buttress. No trace of the south wall of the building was found, but a bank of rubble may possibly show its line, and would give the building a width of between 30 and 40 feet. Within this area a large tomb was found (Plate I, 2) formed by a low hexagonal vault covered by 3 feet of solid masonry consisting of retaining walls of undressed stone and a filling of stones and gravelly mortar. The block so formed was 7 feet 9 inches long and 3 feet wide at the head, tapering towards the foot, which pointed due east. The top was edged with a 

single row of poorly baked yellow bricks, and the surface of the block was levelled up with pieces of slate, as if to take a stone slab. The bones were all intact in the vault, the opening to which may have been closed by a wooden shutter, since a few nails and one fragment of wood were found: the low vault would not leave space for a coffin. No evidence was found to identify the body, but the nature of the tomb, and its construction, suggests that it was perhaps of late fifteenth or sixteenth century date, and that the burial may have taken place after the Hospital had been closed. It is possible that the church survived in partial repair for some time after the other buildings were abandoned, but the absence round the tomb of any trace of the hard flooring which covered most of the area of the building, suggests that it was smashed through when the hole for the vault was dug, and that no attempt was made to repair the damage.
   The alignment of the building, practically due east, the presence of the tomb within its walls, and the discovery of a number of fragments of late fourteenth century stained

Page 200

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