Trial excavations disclosed a
rectangular room (the Frigidarium) with an apse at the western end. In
the latter is a plunge bath, paved with red tesserae, containing a
drain, and approached by two steps descending from the Frigidarium. This
was paved with a geometrical design in black and white. Adjoining, a
Tepidarium and a Caldarium were exposed, the latter with its hypocaust.
The former contained considerable remains of a tessellated pavement made
from the local rag. Flanking these rooms to the E. is a large area of
pavement, similar to the floor of the bath; this was doubtless the floor
of the passage connecting other parts of the villa, as yet unexplored.
The whole of the walls forming the foundations to the above rooms are
built of Kentish Rag apparently quarried from the site. In these, 2 ft.
6 in. in thickness, the familiar red brick occasionally appears.
Considerable remains of coloured plaster line the walls.
The site and adjoining land to the N.E. have been viewed
from the air, and as a result of this, and investigations made by test
holes and exploration of the neighbouring land generally, there are
strong grounds for assuming that a fairly large site has been located.
There is, moreover,
evidence, during periods of dry weather, of masonry
near to the surface both adjoining to and near by, and where fragments
of tile, glass and tesserae occur.
Numerous sherds of Samian and other wares, decorated
plaster, glass, ironwork, and two coins have been found.1
Certain human remains have been submitted to Sir Arthur Keith, who was
of the opinion that they were for the most part Roman, and in one case
pre-Roman. A human burial with an iron spear-head which was found may
date from the Anglo-Saxon period, and belong to the graves which were
opened up by Dr. Littledale in 1936 (Arch. Cant., XLVIII, p.
Plans of the excavated portion of the villa have been
prepared by Lieut. J. G. S. Brinson, R.E. These will be invaluable in
Mr. Geering also acknowledges the valuable assistance he
has received from Dr. S. G. Brade-Birks and Dr. Littledale. The site has
also been visited by Canon R. U. Potts, Mrs. Gardiner, Sir Edward
Harrison and Flight-Lieut. R. F. Jessup.
1 These are reduced 3rd Brass of
Fausta w. of Constantine I, and probably of Constantine II as Ceasar.
ON May 31st, 1942, while Mr. J. E. J. West, of 2 Church
Cottages, Staple, was digging in his garden he unearthed a hoard of 138
silver coins which, under the law relating to Treasure Trove, had to be
adjudicated upon by the British
Museum. Mr. John Allan, the head of the Numismatic
Department of the Museum, has been kind enough to supply the following
list of the find.