FURTHER DISCOVERIES OF ROMAN KILNS AND REMAINS AT CHALK NEAR GRAVESEND
In 1953 (Arch. Cant. Vol. LXVIII, 144) finds of Roman
kilns and graves were reported from a site at Chalk near Gravesend (Grid.
Ref. 690732). It was thought at that time that the closing of the gravel
pit would put an end to further discoveries, but after the pit had closed
a small portion of unexcavated ground in its north-east corner showed
traces of Roman occupation and further investigation has resulted in the
discovery of the remains of two kilns together with some unrelated but
interesting pottery of first-century type.
The two kilns overlapped, one having been destroyed to make
way for the other. The remains of the later and more complete kiln
consisted of a combustion chamber, roughly circular in shape, having a
diameter of 5 feet 6 in., with the firing point at the west end. The kiln
appeared to be an updraft kiln of Grimes type II (Y Cymmroder) but there
were some variations of interest.
Fig. 7. Kiln at Chalk. First century pottery.
The oven floor of the kiln appeared to have been supported on a central
column made from a solid mass of clay circular in shape with diameter of
2 feet 4 in., and 8 in. high. This column appears to have been baked in
situ by the firing of the kiln which has resulted in the formation of a
massive ring of very hard baked clay about 4 in. thick