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     Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 73 - 1959 page 224
                    Researches and Discoveries in Kent continued

COBHAM PARK; INTERIM REPORT ON THE SOCIETY’S EXCAVATIONS, 1959
   In accordance with the Excavation Committee’s proposals approved by Council in December 1958, excavations were carried out in Cobham Park under the writer’s supervision during the period 3rd to 11th April and again between 31st July and 14th August, 1959. Over thirty persons have taken an active part, about half the number being members of the Society.
   Earthworks. The main purpose of the investigation has been achieved, as datable material was found in two cuttings made across the earthworks. While a detailed description of the evidence and discussion of its significance must await publication at a later date, it may be stated in advance that nothing has been found to confirm the theory that the banks and ditches bordering the wooded Pleasure Grounds on their north-east and west sides form part of a "British oppidum ", as has been commonly claimed. On the north-east, some fragments of thin roof-tiles, which are certainly not pre-medieval, were found on the old surface under the banks. On the west side of the hill, the straight bank and ditch of the "annexe" were tested, and it was found that the bank at one point contained and overlay abundant Roman material, chiefly tiles and pottery, in a manner which excludes the possibility of the earthwork being of earlier construction, though it could be a good deal later.

   Building I. The chance discovery of this Roman debris led to a search being made for the building from which it had come. The position of this has now been located by trial digging. It lies partly under the bank and extends into the field to the west, not far north of the Water Gauge marked on the O.S. 6 in. map (Kent Sheet, XVIII, N.E.). A flint wall and part of a plain tessellated floor have so far been uncovered but the main lay-out of the structure awaits investigation. Samian ware and other pottery in association seems to be mainly of the period A.D. 50-100.
   Building II. In the field to the west, about thirty yards from the bank, another building was found by trial digging and fully uncovered in August. It was a simple rectangular structure, 45 feet by 19 feet, with flint footings. Roman tiles and pottery lay on its earthen floor.
   Well. Still further westward, another test-hole revealed the filling of a pit which, when totally excavated, turned out to be a Roman well, 7˝ feet deep, timber-lined at the bottom and still fed by a spring. Some of the saturated timbers were extracted, and it was possible to make out the exact form of the jointing and construction of the lining. It is hoped that it may be possible to date the wood by tree-ring analysis.
   1 See Arch. Cant., XI (1876), 121-2, and Victoria County History of Kent, I (1908), 392-4. The latter contains a plan based on Col. 0. E. Ruck’s survey of 1905.

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