IN the early hours of June 1st, 1942, German aircraft
dropped five bombs in the woodlands around Tyler Hill. One of these fell
near the junction of the old highway and the present modern road at the
far end of the village, where the old woodland gives place to more open
country. At this spot, shown on Andrew's, Dury's and Herbert's Map of
Kent of 1769 as Jerusalem, although no record of any hill-top maze is
forthcoming, and on other early maps as Cheesecourt Gate, a woodland
track running from Blean to Broad Oak crosses the road junction.
The bomb made a large crater some 30 ft. in diameter, and
revealed the presence there of masses of pottery sherds in the highly
disturbed soil lying above the London Clay of the district. High level
flint drift covers the clay which has proved suitable for the
manufacture of pottery from early times. It would appear that the bomb
opened up the site of a kiln which made household wares, but the actual
kiln has not yet been found.
The masses of sherds, some only partly baked, packed one on
another, are doubtless remains of wasters thrown out by the old potters.
No over-fired pots have yet been found. The type is characteristic of
much that has been
excavated at Stonar, and can be provisionally dated
as of the late thirteenth century.
From the sherds it would seem that the kiln principally
turned out sagging base vessels with flat rims, basins, and tall-necked
jugs covered with a greenish glaze. Ornamentation on these consists of
bands of incised lines on shoulders and bodies with saw-tooth or wavy
scoring between. A finger-made scale pattern is another decorative
motive. One example of a very rough bridge spout has been noted. Some of
the decorative features on the cooking vesselsófingered rims and
raised finger-impressed bandsórecall Early Iron Age types.
No grotesque figures have yet been found but in this connection it may
be mentioned that there is in the Beaney Museum at Canterbury a
grotesque pottery fragment which was found at Tyler Hill.
It is to be hoped that further excavation on this site may be carried
out as much work still remains to be done on the study of medieval
pottery. What has been done already is mainly due to the exertions of
Mrs. Gardiner, J. P., and members of the Canterbury Archeological