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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 69  1955  page 4


divides Sibton Park from North Lyminge, and along it runs the road from Ottinge to the south west through Yewtree Cross. The road from Lyminge to Rhodes Minnis through Sibton Park traverses the ridge at Yewtree Cross. From the site (Pl. I) the ground slopes gently away on all sides- eastwards into the Elham Valley which accommodates the Nailbourne some 400 yards away; westwards into the grounds of Sibton Park and southwards into the village of Lyminge itself; to the north-east the ground slopes less perceptively towards Ottinge. The eminence on which the site lies is not apparent from the 100-foot contours of the 6 in. O.S. map. Higher chalkland lies less than a mile to the east and west and a little further away to the south.
   Coal borings in the neighbourhood show that in this area there is an appreciable dip of the strata in a north to north east direction. At Ottinge the base of the gault was proved at +125 O.D. whilst at Elham, a distance of 1 1/3 miles north to north east, it had fallen to - 15 O.D. The probable depth of the gault on the cemetery site is + 350 O.D., and is, therefore, presumably, in the zone of Holaster subglobosus. Springs break out at the head of the Elham Valley at New Barn (161.398), Lyminge Church (162.408), Eastbrook Lodge (165.407) and Sibton Park (159.416). 1
   On the cemetery site the chalk is overlain by a deposit, possibly of alluvial drift, of chalk lumps and loam.

Disturbances in this subsoil are not easy to recognise. The  topsoil is between 8 and 12 in. deep. Iron pyrites nodules occur profusely in the subsoil and their occurrence in grave fill must therefore be of doubtful significance in the absence of any direct evidence for their use.

   Differing techniques were adopted in the emergency and in the planned excavations. In the former, in order to conserve time and labour, the topsoil was dug with trenches 2 ft. wide at intervals of 3 ft., at right angles to the excepted alignment of the graves (approximately east-west). The acquaintance gained with the subsoil during this work suggested that with more time and labour available it would be better to clear off the topsoil completely from the area to be investigated. In the summer this was done in squares, 20 ft. by 20 ft., and the grid was laid down at 45 degrees to the grave alignment (Pls. IIa and IIb).
   Due to the nature of the subsoil graves were not always so easy to locate as might be expected on chalkland. Nevertheless the excavation of a grave was only started when its complete outline had been traced
   1. For information on the geology and springs of the area I am indebted to Mr. H. B. Reynolds of the Folkestone Waterworks Company.

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