KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 79    1964  pages 125

Excavations at Eccles, 1963: Second Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

robbed down to its lowest foundation courses, could be traced to Rooms 28 and 29. No explanation can at present be offered for this vacant space, unless it can be considered as an entrance or corridor leading into the larger Room 30, with a floor which need not have been other than mortar and was completely destroyed in the subsequent robbing. This possibility is reinforced by the fact that the subsoil in this space was encountered at the same depth as the lowest level of the robbing of the walls of Rooms 28 and 31; this clearly suggests that the floor lay at a level only very slightly higher than the foundation courses of these walls.
   Room 28 was found to have been completely demolished. It measured 12 ft. 6 in. by 9 ft., with walls of ragstone and bright yellow mortar; these were 2 ft. thick, except for the south-east wall dividing it from Room 29 which was only 1 ft. 6 in. wide. This room had contained a hypocaust, of which only three tiles (9 by 9 by 2 in. thick) of a pila were found in situ set upon an opus signinum floor with yellow mortar; the floor was 4 in. thick and laid on an extremely solid foundation of mortared ragstone to a thickness of 10 in. lying on the subsoil in identical manner to the foundation of the floor in Room 32 (Section K-L; Plate V). This room was so thoroughly destroyed in subsequent periods that it was impossible to deduce the height of the suspended floor over the hypocaust. The function of this room is clearly that of a tepidarium, in view of its distance from any stokehole and of the presence of Rooms 38 and 39 to the south-west.
   A short length of drain was found turning a right angle immediately outside the north-west wall of Room 28, sealed beneath a second-period wall (Fig. 1). This drain had sides and bottom of bonding tiles, set in bright yellow mortar, but not rendered with opus signinum.
   Room 29,
a very small room measuring 2 ft. 6 in. by 9 ft, is undoubtedly a warm plunge-bath built over a hypocaust of which only the base tile (9 by 9 by 2 in.) of a pila was preserved in situ at its north corner where it was mortared to the opus signinum floor of the room. The walls of this room, except for the slighter wall (1 ft. 6 in.) dividing it from Room 28, were the bath building's standard 2 ft. in thickness, of ragstone and bright yellow mortar; they were almost entirely robbed to their lowest courses and then overlaid by the successive structures of Periods II and III
   Room 39 is largely unexcavated and only its extreme south-eastern portion was exposed below the later walls and floors. It contained a hypocaust over an opus signinum floor, which was 2-3 in. thick; only the mortar traces of its pilae remained on this floor. The known walls of this room were 1 ft. 6 in. thick, but of the same ragstone and bright yellow mortar construction. This room is very likely to be the main caldarium of the bath suite, particularly in view of its apsidal end, a

Previous page       Back to Page listings       Next page      

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society   click here

Back the Contents page    To Arch. Cant. List    To Publications On-line    To Research Page    To Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
Kent Archaeological Society 26th August 2012

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received so
 that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too research@kentarchaeology.org.uk