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

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 80    1965  page 82

Excavations at Eccles, 1964: Third Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

it (Plate IVA). Cheeks constructed of heavily-burnt tiles continued this flue right across Room 65 to the same 2-foot width up to the wall dividing it from Room 66 (Fig. 2). It is very probable that a boiler was placed over this long flue for the supply of hot water, through piping, possibly into Room 28; but for the absence of a drainage system, there would be a strong possibility that Room 65 supplied the hot water for a new plunge-bath, Room 63. No signs of such drainage were found, and it is beyond doubt that the drain serving the old Room 58 was not retained in use. Constructed on the opus signinum floor of the flue and for its whole length, was a curious channel of clay-bonded imbrices, which had been burnt red and enclosed much soot; this was no doubt intended to drain away condensation.
   Room 66 (5 by 7 feet 6 inches), once again rather on the small size, was the furnace-room for the new hypocausts; its floor, which would have probably been of baked clay, had completely perished, but the whole room was found quite filled with soot and ash, part of which at least would have derived from its later incorporation into Room 68.

If fragmentation of the middle range of the bath building into small rooms had been the hall-mark of Phases B and C, simplification and a partial reversion to the plan of Phase A in this area seem to have been the aims of Phases D and E for reasons that can only be hypothetical; and one of these is once more probably the miscalculation (surprising as it is for the architects of such an elaborate bath building) of the size of the furnace-room heating the new hypocausts. Some reconstruction, too, took place in the corridor, Room 59, obviously the inevitable result of the hard wear to which its floor had been subjected.
   The length of Room 59 was increased by the reconstruction of the wall separating it from Room 60 some 2 feet further south-east to align with the doorway into Room 32, during Phase E. Before this happened, however, the floor level was raised on average some 6 inches by the deposition of much rubble, and a new opus signinum floor, 4-5 inches thick, was laid down over the combined area of Rooms 69 and 60 (Fig. 3, Section A-B, Layers 11 and 10); a tessellation may also have been constructed on this floor as several loose tesserae, cut from tiles were found on it; but, owing to disturbance by ploughing, this cannot be certain. The walls of the corridor were plastered with bright" yellow mortar which had been painted with various polychrome designs, seemingly mostly leaves, flowers and plants.
   It was not possible to establish where the partition wall between Rooms 69 and 60 would have been located in Phase D, as no traces of it remained anywhere; it would probably have been a sleeper-wall

Previous page       Back to Page listings        Next page

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

Back to 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 29th 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