The writer has been engaged in many lines
of research connected with Eynsford:
(i) Documentary, including the wider
activities of the Eynsford family;
(ii) Topographical—the Castle in relation
to the village and valley;
(iii) Interpretation of the upstanding
ruins; (iv) Excavation of the walled area;
(v) The place of Eynsford in the history of
fortification, for, though small, it is
unquestionably a stronghold, not just a moated site;
(vi) The excavation and comparative study of the
of a timber bridge, several times reconstructed.
The bridge is still under examination and will
only be mentioned here as far as is necessary for the
interpretation of the walled enclosure.4 The rest
will be discussed in the aforenamed order, save that questions
of comparison and reconstruction will go at the end, but
before the description of finds (which does not include those
from the bridge).
The ponderous quantity of pottery has produced a
series of local types from the late eleventh to the early
fourteenth centuries, unmatched by any site in the district
and dated by its relation to the structures and by a pace of
evolution appropriate to a single consistent series, rather
than by external references. The series here speaks for itself
and the few analogues, even from the Darent and Cray, are not
cited in detail. The only exception is the pottery from the
medieval site overlying Lullingstone Roman villa, 1 -3 km.
away, which is much richer than Eynsford in the earliest
phases. This has been studied and drawn by D. C. Mynard and,
with the approval of Lt.-Col. G. W. Meates, F.S.A., a
selection is published here to supplement that from Eynsford.
[Note. For brevity and convenience the
several valuable recent historical works on the tenures of the
Archbishopric and of Christ Church will sometimes be cited
rather than primary sources. Even in the more controversial
parts, the sources will be referred to as simply as possible
and close argument avoided.]
Direct documentation of the Castle is slight, but
there is much circumstantial evidence, and enough about the
principal tenants to describe their careers in some detail
(which is not attempted here).
How Christ Church first acquired Eynsford has
been often recited,
4 The bridge will be
treated, with comparative material, in Med. Arch.; the
historical material, also of wider than Kentish interest, has
the makings of a long thesis.