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

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 86  1971  page 137
Eynsford Castle and its Excavation. 
By S. E. Rigold, M.A., F.S.A., F.R.Hist.S.
These webpages are designed to be viewed with the screen resolution set at 800 x 600 and text size at normal. HOW TO

consists of a layer of fresh, white wood-ash, different from the black deposits of BB and always distinct from the charcoaly 'industrial layer' of A. It was packed with pottery, especially of the characteristic final, soapy-surfaced form of shell-filled wares, and also full of nails, as though the wood had been charred roofing material. It is better to interpret it as exhausted fuel from the New Kitchen, rather than as the remains of a pot-store destroyed in the fire, and as representing a short and intensive use of the reconstructed Hall and Kitchen. It was immediately sealed by a thick blanket of red clay, containing a little of the same types of pottery. The clay also sealed the exposed 'A' soil north of the Hall, and its effect must have been that of a complete tidying-up after half a century of messiness north of the Hall. Intentionally or not, this coincided with a phase that left no deposits at all until the pottery types had completely changed. It is difficult not to associate this newly and finely refurbished house, so suddenly deserted, with the premature death of William VI, while his infant son passed into the Archbishop's wardship, himself to die in 1261.

   I am grateful to Mr. S. R. Harker for a description of this, now being excavated by Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Allan and himself. It overlies a cemetery of Christian orientation, with flint pillows under the skulls, and practically without grave goods, but was built in ignorance of it. The date of construction is uncertain; 'A' type pottery is associated with its demolition, after which it was partly covered by the building rubble that makes up most of the apparent bailey bank (whatever its original age or form). The alignment of the building is not far off that of the Hall. It is 5.65 m. wide (easily spanned by a tie without aisle-posts) and has been traced for over 8 m. to date. The side-walls, 60 to 65 cm. thick, indicate a flint, not timber, construction, but the short end-wall is much lighter. There is no sign of other than a clay floor, nor of any partitions. All this points to a barn, rather than a stable— certainly not to an inhabited building, but to one proper to an enclosure in advance of the present entrance.

   Treating the curtain and the timber tower on a stone base as both integral to the original conception, Eynsford is hard to match among early Norman castles. The parts of multiple-enclosure fortifications are commonly distinguished as 'inner' (Hauptburg), the classic instance being the Motte, and 'outer' (Vorburg), either or both of which may contain habitations, but if both, the inner usually of subordinate status. The primary Eynsford Castle contained no permanent accommodation and its connection with an unfortified outer enclosure is not

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   Back to Arch. Cant. List   Back to Publications On-line  Back to Research Page  Back to Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
© Kent Archaeological Society January 2011

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