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Archaeologia Cantiana - Vol. 87   1972 page 125

Rochester East Gate, 1969. By A. C. Harrison, B.A., F.S.A.

concrete raft, 15 in. thick, which rested upon a foundation trench 2ft, 1 in. deep filled with layers of rammed flints. The wall itself sloped at a slight angle as far as its first offset, which occurred at 3ft. 9 in., and for a further 9 in. above it. At this point, there was clear evidence that the wall had collapsed and been rebuilt. After a thick layer of mortar, the character of the masonry changed, the joints being no longer finished flush with the stones, and the wall-face became vertical. Furthermore, as shown in the section, the wall-bank had had to be dug back in order to make the stump of the damaged wall accessible for repairs. This horizontal break in the wall was traced for 66 ft. to the north and may well have extended to the East Gate. The cause of the collapse is conjectural, but it seems possible that it was due to the wall being set too close to the edge of the Phase I ditch. The few scraps of pottery recovered from the fill of the repair-trench were suggestive of the first half of the third century, but the date may well have been later.
   Outside the wall the Phase I ditch was sectioned in three places. Of these the two nearest the Gate had been truncated by the cellar of no. 122 High Street but, the one furthest south in Trench 9, gave a complete profile of the west side of the ditch (Fig. 4 and PL. III) which had originally been approximately 17 ft. wide and 8 ft. deep. As elsewhere,6 this had been back-filled with material cut away from the Phase I rampart. There was, however, a deposit of silt nearly 2 ft. in depth at the bottom and pottery from this (Fig. 4) also suggests that the ditch was open during the last years of the second century or the early years of the third. It should be mentioned that the ditch continued to the north under the existing pavement and that no trace was found of the Roman East Gate or roadway.
   The outer face of the Roman city wall was exposed in Trench 9. Although part of the facing had been robbed and replaced by brickwork, enough remained to show that the lowest courses consisted of blocks of ragstone much more massive than the squared ashlar used higher up (PL IV). This fact is important for the interpretation of the stretch of the east wall on the north side of the High Street which is discussed below (p. 128).
   (b) Medieval. In the south-east corner of Trench 9 the edge of the 1225 A.D. ditch7 was found cutting into the filling of the Roman ditch mentioned above. The section-drawing (Fig. 4) shows this relationship. The sloping surface of the ditch had been cut into shallow steps, presumably to facilitate the removal of spoil during its construction. In the cellar of no. 122 High Street (Fig. 5) the earliest architectural feature was a foundation of rammed chalk projecting nearly at right-
   Ibid., 60, 62.

   7 Arch. Cant., xxi (1896), 51, and xxiv (1900), 12-15.

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