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Archaeologia Cantiana - Vol. 87   1972 page 129

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

vestibule built into the thickness of the wall. On the left, a narrow vaulted passage leads to a garderobe, lit by a square-headed window. The supports for the wooden seat remain but the shaft has been filled in. To the right of the vestibule another passage leads to the foot of a newel staircase giving access to the east wall and to the upper stage of the tower and lit by a third square-headed window. Finally, in the north-east side of the vestibule is a much-restored doorway leading into the well of the tower.
   The existing upper stage of the tower, 11 ft. high, is octagonal internally, with sides 6 ft. long. It was lit by three two-centred windows with trefoil-cusping, rebated internally for shutters. In the north-west side is a fireplace, restored in brick. It would appear that the floor-joists were supported on the ledges formed where the octagonal upper storey meets the circular lower one as there are no holes or corbels at floor level. Externally, the whole tower is circular with a chamfered string-course 13 ft. above present ground-level running just below the sills of the windows in the upper stage, above which the face is set back 6 in. This string-course continues around the projecting sides of the staircase-turret between the south side of the tower and the east wall, but is absent from the broad pilaster-like strip of masonry carrying the shafts from the two garderobes (one already described and the other presumed to have been in the destroyed upper storey), which discharged into the ditch through two square openings under a relieving arch.


   Roman. The effect of these investigations has been to confirm rather than to alter the suggestions previously made as to the development of the Roman defences. A virtually complete profile has now been obtained of the Phase I rampart and ditch, and the date seems fixed in the last quarter of the second century or a very little later. It is still not possible to narrow down the date for the building of the Phase II wall, though the evidence from the layer of  trampled subsoil inside it (see page 122, above) suggests, but not conclusively, that it might have been built rather later than hitherto supposed. It is interesting to find that the south-east section had to be so extensively rebuilt and satisfactory to have been able to establish that the Roman wall  underlies the medieval wall from the East Gate to the north-east corner.
   The real difficulty
that remains concerns the entrance to the city in both phases.. The Phase I ditch continued northwards under the medieval gate-house and was found to finish 18 ft. to the north on the other side of the road, and it seems hard to believe that it is not continuous between these points. If that is so, the entrance ought to

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