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

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 89    1974  page 128
Excavations at Eccles Roman Villa, 1973: Twelfth Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

pottery contained in this rubbish must await the final publication of the site; however, it is obvious that a re-dating of the close of Period IV and the beginning of Period V is inevitable. This corrected interpretation of the rubbish layer has, however, solved one problem: for, on the earlier consideration that the third bath-house (Period V) had been destroyed c. A.D. 290, it was assumed that yet another baths building may have been erected elsewhere on the site, though several following seasons' work had failed to locate any such structure. The re-examination of this area has now shown beyond doubt that no other bath-house was ever built on the site and that the Period V baths may have remained in use until the end of the Romano-British period in the early fifth century A.D. as the villa is known to have continued in occupation until that date by pottery and late coins found stratified in the main range of rooms and the south-east wing.28

D, pre-Flavian
This site (N.G.R. TQ 718 605) was discovered in 1971 whilst watch was being kept on the laying of a water pipeline for the Medway Water Board in a field close to the main site; it was first seen as a dark band exposed in the 50 ft. (15 m.) contour in an area almost completely disturbed since the middle of the last century by the excavation of large pits for the disposal of industrial waste. This site, on the east bank of the Medway, lies about one-quarter of a mile (400 m.) west of the villa and about the same distance from the disused Burham Cement Works. On closer inspection, it was established that the dark band consisted almost exclusively of kiln debris and building materials, dipping from south to north towards the river, and all that had survived was a narrow plateau in the middle of the industrial excavations; as mechanical stripping of the area was intermittently undertaken by the landowners, a small-scale excavation was carried out late in 197229 and a systematic examination of the surviving area was completed this year.
   The area measured approximately 40 by 60 ft. (12 by 18 m.) and was mechanically cleared of its modern overburden beneath which it was found to be entirely occupied by a thick and compacted layer (c. 1 ft. 6 in., 0.60 m.) of Romano-British wasters (Fig. la); industrial excavation had cut into the site from all directions and partly disturbed a structure which was identified as a medieval tilery (see below, 130-31).
   As a result of the excavation of the site, there is no doubt that large-
   28 If, when the whole evidence is considered in detail, it is concluded that the third baths was out of use before the end of the villa's occupation, it may be necessary to consider whether the partitioning of the villa's rear corridor into small rooms and the insertion of a channelled hypocaust beneath one of them (Arch. Cant., lxxxiv (1969), fig. 1, 100-104) was, in fact, the final bathing unit of the villa. Several sections were also cut across the line of Ditch VIII (Arch. Cant., lxxxvii (1972), fig, 2,106), located beyond the area of the general plan (Fig. 1).
   29  Ibid., lxxxviii (1973), 78-9.

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 25th March 2013

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