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Museum Monday: Minster Roman villa finds

Submitted by Jacob Scott on 6 November 2023

Its #MuseumMonday! As part of our ongoing highlight of objects in our temporary display at Maidstone Museums we are focusing on one of the society's first training excavations.


Posted Mon, 06 Nov 2023


In 1996 a Roman villa at Minster-in-Thanet was identified through aerial photography.

Fig 1 – Examples of Painted Wall Plaster from Minster Roman Villa, kindly loaned by the Trust for Thanet Archaeology.

Subsequent evaluation found the site was in danger of being destroyed through ploughing. At the suggestion of David Perkins, of the Trust For Thanet Archaeology , the Kent Archaeological Society agreed to fund a training excavation at Minster, initially directed by Dave Perkins and later, Keith Parfitt of Canterbury Archaeological Trust. Over several seasons, KAS members, with affiliated organisations; the Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society, Trust for Thanet Archaeology, and the Dover Archaeological Group, gained field work and post excavation experience.

Fig. 2. Examples of Mosaic floors from Minster Roman Villa, kindly loaned by the Trust for Thanet Archaeology.

The villa range, with adjacent bath house, had evidence for painted walls (Fig 1), Mosaic Floors (Fig 2) and piped water supply (Fig 3), standing within a large, walled enclosure with additional buildings at the southern end. Built in the later 1st century AD, the site was abandoned by the late 3rd century AD.

Fig 3 – Examples of water pipes found at Minster Roman Villa, kindly donated by Trust for Thanet Archaeology.

The KAS continues to offer practical archaeology training, most recently at Trosley Court and over the summer at Lees Court Estate. It is hoped that the society will be attending both again in 2024. #archaeology #heritage #Roman #communityarchaeology #training #fieldwork #RomanVilla