An archaeological dig in a field near Court Lodge Farm between Hollingbourne and Harrietsham has uncovered evidence of a pre-historic settlement.A dozen volunteers directed by Dr Paul Wilkinson , of the Kent Archaeological Field School, conducted between the 3rd and 11th September an investigation after some aerial shots revealed what looked like a site of interest.
The team unearthed signs of a drovers’ road leading down from the top of The Downs to a spring, bordered by two ditches [dated to the Bronze Age by pottery sherds], and also post-holes and ditches from an enclosure. Dr Wilkinson said: “It’s a very exciting site because it has been in multi-occupation. “There is evidence of Bronze Age, Iron Age and early Roman settlement. “There were two enclosures: one from the Iron Age, and inside it what seems an early Roman fortlet with a watch-tower. ‘There is evidence of Bronze Age, Iron Age and early Roman settlement’ “The tower would have given the Roman army a fantastic view over the countryside and control of who accessed the springs.” Some fragments of pottery were recovered from one of the ditches and are currently undergoing analysis. Dr Wilkinson said: “It’s what we call a black and white site: under a thin layer of top spoil there’s chalk, which makes it very easy to see where the archaeology is as it shows up black.” After 10 days, the dig has been closed for this season and the findings covered over, but Dr Wilkinson said he would return with another KAFS team next year. “It’s a work in progress,” he said. Once the report on this year’s dig has been written, the findings will be published on the field school’s website at http://www.kafs.co.uk/