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Victoria County History of Kent Vol. 3  1932  Romano-British Kent - Military History Page 27

apparently ran all round it some 12 ft. or 13 ft. from its edge. The wall is 3 ft. thick and built of rubble and mortar, with bonding-tiles passing right through it.
   Excavation in 1930 made it clear that this cruciform superstructure, together with the surrounding wall, was built some two or three centuries after the substructure, at a time when the original superstructure (whatever that may have been) had been removed. Of the latter, many significant fragments have been found round about. Mention has already been made of a surviving shred of marble paving on the upper surface of the platform. Numerous other pieces of marble have been brought to light, some by Boys (who styles them ‘alabaster), and many more since his time, lying on and near the platform or built into the walls of the later fortress. Those noted by Boys bore ‘numeral letters,’ and fragments found during the recent excavations bear respectively the numbers ...XIII, ...XX and LXIV or LXIX, all in small lettering, whilst two others show roughly scratched draughtboards. In some, and perhaps in all, cases the numerals are cut on the back of the slab, and therefore represent either a re-use of the marble or, more probably, a notation intended solely for constructional purposes. However that may be, the primary use of the marble is clear. It had formed the casing of an elaborate structure which included fluted columns or pilasters some 4 ft. in diameter and was enriched with mouldings and astragalus-ornament. With fragments of these have been found minute and tantalizing relics of a well-cut inscription with letters 3¼ in. high, but in groups too small to interpret. Moreover, on more than one occasion scraps of gilded bronze sculpture have been found here, both in1864 (when they were described by one writer as a colossal bird and by another as a statue) and more recently. Some of these fragments are now in the Maidstone Museum, whilst others are preserved on the site.
   From this mass of rather unsatisfactory evidence it is at least possible to draw certain inferences. Remembering both the fragment of marble paving found in situ on the platform in 1900, and the definite convergence of the broken pieces upon this structure, we may assume in the first place that the great cement foundation carried an elaborately cased monument or building, probably associated with life-size or colossal bronze statuary. Secondly, the immense depth and strength of the concrete block sufficiently indicate that. the building was an exceptionally lofty one. In the third place, its position on the seaward headland of the principal port of Roman Britain suggests that the monument (if such it was) had also, if not primarily then at least secondarily, a utile purpose, as a seamark for channel traffic. At this point legitimate inference ceases. No parallel to the great structure has ever been cited from elsewhere. English antiquaries have, it is true, not feared to offer conjectures. Somner called it a Roman shrine; Battely a praetorium; Stukeley threw out the idea of a pharos. Strange absurdities have been put forward in reputed archaeological journals—that it was an early Christian church, or a heavily defended subterranean treasure-vault, or a cistern, or the base of a weighing— machine for exports and imports, or the support of an engine to haul ships up to the fort. Of these, the idea of a pharos has in the past won most support. Repeated as a guess by Boys and King, it was later proposed in detail by the Kentish antiquary, T. G. Faussett. According to this view, the substructure was the foundation for a large and heavy lighthouse; the ‘cross’ was part

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