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Victoria County History of Kent Vol. 3  1932  Romano-British Kent - Military History Page 45

natural clay-and-flints, on which it stood, here sloped eastwards towards King Street, and was covered with silt and sand and ‘pebbles, rounded chalk and Roman tile, potsherds with rounded edges, all consolidated by water-action into a compact mass.’ Over this, and sloping eastwards in conformity with it, was a layer of black peaty soil, with Roman bricks, etc. (including a CL.BR. tile), still sharp and unworn. Above this again was a wedge of sand, thin towards the Roman masonry, but thickening eastwards towards King Street. Over the whole was made-ground.
   (9) In 1908, during drainage work at the south end of Church Street (i.e., close to the north-east corner of the market-place), a massive wall, ‘about 12 ft. thick,’ built of flint with occasional green sandstone, and bits of tile and much hard, white mortar, was found. It rested on the natural surface of clay and flints at a depth of about 8 ft., and rose to within 2 ft. of the surface. The wall extended ‘from the direction of Igglesden and Graves to Packham’s Corner’ but was only seen at one point, where a trench cut through it. On the south (Castle Street) side of the wall only modern ‘made’ ground was noticed, but on the north (Church Street) side there was a great medley of Roman material—’ many cartloads of flints, squared tufa, green sandstone and squared chalk, Roman concrete, wall-plaster, a millstone of Andernach lava with mortar adhering, much Roman pottery, and tiles (both roofing and other), of which three bore respectively the stamps CL. . ., CL.BR, and AND’ (P1. IX, Xos. 4, 5). This thick layer of debris extended north-west for about 50 yards and then thinned out by the passage adjoining St. Mary’s church. Midway, opposite the entrance to Lloyds Bank in Church Street, the deposit deepened into the natural clay-and-flints to form a rubbish-pit or midden, which contained Roman pottery and glass, two bone pins, fragments of ironwork, burnt slabs of sandstone, charcoal, and shells of oyster, limpet, mussel, cockle, winkle and whelk. Near by, opposite the north-east corner of Messrs. Igglesden and Graves’ premises, but ‘on the east side of Church Street, during the connecting of a house-drain, a tufa-faced wall, running approximately north and south, was cut through. It rested on a thin slab of green sandstone.’
   (10) At a distance of 130 yards east of the Market Square stood until recently (on the former site of Peter Fector’s house and garden) a gasometer which has now been replaced by the garage of the East Kent Car Company. When the gasometer-pit was dug in 1855—6, it was found that, at a depth of 20 ft., the whole area—100 ft. in diameter—was crossed by a remarkable framework of massive oak timbers. As recorded in a lecture given in 1857 by Col. Edward Knocker to the Dover Museum and Philosophical Society, there were two timber walls running east and west across the pit; the eastern end, which was slightly higher than the other, was also slightly wider, the mean width being 10 ft. These walls were each composed of four massive’ oak beams of about 1 ft. scantling, placed one above the other and therefore forming a solid wall rather more than 4 ft. high. At 11 ft. intervals the walls were braced by transverse beams, halved or mortised into them with hardly any bolts or pegs. The whole of the interior of this framework was packed with shingle, which was not otherwise found on the site. The extent of the structure is not known beyond the limits of the pit, for the shafts sunk recently in the construction of the garage on the site

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