walls, nor can any such material be seen in
the few fragments now visible. The Roman wall appears to have
been backed by an earthen bank, a section of which was seen
and recorded by Payne near the southern corner.19 There
is no record of internal towers, and the only hint of an
external tower is the mysterious ‘buttress’ (noted below)
at the northern corner. Nor is there any direct evidence as to
the Roman ditch or ditches except that, when the town defences
were extended towards the south-west in 1225, the new wall was
built at a distance of 120 ft. from the old Roman wall, and
must certainly have stood clear of the Roman ditch system.20
The walls enclose an irregular area of about 23˝
acres, which measures some 475 yds. along its greatest
length and 350 yds. in its greatest width. Except along the
north-west front which overlooks the river, their outline can
be traced with reasonable certainty (fig.14). The antiquary
who wishes to follow it may start from the enceinte of the
castle, opposite the pier and public baths, where the Roman
core can be seen underlying the medieval curtain-wall at the
top of the present escarpment. Some 50 yds. to the south the
Roman core turns inward and disappears, but is found between
that point and the south-western wall of the Norman keep,
which partly overlaps it.21 Thence the Roman
wall proceeds in a straight line to the Bishop’s Palace,
where a large section of it was laid bare about 1905 ‘during
the extension of the drawing-room of the now remaining wing of
the Palace.’22 Further again to the
south-east it is recorded under Precinct Road, and it forms
the basis of the ‘north-eastern wall of the Norman refectory
now partially covered by the Choir School. In a basement
beneath the school the unfaced Roman core is still partly
visible, and a further stretch can be ‘seen in the adjacent
deanery garden.23 Another 80 yds. brings the
investigator to the rounded southern corner of the Roman
enceinte. Although partially masked by the abutment of Norman
and medieval extensions, the Roman work is here unusually well
preserved and retains the only original facing now visible
throughout. its length.24 To the north-east
of the site of East Gate a stretch of the Roman wall is
recorded,25 and the rounded eastern corner
which bounds the playground of the Mathematical School,
although medieval above ground, is continued northward, for 30
yds. or more, by a visible stretch of Roman core, and
doubtless stands on Roman foundations.25
The north-eastern wall runs parallel to the road
known as The Common and at the backs of the houses which front
upon it, and the Roman masonry was seen in 1905 during the
widening of Northgate (formerly Cheldergate or Pump Lane).27
Further north, in 1902, demolitions immediately to the
west of Brooker’s forge on The Common revealed a large
portion of the city wall still partly faced.28 In
1910—11, during excavations made by the South-Eastern and
Chatham Railway viaduct in the rear of the Guildhall, the wall
was cut and its exact width (6 ft. 10 in.) ascertained.25
To the north of the more northerly railway viaduct a
further stretch of Roman core can be seen on both sides of a
narrow alleyway known as Parr’s Head Lane. Near
19 Arch. Cant.
xxi, 4; xxviii, lxxxix.
20 Ibid. xxiv, 15
21 Ibid. xxi, 26, and pi. and iv;
22 Ibid. xxvii, lxx.
23 Ibid. xxi, 5.
24 Ibid. XX1, 4—5, 25 note,
and pl. i, 5 and 6.
25 Ibid. xxi, 9, 16
26 Ibid. 9.
27 Ibid. xxvii, lxix.
28 Ibid. xxvii, lxvi.
29 Ibid. xxix, lxxxiv.