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Victoria County History of Kent Vol. 3  1932 - Romano-British Kent - Towns - Page 90


   Eight and a quarter miles west of Rochester the Watling Street crosses the valley of the Ebbsfleet, a small stream which flows into the Thames at Northfleet, near Gravesend. The crossing is best identified by the name of a neighbouring farmhouse, Springhead ; it lies on the edge of the parishes of Swanscombe and Southfleet. Here enough evidence has been recorded to indicate the presence of a village or small town, but details are sadly lacking. Four or more British coins (one of Cunobelin) are recorded,56  but are, by themselves, insufficient to prove pre-Roman occupation, and the bulk of the remains are uncompromisingly Roman. In 1814 remains of baths were found beside the stream and afterwards covered by the cottage or lodge which stands on the north side of the road immediately west of the Ebbsfleet.57  In

Fig. 15. Map showing Roman Sites at Springhead
Based on the Ordnance Survey Map, with the sanction of the Controller of H.M. Stationery Office

1844, and subsequently, the lines of walls have been detected during the summer in the dried grass, particularly in the fields on the south side of the road, to the west of the railway.58 In  1864 part of a Roman building with two-foot walls of flint-rubble 'with a few bonding tiles was excavated in a field belonging, to a Mr. Edward Colyer, adjoining the Sole Field and the road.59  Previously, in 1845, a mass of cemented flint-work had been found close to the road in Sole Field itself, and similarly vague discoveries are noted elsewhere in the vicinity.60 Some of these for example, a small tile arch found and
   56  R. Smith, Coll. Antiq. i, 6 ; p1. v, 9, 10 ; H. Ross, Arch. Journ. xxii, 63.
   57  Dunkin, Springhead Memo. 1848, p. 128.
   58  C. R. Smith, ibid. p.110 ; G. Arnold, Arch Cant. xviii, 177 ff.
   59  Arch. Journ. xxii, 63.
60  J, Dunkin, Springhead Memo., 1848, pp. 138144.

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