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Victoria County History of Kent Vol. 3  1932 - Romano-British Kent - Towns - Page 92

   For the rest, considerable quantities of pottery, dating, it seems, from the middle of the 1st to the end of the 4th centuries, have been found here, and the discovery in 1922 of a smother kiln for the manufacture of " Upchurch" pottery,’ on the south side of the road between Springhead and Park Corner, indicates a local origin for some of it. The kiln was rapidly destroyed, but is said to have been 3 ft. 8 in. in diameter, clay lined, and to have contained ’typical specimens of pottery . . . as fresh as though they had recently been fired.’ 62a
   The ‘stamps identified on Samian ware from Springhead include the 1st-century potters FRONTINVS (form 18), possibly AMANDVS (form 27), PASSENVS (form 27), and the 2nd century potters CVRMILLVS (form 27), CALETVS ( form 33), MAIOR (form 33), CLEMENS (form 33), GRANIANVS (form 31), MACRINVS (form 33).
   The recorded coins include the four British mentioned above, two Consular, two of Agrippa, one of Augustus, two of Claudius, three of Nero, fifteen of Vespasian, and thence normally to ten of Valens, one of Valentinian and four of Gratian.63  A single hoard is also recorded from Springhead; it consisted of’ 114 billon ranging from Gordian III to two of Tetricus II, with a predominance of Postumus, and may therefore have been deposited soon after 270 A.D.64
   The Roman road in the vicinity of Springhead has been laid bare more than once, particularly during the road-making operations of 1921-2. The width of the road was not then ascertained, but a typical section consisted of a foundation of coarse gravel 1˝ ft. to 2 ft. thick under a layer of fine pebbles grouted with chalk ; above these was an irregular line of large flints.65  Reference has been made by several writers to a supposed Roman milestone found during the 18th century in the parish of Southfleet. According to Hasted 66 the stone lay on its side, about a foot below the surface of the ground, on the remains of the Roman Watling-street-road, northward from Betsham, at the western corner of it, where the road from thence to Gravesend joins the Shinglewell-road, at Wingfield-bank.’ A variant account states that, near Barkfields or Bagfields,there was some few years ago a very fair milestone discovered. It stood upright in the ground with its crown about four or five inches below the surface. I measured it soon after it was dug up. It was two feet and a half long, two of its sides were sixteen inches each, the other two fourteen, its corners were chiselled, but its faces were very rustic. However, upon one of the sides was a very fair X cut, which was undoubtedly to show that it stood 10 miles from some particular place.67a 
   The stone is now in the Maidstone Museum ; there is no adequate reason for regarding it  as a Roman milestone, and the X which it bears is disproportionately small.67a
   This milestone has been used to support the theory that . Springhead represents the site of the Roman Vagniacae,’ a place-name which occurs only
   62a   Antiq. Journ. viii, 339.
63    See especially Brit. Arch. Assoc. Journ. i, 155 ; and Arch. Review, iii ( 1889), 136.
64    Arch. Cant. xvii, 209 ; Numis. Chew. ser. iii, vii (1887), 312 . For Springhead kiln, see below p. x  131, No. 7.
   65   Antiq. Journ. viii, 338.               66  Hist. i, 1778, 271.
   67   Dunkin, Springhead Memo. p. 135 and Arnold in Arch Cant. xviii, 185. Corpus Inscr. Lat. vii, zo8.
   67a  For a real milestone now in Maidstone Museum, see below, under Roads, p. 137.

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