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Victoria County History of Kent Vol. 3  1932 - Romano-British Kent - Towns - Page 99

a slight claim to distinction as a spot of exceptional Convenience where this riverside population may have been a little more numerous than elsewhere.
   Let us glance at the remains of Roman masonry within the environs of Maidstone: (1) At the Mount, just south of the Maidstone Barracks and north of the Southern Railway station (and near Pybus wharf,), a part of the western bank, 25 ft. above the river, fell in 1843 and disclosed Roman masonry. In an adjacent garden, about 15 ft. from this abrupt face, remains of walls were then excavated, and were found to extend northwards into an orchard where they were not followed. The foundations as exposed extended 65 ft. from east to west and 35 ft. from north to south. The walls were of Kentish rag pitched in some cases in herringbone fashion. In the north-west room of the excavated area was a pavement of square red tiles, and in an adjoining room were large masses of ‘rudely ornamented pavement’ made largely of Roman tile. On one side several large piers abutted upon the house. Much Roman pottery and a coin of Gordian Ill were found during the work (Journ. Brit. Arch. Assoc. ii, 86). (2) South-eastwards across the river, near Upper Stone Street, in a field east of the road to Loose, just beyond the turning to ‘Tovil and 250 yds. south-east of St. Philip’s Church, part of a Roman dwelling-house was opened up in 1870. the 2-ft. walls were of ragstone with tufa quoins. 

Fig. 19. Plan of the Villa at the Mount, Maidstone

The plan (fig. 20) shows a fragment of a residence, 160 ft. long so far as excavated. It has a range of rooms lying north and south and opening on to an eastern corridor, which is interrupted by a long Projecting room with an apse at its east end. At the north end of the excavation part of another room or rooms with an apse cast was uncovered; this may, as often, mark the original centre of the range. At the south end of the range was a buttressed octagonal room with traces of a tessellated pavement and a channelled hypocaust. Burnt wheat was found in an adjacent compartment, but is insufficient to indicate the original use of these rooms.89  Two other hypocausts were noted in the building. Ill-recorded discoveries of other walls in the vicinity suggested that the whole structure may have been of courtyard type ( Arch. Cant. x, 163).   (3) At Combe Farm or West Town, 450 yds. south of the Railway and just east of Tovil and not far from No. 2, ‘foundations of a Roman ‘villa’ were observed in 1830 and in 1838; the only recorded object was a coin of Florian. The site does not seen to have been further examined. (Brit. Arch. Assoc. Journ. ii, 75.) (4) On the West bank of the Medway, ¼ mile from it, at Little Buckland Farm, ‘foundations of an apparently extensive Roman Villa’ or ‘a species of terrace’ were observed when planting an orchard about 1835. Nothing more is known of this site, which lies to the south of Allington. (Arch. Cant. i, 156).
   The principal Roman cemetery seems to have lain to the north-west of Maidstone, not very far from the villa at the Mount It was found in 1859-60 at Westborough, on the left bank of the
   89  For this room, cf. the villa at Ashstead (J.R.S. xix, 208, pl. xvi), Loose, Lockham, Boughton Monchelsea.

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