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Victoria County History of Kent Vol. 3  1932 - Romano-British Kent - Towns - Page 101

Medway, about 500 yds. west by north of All Saints’ Church (site marked on 0.S. 6 in. map, XLII. N.E. behind the old Grammar School in Tonbridge Road). From 25 to 30 skeletons and about 150 urns of pottery and glass with burnt bones are estimated to have been discovered here, but they were almost completely destroyed by the finders. The remains appear to have been exclusively Roman (Ibid. ii, 143).
   A second Roman cemetery is vaguely recorded to have been found at Vinters rather less than a mile east-north-east of Maidstone Market Place. Details are lacking (Hasted, op. cit. ii (1782), 131 ; Newton, Hist. and Antiq. of Maidstone (1741), p. 5).
In 1715 Roman urns discovered in the foundations of a warehouse in Earl Street or Bullock Lane, near the Medway, are said to have been full of dust and ashes. By them lay a skeleton, and other human bones were scattered about (Newton, op. cit.).
   At Tovil, three-quarters of a mile south of Maidstone, human skeletons and Roman pottery have been found on more than one occasion. No details of these discoveries are, however, known.
   Smaller ‘ finds’ from the district need not be specifically mentioned. The coins range from Vespasian to Gratian (Arch. xxx, 535). For other ‘small finds,’ see Journ. Brit. Arch. Ass. iii, 262 (bronze statuette, etc., from St. Peter’s Hospital, Newark); Arch. xxx, 535 (bronze statuette from Lamprey’s Garden, near Wheeler Street), are such as are found on similar Kentish sites. In short, both structurally and chronologically, Roman Maidstone is at present sadly lacking in any distinctive feature.


   Many of the slighter evidences of Roman occupation in Kent doubtless represent former hut-villages occupied by native peasantry (see above, p. 9). At Charlton, on a low spur 100 ft. high and projecting into the marshland half a mile north-east of the parish church, an earthwork, now almost wholly destroyed, gave definition to such a village. The earthwork, consisting of a bank or, in places, two banks with ditches, was of irregular contour type and covered an area of about 17˝ acres. Excavations carried out in 1915 and 1923 indicated that the huts had been of roughly circular form and that they had been occupied from about A.D. 60 to the 4th century. The only masonry structure, found by workmen in 1906, is vaguely described as a round building of about 20 sq. ft. in area, with walls of flint standing 2˝ ft. high. There was no indication that the earthwork differed in date from the main period of occupation.90
   The excavator sought to identify the site with the mysterious Noviomagus of the second Iter. of the Antonine Itinerary, which locates that place at a distance of 10 miles from London.90a Charlton, however, is no more than 7 miles from London, and it must be admitted that no convincing explanation of this section of the Itinerary has yet been found.
   90    For a possible pottery kiln, see Industries, p. 129.
   90a  Cf. p. 93, note 67b.

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