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
9. CHARLTON (NEAR BLACKHEATH)
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.
a possible pottery kiln, see Industries, p. 129.
90a Cf. p. 93, note 67b.