Link to printer-friendly page

It should not be assumed that this site is publicly accessible and it may be on private property. Do not trespass.

Monument details

HER Number:TQ 57 SW 248
Type of record:Monument
Name:Roman Occupation, Spital Street, Dartford


A number of phases of occupation, dates unclear, through the Roman period. Features recovered included a yard, pits, fence-line, ditch and child burial.

Grid Reference:TQ 54016 74100
Map Sheet:TQ57SW

Monument Types

  • BUILDING? (Roman - 100 AD? to 409 AD?)
  • DITCH (Roman - 100 AD? to 409 AD? (at some time))
  • FENCE (Roman - 100 AD? to 409 AD? (at some time))
  • INHUMATION (Roman - 100 AD? to 300 AD? (at some time))
  • YARD (Roman - 100 AD? to 409 AD? (at some time))

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Roman - 43 AD? to 409 AD?)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD? to 99 AD?)
  • POTTERY ASSEMBLAGE (Roman - 43 AD? to 409 AD?)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Roman - 100 AD? to 300 AD?)

Full description

If you do not understand anything on this page please contact us.

Evaluation work uncovered a stretch of compacted gravel below the present line of Spital Street perhaps indicating a temporary surface, before Watling Street (TQ 57 SE 120) was firmly established on a slightly different alignment. In the late 1st century the road was abandoned and some form of activity took place on the site. The excavation area was too small to determine what the occupation was, but it is indicated by two postholes, one containing a quantity of slag, and a large pit. On the eastern side of the excavation site a burial of a new born child was discovered. The burial was deliberate with the remains placed within the broken base of an amphora. A small quantity of pottery was found along with a copper-alloy brooch, mid to late 1st century, with a makers mark and a copper alloy pin.

Later the excavation site was covered by a cobbled surface; a yard relating presumably to a building not identified, possibly fronting the later Roman road to the south. The yard was later resurfaced with metalling cut to the west by an oval feature of unknown function. The yard surface contained inclusions of shell, flint, chalk, charcoal, pot and bone.

After this part of a fence, L-shaped, represented by postholes, was erected on the site along with a contemporary linear feature containing flint, shell, animal bone, pot, slag and charcoal. This feature was of uncertain function.

Following this the area was covered with blackish clay loam, so-called “dark earth horizon” indicating urban inactivity until the post-medieval period (1).

<1> Canterbury Archaeological Trust, 1991, Excavations at Spital Street, Dartford; Level IV Report (Unpublished document). SKE12284.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
<1>Unpublished document: Canterbury Archaeological Trust. 1991. Excavations at Spital Street, Dartford; Level IV Report.