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Monument details

HER Number:TQ 96 SW 17
Type of record:Monument
Name:Romano-British cremation cemetery (c70-110 AD)


A Roman cremation cemetery dating from circa 70 to 110 AD was found at Murston, with finds of bronze fibulae, beads and Samian paterae.

Grid Reference:TQ 9233 6416
Map Sheet:TQ96SW

Monument Types

Associated Finds

  • BEAD (Roman - 70 AD to 110 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 70 AD to 110 AD)
  • SHERD (Roman - 70 AD to 110 AD)

Full description

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[TQ 9237 6417] ROMAN BURIAL GROUND [R] (Site of) [NAT] (1) The field to the left of the private road leading to East Hall, Murston, is the site of an extensive Roman cemetery. The burials seem to have been wholly by cremation except for a skull which was, however, associated with C1st glassware and may therefore be an incomplete cremation. The associated pottery seems to be almost exclusively dated to c70-110 A D. (2,3) The area is under orchards. No closer siting evidence than George Payne's small scale map (1.125 miles:1 inch) could be found. (4) Several vessels of Roman pottery were found in December 1871 during brick-earth working in a field on the East Hall Estate, Murston. The site of the discovery is 800 yards SE of Murston old church, 600 yards from East Hall House and about 0.5 miles N of the main London-Chatham-Dover railway. Most of the specimens were of Upchurch ware and of great variety in shape and pattern. The finds fell into two groups - the southernmost consisted of 8 pottery vessels, 2 bronze fibulae and 2 earthen beads. The northern consisted of 8 pottery vessels (see illustration card), including a cinerary urn containing calcinated human bones, buried at a depth of 2 ft. On the 7th March 1872 workmen found remains of further interments 50 yards SE of the relics already described, with 16 specimens of pottery (see illustration card) including 2 Samian pateras. Work was discontinued until November, when 3 cups of Samian ware were found in the same area. 50 ft away was a bronze fibula, placed on a small heap of human bones, accompanied by a black patera. 8 ft to the SE of these was a similar heap of bones, with 2 large urns, a Samian patera, a bronze fibula and 2 vessels of black ware. 20 ft to the N were 5 pottery vessels. A few yards to the E, grouped around another heap of bones, with a fibula placed on top, was a yellow urn, a large jug-shaped vessel of red ware and 2 Samian cups. 7 ft away a yellow urn, a Samian cup, a red ware vessel and 2 large vessels (see illustration card). It will readily be seen from the number of relics found that the field from whence they were taken was one vast cemetery and no doubt further excavations, particularly to the N and NE, will discover many more specimens. The writer was most unfortunate with regard to the preservation of the vessels, many of which were crushed during the brick-earth extraction process. (5) TQ 923 642 A pedestal urn from a number of predominantly post Roman conquest cremation burial groups discovered between 1871-2 at Murston, listed. (6) Additional bibliography. (7)

<1> OS 6" 1961 (OS Card Reference). SKE48369.

<2> Coll Cant 1893 33-42 (Map A No 12)(G Payne) (OS Card Reference). SKE39146.

<3> VCH Kent 3 1932 97 (REM Wheeler) (OS Card Reference). SKE51149.

<4> F1 ASP 16-JUL-63 (OS Card Reference). SKE42136.

<5> Field report for monument TQ 96 SW 17 - July, 1963 (Bibliographic reference). SKE4943.

<6> Sittingbourne and Swale Archaeological Group, Site Files, B44 9(b) 69 (Index). SWX9396.

<7> Sittingbourne and Swale Archaeological Group, Site Files, B44 9(b) 69 (Index). SWX9396.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
<1>OS Card Reference: OS 6" 1961.
<2>XYOS Card Reference: Coll Cant 1893 33-42 (Map A No 12)(G Payne). [Mapped feature: #35838 Cemetery, ]
<3>OS Card Reference: VCH Kent 3 1932 97 (REM Wheeler).
<4>OS Card Reference: F1 ASP 16-JUL-63.
<5>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TQ 96 SW 17 - July, 1963.
<6>Index: Sittingbourne and Swale Archaeological Group. Site Files. B44 9(b) 69.
<7>Index: Sittingbourne and Swale Archaeological Group. Site Files. B44 9(b) 69.