Roman granary 250yds (230m) W of St Mary's Church
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1003600
Date first listed: 15-May-1975
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Sevenoaks (District Authority)
Parish: Horton Kirby and South Darenth
National Grid Reference: TQ 55975 68492
Reasons for Designation
A Roman granary is a storehouse for grain, usually after it has been threshed or husked. The remains of granaries, such as walls and foundations, have been found at the sites of Roman towns, forts, and as part of the agricultural estates of Roman villas in Britain. This example at Horton Kirby is thought to be a component of a Roman villa.
Romano-British villas were extensive rural estates at the focus of which were groups of domestic, agricultural and occasionally industrial buildings. The term "villa" is now commonly used to describe either the estate or the buildings themselves. The buildings usually include a well-appointed dwelling house, the design of which varies considerably according to the needs, taste and prosperity of the occupier. Most of the houses were partly or wholly stone-built, many with a timber-framed superstructure on masonry footings. Roofs were generally tiled and the house could feature tiled or mosaic floors, underfloor heating, wall plaster, glazed windows and cellars. Many had integral or separate suites of heated baths. The house was usually accompanied by a range of buildings providing accommodation for farm labourers, workshops and storage for agricultural produce. These were arranged around or alongside a courtyard and were surrounded by a complex of paddocks, pens, yards and features such as vegetable plots, granaries, threshing floors, wells and hearths, all approached by tracks leading from the surrounding fields. Villa buildings were constructed throughout the period of Roman occupation, from the first to the fourth centuries AD.
The Roman granary at Horton Kirby is a good example of its type, which survives well. It includes well preserved walls and foundations, tessellated floors and hearths, which provide valuable evidence for its original ground plan and layout. The granary will also provide information about the villa which is considered to be in the vicinity. The site has only been partially excavated and retains archaeological potential for further investigation. The granary will contain archaeological information and environmental evidence relating to the granary and the landscape in which it was constructed.
This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a Roman granary surviving as buried remains. It is situated next to the west bank of the River Darent at the foot of a valley at Horton Kirby.
The granary is over 30m long and about 18m wide. It is constructed of stone walls set on substantial foundations up to eight courses deep. The granary includes two rows of rooms on either side of a central storage area. There are narrow sleeper-walls across the central storage area, which originally supported a floor above. The flanking rooms have clay or tessellated floors, as well as remains of several hearths. Some of the floors are raised, indicating that they were also used for storage. A room at the north-east corner has an intact plain tessellated floor. The recovery of coloured tesserae nearby suggests there was also a mosaic in the vicinity. Some of the rooms are thought to have originally served as accommodation for agricultural labourers. At the east end of the granary is hard standing, indicating that this area provided access for the loading or off-loading of carts.
The Roman granary is thought to be part of a villa complex. The buried remains of another building, probably a dwelling, with flint walls and a tessellated floor are situated to the south-east of the granary.
The site was partially excavated in 1972-3. The finds included samian and coarse ware pottery dating to the second and third centuries AD, a bronze pin and a large millstone.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: KE 285
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
‘Excavations in Dartford and the Darent Valley 1973’, In Kent Archaeological Review, Vol 34 (Winter 1973), Kent Archaeological Society , accessed from http://cka.moon-demon.co.uk/KAR034/KAR034_Darenth.htm
Kent HER TQ 56 NE 30. NMR TQ 56 NE 30. PastScape 409963,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing