Rectilinear enclosures and ring ditches 200m north-west of Wayborough House
Reasons for Designation
The rectilinear enclosures and ring ditches are considered to be the remains of round houses and an Iron Age and Romano-British enclosed farmstead. On modern arable sites, where cultivation has taken place, the earthworks of archaeological monuments are sometimes levelled or the ditches in-filled and can instead be identified as crop and soil marks. These occur due to differential crop growth (crop marks) or differences in soil colour (soil marks) as a result of buried archaeological features. Where these have been excavated, they are often shown to contain significant archaeological remains and deposits surviving below the modern ground level.
A round house is a circular building, usually of domestic function, and generally prehistoric or Roman in origin. It is normally indicated by one or more rings of post holes and/or a circular gulley and was usually of timber construction with a thatched roof.
Iron Age enclosed farmsteads are generally represented by curvilinear enclosures containing evidence of a small group of circular domestic buildings and associated agricultural structures. Where excavated, these sites are also found to contain pits or rectangular post-built structures for the storage of grain and other produce, evidence of an organised and efficient farming system. The majority of Iron Age enclosed farmsteads have been recorded as crop- and soil-marks appearing on aerial photographs.
Romano-British farmsteads show a marked continuity with later prehistoric settlements. They are small agricultural units comprising groups of up to four circular or rectangular houses along with associated structures which may include wells, storage pits, corn-drying ovens and granary stores. These were sometimes constructed within a yard surrounded by a rectangular or curvilinear enclosure, and associated field systems, trackways and cemeteries may be located nearby. Most Romano-British farmsteads in south east England have been discovered by the analysis of aerial photographs. They usually survive in the form of buried features visible as crop and soil marks and occasionally as low earthworks. Often situated on marginal agricultural land and found throughout the British Isles, they date to the period of Roman occupation (c.AD 43-450).
Despite cultivation on the site in the past, the rectilinear enclosures and ring ditches 200m north-west of Wayborough House survive well as crop marks. The site has not been excavated and retains potential for further archaeological investigation, which will provide information regarding the exact nature of the archaeological remains. It will contain archaeological evidence and environmental information relating to the round houses, farmstead and the landscape in which they were constructed .
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 19 June 2014. The 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 rectilinear enclosures and ring ditches surviving as buried remains. It is situated on a south-facing slope just below the brow of Telegraph Hill, east of Laundry Road Industrial Estate near Minster.
The features recorded as crop marks on aerial photographs represent the surviving ditches of a Romano-British and Iron Age settlement. A large rectilinear enclosure, the remains of a Romano-British farmstead, is orientated NNE to SSW and is up to about 134m long and 100m wide with curved corners. There are three possible entrances, evident by 4m to 5m breaks in the ditch, in the eastern side of the enclosure. Within the interior of the enclosure is another smaller rectilinear enclosure. It is orientated broadly north-east to south-west and is about 38m long by 26m wide, although the south-west corner is missing. To the north-west are three ring ditches, Iron Age round houses, varying from about 17m to 23m in diameter. They are seen to have pits or post holes in the centre. At the southern end of the site is a circular concentration of pits or post holes, which is also considered, be the remains of a round house.
The site was recorded as part of the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) Kent Mapping Project carried out in 1986-7. This produced 1:10,000 scale depictions of crop marks identified on oblique and vertical aerial photographs taken across Kent. In 1987, several east-west orientated inhumation burials were discovered and destroyed during building work on the western boundary of Laundry Road Industrial Estate. The date of the burials is unknown.
Further archaeological remains, including ring ditches, survive in the vicinity of this site but are not included because they have not been formally assessed.