Tumulus (destroyed): OS Grid Reference – TQ 861 862
Archaeology & History
Somewhere beneath the modern housing estate immediately east of Chalkwell Park was once a large prehistoric burial mound. It was included in Wymer & Brown’s (1995) archaeological gazetteer (albeit at the wrong spot) without comment, but their reference led me to an early description of the place by Philip Benton (1867) whose description gave us the best info we have of the place. He wrote:
“To the east of the present mansion, at the north-west comer of a field called Fishponds, is a tumulus or mound, probably Celtic. This was first opened about thirty years ago, when bones, a few coins, and a piece of chain were discovered. Since which period about eight feet of earth has been removed from the summit, when more bones were found, but as they were not inspected by any one competent to give an opinion, it is impossible to say whether they were those of man or beast. The mound is still about four feet above the surrounding soil, and would probably repay further search.”
Wymer and Brown listed the site as being an “early Bronze Age” monument.
- Benton, Philip, The History of Rochford Hundred – volume 2, Harrington: Rochford 1867.
- Wymer, J.J. & Brown, N.R., Excavations at North Shoebury, East Anglian Archaeology: Chelmsford 1995.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian
Settlement (destroyed): OS Grid Reference – TQ 932 733
Archaeology & History
An extensive site that was uncovered when a housing estate was being built on the south-side of Power Station Road at the end of the 20th century. During the Spring and Summer of 1998, the Canterbury Archaeological Trust began cutting trenches across the land and did some minor excavation work on the west side of the area, finding some traces of early human activity.
A second series of investigations was then undertaken by the Hertfordshire Archaeological Trust over the Autumn and Winter months of 1998-99, with the Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit then taking over for the rest of the year. Their team split the land into eight large sections and began a more detailed analysis and uncovered a huge number of finds. Amidst this, wrote Brian Philp (2002), there
“included an important collection of Bronze Age material, including large clay-weights, perforated baked-clay slabs and a good range of pottery types. Of special interest was the spinal bone of a large whale, perhaps washed up on the nearby shore.
“The picture now emerging is that of a substantial Bronze Age settlement site, spread across several acres and probably farming the adjacent land… It seems likely that three large ponds and…eight stone-lined pits were primarily for water-storage, both for watering cattle and for other agricultural or semi-industrial purposes… All this seemed to be happening about 900-400 BC on what still appears to be the largest Bronze Age settlement so far discovered on this important island.”
The archaeocentric place-name of Barrows Hill rises a mile to the southwest.
- Philp, Brian, Archaeology in the Front Line, KARU: Dover 2002.
- Schuster, Jorn, “The Neolithic to Post-Medieval Archaeology of Kingsborough, Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey: From Monuments to Fields,” in Archaeologia Cantiana, volume 130, 2010.
- Kent Archaeological Review
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 2016