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Roman remains found at Wingfield Place development in Deal

The remains of Roman structures and objects, including pottery, have been found at a building site.

An archaeological investigation has revealed that the land was the location of the southern end of a settlement, likely to be a large farm or small hamlet.

Roman pottery found in the Freemen's Way area of Deal. Pictures: Dandara
Roman pottery found in the Freemen's Way area of Deal. Pictures: Dandara

It is thought to date from the 1st to 4th centuries.

The discovery was made at the Wingfield Place development off Freemen's Way in Deal.

Duncan Hawkins is operations director and head of archaeology and heritage at RPS Consulting Services Ltd, which oversaw the dig.

He said: “These findings are incredibly important for the local community.

"Previously artefacts from the Roman era have been found widely across Deal so these discoveries are significant in helping us to understand the nature of Roman settlement across, what is now, the town of Deal.”

The pottery, before being cleaned up
The pottery, before being cleaned up

The findings include pottery recovered from cremation burials on the site.

Pits, ditches and postholes were also cut into the ground and filled up with silt over time.

These indicate that there were once substantial timber buildings in place.

The development was excavated by archaeologists in June to August this year.

The artefacts were afterwards removed, cleaned and analysed by specialists.

During the Roman period, the site appeared to be continually occupied, with boundaries in position for several hundred years, represented by ditches being recut.

The Roman postholes found at Deal
The Roman postholes found at Deal
One of the Roman finds at the site
One of the Roman finds at the site

The indications are that the settlement extended to the north where many archaeological finds have been recorded over the last hundred years.

The development of 88 homes on a former school sports field is by housebuilders Dandara.

Louise Norman, sales and marketing director at Dandara South East, commented: “It is always incredibly exciting to see what is found at our future sites.

"As a housebuilder we are creating new communities and we feel it is important to understand the history of the area."

Since the discovery and safekeeping of the artefacts Danara has started construction on the site.

The site was once the former playing field of South Deal Primary School which was sold when the school amalgamated with Mongeham Primary in 2006.

It had stood empty and was not in sporting use for several years..

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