Settling the Ebbsfleet Valley, Volumes 1-4

Each of the four volumes has an individual ISBN and price. The ISBN for all four volumes is 978-0-9545970-7-8, at a reduced price of £90.00.

Volume 1: The Sites

368 Volume I: The Sites

Settling the Ebbsfleet Valley
High Speed 1 Excavations at Springhead and Northfleet, Kent
The Late Iron Age, Roman, Saxon, and Medieval Landscape
 
By Phil Andrews, Edward Biddulph, and Alan Hardy

ISBN 978-0-9545970-3-0
 
This volume, the first of four, describes the results of excavations at Springhead and Northfleet in the Ebbsfleet Valley, Kent, undertaken in advance of construction of High Speed 1 (formerly the Channel Tunnel Rail Link).
 
The Roman ‘small town’ or roadside settlement at Springhead (Vagniacis) developed from modest Late Iron Age origins into a religious centre almost unique within Roman Britain, probably attracting pilgrims from a wide area. In addition to the previously known and excavated temples, a major mid-2nd century AD sanctuary complex including a temple, ancillary buildings and a ritual shaft, has been discovered, focused on the springs and pool (reconstructed above) at the head of the valley where the Ebbsfleet rises.
 
Another temple, along with a range of timber buildings, were also recorded; these included an aisled barn, a blacksmith’s forge, a bakery, and a possible brewing complex within individual properties lining Watling Street and the riverside branch road leading to Northfleet villa. As well as the major Pepper Hill cemetery to the south of the town (and reported under Section 1 of High Speed 1), three smaller cemeteries were also identified on the periphery of Springhead.
 
Downstream at Northfleet, a large part of a Roman villa complex, including the Ebbsfleet waterfront, a detached bath-house, and much of the agricultural surroundings, was investigated. Saxon remains throughout the Ebbsfleet Valley included sunken-featured buildings belonging to possibly three separate settlements, two inhumation cemeteries, and most significantly, at Northfleet the preserved remains of the earliest recorded horizontal-wheeled tidal water mill in Britain, its construction tree-ring dated to the end of the 7th century AD.

 

Volume 2: Late Iron Age to Roman Finds Reports

369 Volume 2: Late Iron Age to
Roman Finds Reports

Settling the Ebbsfleet Valley
High Speed 1 Excavations at Springhead and Northfleet, Kent
The Late Iron Age, Roman, Saxon, and Medieval Landscape
 
By Edward Biddulph, Rachael Seager Smith, and Jörn Schuster

ISBN 978-0-9545970-4-7
NOW ONLY £7.95 Buy online via Oxbow Books
 
This volume, the second of four, presents specialist reports on the Late Iron Age and Roman artefacts recovered from Springhead and Northfleet.
 
These include over 2 tonnes of pottery, 1756 coins and tokens, over 2500 other metal small finds (many possibly votive objects recovered from the Ebbsfleet at Springhead) and 3000 nails. The metal finds include items of personal adornment and dress, household utensils and furniture, objects for weighing and measuring, pieces of toilet or medical equipment, tools associated with manufacture and agriculture, military equipment, and religious objects, including two lead Fortuna figurines. Quantities of iron slag, ceramic building material, wall plaster and woodwork, 95 rotary querns, and at least two pipeclay Venus figurines, along with glass, leather shoes, and objects of bone are also reported.
 
The finds assemblage from Springhead in particular emphasises the juxtaposition of ritual and domestic life in a small but important roadside settlement (partly reconstructed above) on Watling Street, on the route between the coast and London. Although the main building of the Northfleet villa complex, originally investigated in the early 20th century, was avoided by the route of High Speed 1, high-status finds recovered from elsewhere in the estate, such as a seal-box, marble flooring and fragments of an imported theatrical mask provide further evidence that the villa was occupied by members of the local elite.
 
Collectively the substantial High Speed 1 finds assemblage helps paint a vivid picture of domestic, economic and religious life, and death, for both town and country dwellers within the Ebbsfleet Valley during the Romano-British period.

 

Volume 3: Late Iron Age to Roman Human Remains and Environmental Reports

370 Volume 3: Late Iron Age to Roman
Human Remains and Environmental
Reports

Settling the Ebbsfleet Valley
High Speed 1 Excavations at Springhead and Northfleet, Kent
The Late Iron Age, Roman, Saxon, and Medieval Landscape
 
By Catherine Barnett, Jacqueline I McKinley, Elizabeth Stafford, Jessica M Grimm, and Chris J Stevens

ISBN 978-0-9545970-5-4
 
The detailed specialist reports in this volume, the third of four, present analyses of the Late Iron Age and Roman human bone and animal bone assemblages recovered during the reported excavations, as well as environmental remains and dating evidence relating to contemporary landscape, subsistence and economy.
 
A single cremation burial and at least 48 inhumation burials were recorded at Springhead, with a single inhumation burial of a neonate also recovered from within the Northfleet villa complex. Whole or partial skulls appear to have been both deliberately placed and redeposited in a variety of features, including a ‘ritual shaft’ at Springhead. Over 68,000 fragments of animal bone were recovered, including many complete animal skeletons. At Springhead the assemblage is dominated by sheep/goat whilst cattle are more important at the Northfleet villa.
 
The environmental evidence for Roman subsistence and economy is presented in reports on charred plant remains, wood charcoal, and marine shell. Of particular note is the evidence for brewing on an almost industrial scale at the villa, with a malting oven (reconstructed above), a barn and three brewing tanks discovered – the largest of which could hold up to 16,000 pints alone, supplying not only the villa’s need but almost certainly also for trade further afield. Environmental sequences and remains relating to the development of the wider Roman landscape of the Ebbsfleet Valley were also recovered from a range of locations.

 

Volume 4: Saxon and Later Finds and Environmental Reports

371 Volume 4: Saxon and Later Finds
and Environmental Reports

Settling the Ebbsfleet Valley
High Speed 1 Excavations at Springhead and Northfleet, Kent
The Late Iron Age, Roman, Saxon, and Medieval Landscape
 
By Phil Andrews, Lorraine Mepham, Jörn Schuster, and Chris J Stevens

ISBN 978-0-9545970-6-1
NOW ONLY £7.95 Buy online via Oxbow Books
 
The detailed specialist reports in this volume, the fourth of four, cover all the Saxon and later finds recovered during the excavations, as well as human bone and animal bone, environmental remains and dating evidence relating to contemporary landscape, subsistence and economy.
 
Fifth to early 6th century pottery was recovered from the Northfleet Roman villa site, including from demolition layers over the villa buildings, as well as from nine sunken-featured buildings spanning the 5th to 8th centuries, and the area of the late 7th/early 8th century Saxon mill (reconstructed above). The metal small finds derive largely from parts of two late 7th/early 8th century cemeteries, containing at least 30 individuals, and located at Springhead on the brow of Wingfield Bank overlooking the Ebbsfleet Valley. Also recovered were small quantities of smithing slag, ceramic building material, fired clay and daub, and objects of bone.
 
Unusual and comparatively rare finds include a wooden bowl and a very early example of a small wood plane – probably for trimming arrow or spear shafts. In addition, the surface of one of the mill pentroughs had been inscribed with a ‘daisy wheel’ pattern of overlapping and intersecting circles, almost certainly for use as a template to accurately and evenly positioning the horizontal water wheel blades on to a central hub.
 
The animal bone assemblage is largely comprised of domestic animals, indicating mixed farming supplemented by a little hunting; the charred plant remains derive from locally grown crops.