Are you interested in local History & or Archaeology?

If so, come and join us….Don’t just join a group, become a part of one and make history! Contact Richard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07970073950 to find out where and when we meet.

What do we do on site?

· Metal detecting

· Geophysical surveys

· Photography / Drawing

· Excavation techniques

· Dowsing

· Site surveying

· Heritage management(recording finds)

· LiDAR survey(lazer radar)

· Ancient woodland surveying

 

Why are we digging here?

We uncovered documents relating to an archaeological survey carried out in the 1960’s by LW Griffith and that caught our interest.

HRGS were running a 10 week Archaeology course and a site was needed to hold the‘practical session’.

Previous research suggested there was a manor house here, but we had no photos and some of the records seemed tantalisingly vague.

Permission was granted from the current land owner and the dig commenced May 2011.

What do we hope to achieve?

¨ Encourage local people to enjoy history and help them learn new skills.

¨ Record what is on the site with modern technologies - photos, levels, LiDAR.

¨ Find the answers to our various questions that we find ourselves asking:

* How big is the manor house?

* Why did it fall into ruin?

* What was the site used for?

* Were the Romans here?

* Was this an ancient track way?

* What were the pits used for?

* What is the importance of the embankmentsand ditches?

* What is the importance of the embankments / ditches?

What have we found out so far?

▪ Bredhurst is Anglo-Saxon for ‘The Broad Wood’. The Anglo-Saxon period lasted from 410 to 1066.

▪ No mention in Doomsday - 1086 or was it?

▪ St Peter's Church, ¼ mile from the village - Documentary evidence suggesting the original church was built between 1120 and 1154

▪ Mentioned in Curia Regis Rolls c1224

▪ Bredhurst purchased by John Duke of Lancaster (John of Gaunt) in 1379

▪ In trust, for the performance of religious bequests in the last will of Edward III

▪ In 1384 Richard II  granted Sir Simon de Burley the manor

▪ Simon de Burley forfeited the land and his life - for high treason during the Merciless Parliament of 1388

▪ Philipotwho wrote‘Kent surveyed and illustrated’ in 1659 stated that Bredhurst was already in ruin.

▪ In 1719 in his book ‘History of Kent’John Harris wrote “In Bredhurst Church is a brass-plate, with a figure in armour, over William, one of the great Family of the Norwoods; whence it is probable, they might have formally some seat here.  His four sons are likewise buried there by him“

▪ Research shows the site was owned by the de Northwood family – extensive land owners in North Kent in early Medieval England. They also owned Manorial Estates in Sheppey, Milton , Wormshill, Thurnham and Binbury.

What has been found?

Several walls – one which is 30 inches (750 cms) wide! – suggesting a substantial high status building. It is believed to be the remains of the Medieval Bredhurst Manor, circa 1320.

Masses of  roof tile – mostly terracotta colour, but some white...and some glazed; animal bones; a metal beaker which has been dated as 17-18thcentury (photo below)... roman pottery pieces (photo below), and a flint hand tool (photo below).

   

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