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Roman Britain   43AD-450AD

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Archaeological Discoveries

Roman Buildings on Thanet


At one time
it was perhaps reasonable to believe that  Thanet was a quiet rural Island in the Roman period, little touched by the major historic events that affected east Kent. In recent years more and more evidence of the Roman settlement of the Island has been revealed by excavation and survey.

The closest major Roman settlements to the Isle of Thanet were at Richborough and Reculver where early Iron Age settlements were succeeded by Roman forts, small towns and eventually the great Saxon Shore forts that still stand today.

The nearest town in the period was at Canterbury and rivers and raods provided a strong link but the maritime tradition in Thanet also formed links with other towns of the south and east coasts and on the continent.

Thanet occupied a strategic position in the transport and trade routes between Britain and the continent and witnessed some of the most significant events in the conquest of Britain by Roman soldiers and politicians.

Richborough Roman Fort
Richborough Roman Fort

Archaeological discoveries

The archaeological remains of several Roman buildings have been discovered  on  the Isle of Thanet. Although these buildings were often solidly built in stone,  flint, concrete and timber, little remains of them today and most have been revealed only by accidental discovery or careful archaeological excavation.

A few are known only from antiquarian records or the former location of a building can be guessed by finds of building materials such as clay roof tiles and pits and ditches.  Some can be identified from aerial photography of cropmarks which show in favourable conditions.

Those buildings that have been explored in some detail have revealed much of their former splendid plans and decorations. It is now very clear that Thanet was more heavily populated in the Roman period than had previously been thought.

Location map of Roman buildings on the Isle of Thanet

Links to Roman building pages:

Tivoli  Villa, Margate
Abbey Farm Villa, Minster in Thanet
Roman Building at Stone Road, Broadstairs
Roman Building, Ebbsfleet
St.Mildred's Bay, Westgate on Sea

Other Possible Building Locations:

Drapers Mills, Margate
Sunken Gardens, Westbrook

Lord of the Manor, Ramsgate
Dumpton Gap, Broadstairs

Ges Moody

Version 1.  posted 13.05.07

All content © Trust for Thanet Archaeology