Virtual Museum Logo
Roman Britain   43AD-450AD

Return to Introduction

Display Contents
The Site
The Building
Later Wall

Roman Building - Ebbsfleet

The site
The Roman building at Ebbsfleet was discovered during an evaluation before the development of a golf course on Cottington Hill, Ebbsfleet.  The building was located to the east of Ebbsfleet Lane near its intersection with Cottington Lane, an ancient pathway.

Site Plan

The building was founded on a sequence of sandy loam deposits containing pottery dating from the Bronze Age to the late Iron Age, a Beaker burial had been disturbed by the later Roman building. Late Iron Age 'Belgic' pottery and two coins, one a potin dating to circa 50BC, were found in the deposit immediately below the building.

The building
The  building remains consisted of a length of wall foundation composed of hard white limestone nodules. A return was seen in the western end of the foundation but this petered out in a robber trench. At the northern end a robber trench appeared to deviate toward the north east. Patches of a floor of decayed mortar set with flat smooth pebbles were found within the area framed by the angle of the walls.

Building Plan

Overlying the wall foundations within the presumed interior of the building was a black sandy loam deposit containing burnt pottery, calcined chalk and masses of Oyster shells, bones and pot sherds in the upper 10cm. A coin of early fourth century date was found within the deposit.

Site photograph facing south west

Dr. David Perkins who excavated the building felt this deposit represented debris from a final fire within the structure which was capped with midden material. It is also possible the material was debris from a furnace or stoke hole with the remains representing the subterranian element of a hypocausted building.

A few  pits containing material dating to the end of the second century were encountered in the trenches excavated to the south of the building.


Late cobble wall

Later wall
A second later wall foundation of water rolled flints overlay the debris within the building. This wall had been  heavily damaged by ploughing.

A scatter of pot sherds, animal bones and oyster shell  overlying the building remains were the first deposits encountered in the evaluation trenches.

No ceramic roofing materials, plaster or mortar structures which have associated with some of the other Roman buildings on Thanet were found on the site.  It is likely that the structure represented at Ebbsfleet was either very heavily eroded by later cultivation or the building is of a lower status than those found at Minster or Stone Road.


D. R.J. Perkins 1990, Archaeological remains at Cottington Hill, Ebbsfleet, Ramsgate. Unpublished Trust for Thanet Archaeology Evaluation Report

Ges Moody

Version 1 - 13.03.07

All content © Trust for Thanet Archaeology