News from Downstream

On the 22nd and 29th September I went out to Northfleet with Bexley Archaeological Group (BAG) to look at the site at Northfleet Harbour in Kent. There is a slipway that the Northfleet Harbour Restoration Trust group were working on, and BAG were working west of this slipway looking for the site of a pub that dates to the 16th century, located on the southern side of the Fleet. On the north side is the site of a mill that was milling chalk for use in concrete; this will be investigated at a later date. On the slipway they have found many cannon balls, these were used to mill the chalk.

We dug a trial trench (3 metres by 1 metre) on the pub site however we were only able to get 10cm down due to the sticky clay, and the building material we were finding meant that shovelling wasn’t an option! Amongst the building material we found a clay pipe bowl from the 18th century as well as some pre-1900 glass. When we returned the next week, there was a high tide and we found our trench flooded! So it was off to a new site.

To the east of the slipway was reported to be the site of a manor house. We extended the trench dug by the Northfleet group to a 3 metre x 1 metre trial trench to see what we could find. After half a metre we started to get sand and there were tiles placed down. Was this to help launch boats? We’ll find out more next time!