Channel Tunnel Rail Link Section 1

Stuart Foreman, 2004 (updated 2009)

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Pepper Hill, Southfleet, Kent - Integrated Site Report


Grave goods being lifted from Pepper Hill.

From 1997 to 1998 Oxford Archaeology undertook an archaeological investigation at Pepper Hill, Southfleet in Kent on behalf of Union Railways South (Limited) ahead of construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. The site lay south of the Roman town and religious complex at Springhead (Vagniacis). Excavation revealed almost the entire plan of a Roman-period cemetery which developed alongside a road that took inhabitants, pilgrims and other traffic into the town. A total of 558 graves or other funerary-related features were encountered.

The cemetery was located at a site previously used for burial in the middle Iron Age. At least one grave belonged to that time. No burials were certainly made during the late Iron Age, though quarry pits and a boundary ditch record activity dating before the Roman conquest. The site received the greatest number of burials during the early Roman period (AD 43-130). The rate of burial declined during the 2nd century and, by the 3rd century, few graves were dug. The latest burials comprise a group of five dating after AD 260; given the fortunes of the neighbouring town, none is likely to date far into the 4th century. The site was abandoned after the Roman period until medieval times when quarrying and agricultural activity began.

The fieldwork events covered by this report are:

  • Pepper Hill (ARC PHL97) - Excavation
  • New Barn Road (ARC NBR98) - Excavation

Other material from the programme linked to this report.

Phase 2

Specialist Research Reports

Below is a list of specialist research reports associated with this report.

Later Prehistoric Pottery Ceramics
Roman Pottery Ceramics
Small Finds Small Finds
Dating Dating
Human Remains Human Remains
Charcoal Environmental
Charred Plant Remains Environmental
Fauna Environmental
Integrated Site Report

The integrated site report and data for this site can be found on the downloads page.

Phase 1

Evaluation and Interim Excavation Data

Below is a list of other evaluation and interim excavation data from sites and field work events associated with this report.

South of Station Road (ARC SSR98) Evaluation
Pepper Hill (ARC THB95) Evaluation
Waterloo Connection & Pepperhill (ARC NBR98 and ARC PHL97) Excavation