Channel Tunnel Rail Link Section 1

Stuart Foreman, 2004 (updated 2009)

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Oxford Archaeology (South)
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Westenhanger Castle, Stanford, Kent - Integrated Site Report


Feature from Westenhanger Castle.

As part of an extensive programme of archaeological investigation carried out in advance of the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL), the Canterbury Archaeological Trust was commissioned to undertake an excavation on land to the north of Westenhanger Castle (OS NGR 612200 137500). This excavation followed on from an evaluation carried out by the Museum of London Archaeology Service, and was itself succeeded by a watching brief undertaken by the Oxford Archaeological Unit. The project was carried out between October 1997 and July 2000, under the project management of Rail Link Engineering, on behalf of Union Railways (South) Limited (a subsidiary for London and Continental Railways).

Evidence for Bronze Age activity was limited to four features. In the Iron Age, a farming landscape started to emerge including a trackway, a penannular gully and a well defined enclosure. This activity may have extended into the early Roman period.

The early medieval period represented the main phase of development of the site (c AD 1050-1175) with the establishment of a possible small farmstead with associated enclosure system. Although the nature, morphology, and chronological development of the farmstead is difficult to define, as no clear building plans survived, four potential structures have been identified along with associated refuse pits, possible latrines and possible livestock enclosures. This occupation appears to have been short-lived and was abandoned by the late 12th century. No direct evidence for settlement activity was apparent from that date onwards and the site seemed to have been subsequently occupied by successive field systems, showing an eastward shift in activity across the site in the 13th century.

Late medieval and post-medieval evidence are represented by a limited number of features, generally in the eastern part of the site, and related to agricultural activities.

The fieldwork events covered by this report are:

  • North of Westenhanger Castle (ARC WGC98) - Excavation

Other material from the programme linked to this report.

Phase 2

Specialist Research Reports

Below is a list of specialist research reports which refer to this site.

Early Prehistoric Pottery Ceramics
Roman Pottery Ceramics
Post Roman Pottery Ceramics
Small Finds Small Finds
Charred Plant Remains 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.

Westenhanger Castle (North Of) (ARC WGC97) Evaluation
Westenhanger Castle (North Of) (ARC WGC98) Excavation