Channel Tunnel Rail Link Section 1

Stuart Foreman, 2004 (updated 2009)

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Oxford Archaeology (South)
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Whitehill Road Barrow, Longfield and New Barn, Kent - Integrated Site Report


South facing view of Whitehill Barrow.

The Museum of London Archaeology Service (MoLAS) was commissioned by Union Railways (South) Limited (a subsidiary of London and Continental Railways) to undertake a watching brief and detailed excavation between Fawkham Junction to Dale Road (Archaeological Zone 1) and from Dale Road to west of Hazells Farm (Archaeological Zone 2), southwest and south of Gravesend, Kent. This work formed part of an extensive programme of archaeological investigation carried out in response to the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL).

Earliest dated activity within the area may have taken place as early as c 4,000 BC with exploitation of spring lines at the valley floor east of Springhead. A barrow monument was set up to the west, at Whitehill Road: the original ditch around the barrow had partially filled in before the insertion of an inhumation burial. An amber necklace found with the body, while unusual in the Kent early Bronze Age tradition dates to latter part of the early Bronze Age. Human bone fragments from the burial gave a radiocarbon result of 3273�30BP (NZA-22740). When calibrated (1620-1440 cal BC) this indicates that the burial is post-Beaker. The construction of a second, outer concentric ditch around the barrow was also a secondary event, probably contemporary with the burial.

At Springhead, later Bronze Age colluvium sealed earlier features and was cut into by late Bronze Age pits and ditches. Apart from small amounts of late Iron Age material, there was no evidence for further activity until the 1st century AD when Roman field systems are laid out at Fawkham Junction and New Barn Road, and an enclosure constructed at South of Station Road. The Roman land use and activity was apparently short-lived and passed into disuse AD 100-150.

Later medieval and post-medieval activity within the landscape remained agricultural in character until the construction of the Gravesend West Railway in the mid 19th Century.

The fieldwork events covered by this report are:

  • Watching Brief Package 330 (ARC 33098) - Watching Brief
  • South of Station Road (ARC SSR99) - Excavation
  • Temple East of Springhead (ARC STP99) - Excavation
  • Whitehill Road barrow (ARC WHR99) - 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
Charred Plant Remains Environmental
Fauna Environmental
Geoarchaeology 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
Temple East of Springfield (ARC STP97) Evaluation