Exeter: Archaeologist discusses find of Roman fort in 2019

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Wessex Archaeology were carrying out an excavation of land near St Nicholas Church when they stumbled upon something odd. The company, who were commissioned by Bellway Homes to carry out the dig, are reportedly keeping quiet about exactly what was uncovered. But some local villagers are certain that excavations have revealed exciting secrets of an ancient civilisation. 

One villager told KentOnline: “On speaking to one of the archaeologists, they said that there was a settlement here that could be Saxon. Local folk law says that there could also be a plague pit nearby.”

And Local borough councillor Gordon Newton added: “From what I’ve heard the walls are pretty extensive and there’s a lot of them, suggesting a significant settlement.

“I’m not surprised, I always said there must be significant finds to be made so close to the church.”

St Nicholas Church was constructed in the late 11th century, but records show there was already a church on the site previously, which hints that there could have been an earlier established settlement there.

Cllr Newton added: “I’m cross all this didn’t come out before permission was granted. Instead, there was a report that stated the site was of no significant archaeological interest.”

But this is not the first time ancient discoveries have been unearthed in Kent.

Back in May 2019, an entire Roman town, including a temple and main road, were found next to a major motorway in Newington.

It was hailed as one of the most significant discoveries in Kent’s regional archaeological history.

The 18-acre settlement uncovered contained rare coins, pottery and jewellery dating back as early as 43 AD.

And earlier in September this year, archaeologists were shocked when they found 40 skeletons on a site where new homes were being built in the Kent town of Deal.

Among the buried included a child as well as a warrior, believed to have been killed in battle, alongside his horse and dog.

Whitstable-based Kent Archaeological Projects (KAP) made the discovery of the remains of men, women and children at the St Richard’s Road building site.

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The remains were believed to be the Jutes, a Nordic tribe who settled in the UK after the departure of the Romans.

Romans invaded Britain in 43 AD and remained for almost 400 years.
Remains of their occupation have been found scattered across the UK – including Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland and the Roman Baths in Bath.

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