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Historic England Research Records

Franks Roman Villa

Hob Uid: 409879
Location :
Kent
Sevenoaks
Farningham
Grid Ref : TQ5541067420
Summary : Site of a Roman villa with two parallel ranges of rooms projecting on either side of the main entrance and an open verandah, hypocaust and opus signinum floor dating from the second half of 1st century to the 5th century. An area about 100 metres east of the villa revealed boundary ditches and pits containing domestic rubbish of 3rd century date. A Roman tiled oven was also recorded. During the 1970s rescue excavations took place which revealed an extensive area of Roman metalling sealing a filled-in water channel, a series of post holes relating to the water channel and the footings of a flint boundary wall. The finds included over 100 4th century AD coins, pottery and many small finds. Evidence for late Iron Age occupation of the site is also suggested by finds of tin coins and pottery.
More information : TQ 5538 6737: ROMAN BUILDING [R] (site of) [NAT] (1)

Roman building at Franks: type unidentified. Bulldozer revealed roughly square area of side approximately 25 yards comprising great quantities of brick, tile, imbrex tiles, mortar, pottery and part of a Roman horseshoe. Building lies close to the old course of the River Darent which has cut through it: exact extent unknown. (2)

TQ 5541 6742: Site at present under excavation. Exposed are flint rubble foundations. Also in situ box-flue tiles, round drainage tiles, masses of roof tiles and a floor of broken tile and cement. The site is marked by a low mound on the west bank of the Darent. (3)

Excavation in 1960 and 1961 by the Darent Valley Archaeological Research Group under J Ritson revealed a villa continuously occupied from the second half of the 1st century AD to the end of the 4th century, the building ceasing to be used early in the 5th century. A Belgic occupation was revealed by much native pottery and three native tin coins were associated with this. House consisted of two parallel ranges of rooms with small apartments projecting on either side of the main entrance protected by an open verandah. One room had a hypocaust, another an opus signinum floor. (4-5)

Excavations filled in and site levelled. Finds in Dartford Museum: full report to be published in Arch Cant. (See also TQ 56 NE 26). (6)

TQ 555 675: Franks Roman Villa. An area about 100 metres east of the villa revealed boundary ditches and pits containing domestic rubbish of 3rd century date. A Roman tiled oven was also recorded. The exact position of the villa house was located by trial excavation on the west bank of the river and its overall limits defined. (7)

Early in 1976 planning permission was given for gravel to be extracted in the area of the villa, to supply the adjacent M20 construction work. The site was scheduled and the main villa house saved from destruction, however the areas to the north and west of the villa were to be destroyed. As a result, rescue excavations took place by the KARU which revealed an extensive area of Roman metalling sealing a filled-in water channel, a series of post holes relating to the water channel and the footings of a flint boundary wall. The finds included over 100 4th century AD coins, pottery and many small finds. (8)

Additional bibliography. (9-11)

KE 30 Listed as the site of a Roman villa. (12)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1" 1946
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (G W Meates, E Greenfield and E Birchenough) 1948
Page(s) : 181-2
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 61
Source Number : 11
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details : (S S Frere) 1977
Page(s) : 424
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 8
Source Number : 12
Source : A gazetteer of Roman villas in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 104
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 13
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 18-Sep-94
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ASP 15-JUL-1960
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (G W Meates) 1973
Page(s) : 1
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 88
Source Number : 5
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : 1963
Page(s) : LV
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 78
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 ASP 28-AUG-1964
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Archaeological excavations
Source details : (B Philp) 1975
Page(s) : 122
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Archaeological excavations
Source details : (B Philp) 1976
Page(s) : 85
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : The journal of Roman studies
Source details : 1961
Page(s) : 190
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 51
Source Number : 10
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details : (R Goodburn) 1976
Page(s) : 376
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 7

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Late Iron Age
Display Date : Late Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -100
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Mid C1/C5
Monument End Date : 499
Monument Start Date : 67
Monument Type : Villa, Hypocaust, Rubbish Pit, Oven, Boundary Ditch, Boundary Wall, Post Hole, Water Channel, Findspot
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Late Iron Age
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : VESSEL, COIN
Object Material : Tin, Pottery
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Villa, Hypocaust, Rubbish Pit, Oven, Boundary Ditch, Boundary Wall, Post Hole, Water Channel, Findspot
Object Type : COIN, VESSEL
Object Material :

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : KE 305
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 25464
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 56 NE 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 409957
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FARNINGHAM III (FRANKS HALL)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1962-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TQ 56 NE 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1964-08-28
End Date : 1964-08-28
Associated Activities : Primary, FARNINGHAM III (FRANKS HALL)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1976-01-01
End Date : 1976-12-31