Archaeology

Church Field Villa

Church Field Villa

One of the earliest British centres of Christian worship.

Broken Roman tiles and tesserae have lain on the surface of this field for centuries. Some of these remains were used as a source of hardcore for infilling the near-by medieval manor moat, as the building was expanded. Indeed, it was from the moat, not the villa field, that a piece of significant Roman wall plaster was discovered. In 1974 The British Museum confirmed that it was probably the centre of a painted Chi Rho motif, one of the earliest Christian symbols. This chance find suggests that Church Field Villa, like Lullingstone Villa, was once the site of one of the earliest known Christian house-churches in Britain.  

 

A team from Discover Roman Otford Project are currently excavating this significant site, which has already revealed a very large Romano-British winged-corridor building. Its dimensions indicate a villa twice the size of Lullingstone. However, the building was systematically demolished at the end of the Roman period, and forgotten about until the early 20th century. After lying relatively undisturbed for 1.6 millennia, it is beginning to yield it secrets, including hypocausts (under-floor heating), and a bath house.

The work is continuing, with the promise of much still to discover.

The Bronze Age Mount

Their memory lives on

The Bronze Age Mount

Iron-Age Hill Fort

A great hill-fort overlooking the valley

Iron-Age Hill Fort

.

The Romano British Cemetery

The Roman way of death

The Romano British Cemetery

Progress Villa

Unearthing a Roman farm

Progress Villa

The Pottery Field

Discvery of local industry

The Pottery Field

The Palace & Becket's Well

A palace and a holy well

The Palace & Becket's Well

Church Field Villa

One of the earliest British centres of Christian worship

Church Field Villa

The Bronze Age Mount

Their memory lives on

The Bronze Age Mount

.

The Romano British Cemetery

The Roman way of death

The Romano British Cemetry

Progress Villa

Unearthing a Roman farm

Progress Villa

Pottery Field

Discvery of local industry

Pottery Field

The Palace & Becket's Well

A palace and a holy well

The Palace & Becket's Well

Church Field Villa

One of the earliest British centres of Christian worship

Church Field Villa